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CARICOM focuses on disaster risk management in agriculture planning

Posted in: Press Releases by admin | 15 June 2016 | 5930

    FLASHBACK: Flood waters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
    FLASHBACK: Flood waters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

    Natural hazards such as drought, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods have had devastating impacts on the socioeconomic and environmental landscape of the Caribbean within the last decade. The agriculture sector has not been spared this dislocation and devastation. This, in conjunction with the negative impacts of climate change and the increased vulnerability to natural disasters, have propelled the Region to put measures in place to respond more effectively to these challenges with bold, decisive, yet well-ordered strategic planning.

    It is within this context that the Region is seeking to develop a CARICOM  standardised instrument for assessing the extent to which disaster risk management (DRM) and climate change considerations are integrated into planning in the Region’s agriculture sector.     

    The move is seen as a first step to assessing the current and future exposure, loss and damage caused by natural hazards and disasters to the sector and to have DRM and climate change systematically mainstreamed into the agricultural planning process.

    This is being addressed through a CARICOM Secretariat Initiative, under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Action entitled Agriculture Policy Programme (APP) with focus on the Caribbean and Pacific. The two major outcomes of this intervention will be:

    1. Development of a regional standard instrument for assessing the extent to which the planning within the Agricultural sector integrates considerations of DRM and Climate Change Adaptation and results and recommendations from the application (testing) of the instrument at the national level; and
    2. Development of a drought hazard annex template to agricultural disaster risk management plans

    These will be informed by a process of consultation with and feedback from the CARICOM States and culminate in Regional forum in which the endorsement of these tools will be considered.

    CARICOM Deputy Programme Manager, Agricultural Development, Dr. Ronnie Brathwaite, said the initiative was very important “as a more productive and more resilient agricultural sector requires a major shift towards robust risk reduction measures, including sector specific DRR/CCA technologies and practices, and more efficient use and management of vital resources such as land, water, soil nutrients and genetic resources.”

    A Joint Venture grouping involving Mr. Jeremy Collymore, Dr. Vincent Little, and Dr. Balfour Spence has been commissioned to lead this initiative.  The consultancy will be implemented until 14 September 2016, and will receive technical oversight from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the UN Food and Agriculture Office in Trinidad and Tobago.

    This initiative is being supported by other key agricultural partners in the Region and includes CARDIIICA,FAO, and CDEMA.


    About the Agriculture Policy Programme (APP)

    The APP Caribbean Action is funded under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and executed through a Contribution Agreement signed between the European Union (EU) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). The APP is being implemented in collaboration with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the CARICOM Secretariat (CCS). The programme seeks to contribute to the enhancement of the regional (Caribbean and Pacific) and interregional capabilities of the agricultural sectors in eradicating poverty. The specific objective is to increase the capability of Regional Agricultural Development Organisations of the Caribbean and Pacific regions to address the development needs of smallholder agriculture.

    The CARICOM Secretariat is administering Component 1 of the APP which focuses on strengthening Regional agricultural development strategy through inter alia support to the development and implementation of national and Regional agricultural sector policies and plans. The APP will deliver National Agriculture Policies/Plans to CARIFORUM Member States on the basis of expressed need.  This intervention is intended to assist Member States to develop current policies/plans that respond to the current realities of respective national agriculture sectors, and which are aligned to the Caribbean Community Agriculture Policy (CAP).

    For more information, please contact –

    Dr. Ronnie Brathwaite

    Deputy Programme Manager, Agricultural Development

    CARICOM Secretariat


    Email: ronnie.brathwaite@caricom.org