The OECS Region Prepares of the 2018 Hurricane Season
Montserrat-By Tanisha Christopher
The Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) on June 1 pushed its state of preparedness in to high gear, to coincide with the start of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Among the key decisions taken to prepare for the near-above normal season includes a commitment by the Offices of the Governor and Deputy Governor to hold regular meetings of the National Disaster Preparedness Response Advisory Committee (NDPRAC) to monitor levels of preparedness of all key stakeholders and critical initiatives.
A table top exercise was held on July 2nd, 2018 at the DMCA to test Montserrat's readiness to respond to impacts of storms or hurricanes.
The exercise assessed the plans of the Government, Non-Government Organizations (NGO's), the private sector and statutory bodies to respond to a tropical storm event.
The objective was to critically assess the response capabilities and coordination of various organizations, agencies and resources.
Several weaknesses were identified. Priority Actions were highlighted that should be addressed immediately to ensure that the island is in a maximum state of readiness.
Among the most important actions was the introduction of an incentive programme referred to as the Disaster Preparedness Exemption Order or the Hurricane Resilience Promotional Drive.
The Government with this order has made it less difficult for residents to acquire equipment and material to carry out their individual preparedness activities. The Hurricane Resilience Promotional Drive provides exemptions on custom duties and consumption tax on the importation of items classified as being essential for hurricane preparedness such as generators, wood chippers, chainsaws, shutters and changeover switches.
Additionally, His Excellency Governor Andrew Pearce announced that with financial assistance from the UK Government, his office has bought additional emergency equipment.
The DMCA says it will continually keep residents informed of any potential dangers so that people can make decisions regarding the safety of their lives and livelihoods.
Throughout the season there will also be hurricane preparedness programmes, tips and advice disseminated on various communication platforms.
Stakeholders input into National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for St. Kitts and Nevis
Port of Spain, July 19, 2018 –The public and private sector and civil society groups in St. Kitts and Nevis participated in a second national consultation from July 10-12, 2018 to develop a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to address the impacts of climate change and build resilience.
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) co-facilitated the national consultation with the Department of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources, Cooperatives, Environment and Human Settlements in St. Kitts and Nevis. The aim of the consultation was to enable stakeholders to review and refine the priorities and strategies for adaptation and the framework for implementation of the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, including the institutional arrangements for coordinated cross-sectoral action, the key implementing organisations and financing. The consultation included a series of focused meetings with key sectors and a national workshop that brought together stakeholders from government, private sector and civil society organisations representing various sectors and interests.
Ms. Cheryl Jeffers, Conservation Officer, Department of the Environment noted in her opening remarks at the national workshop: “Adaptation is everyone’s business. The input and support of key sectoral agencies, including agriculture, fisheries, health, water and tourism, and civil society groups in St. Kitts and in Nevis is critical and there needs to be a collaborative approach to effectively address climate change and related impacts.” She also highlighted the importance of investing in adaptation and the critical need for support from the Green Climate Fund and other climate finance mechanisms.
The wider public and other interested parties are also invited to review and input into the draft Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for St. Kitts and Nevis. The draft strategy is available online at: http://www.canari.org/enhancing-environmental-management-legal-and-policy-frameworks. All comments should be submitted by July 31 2018.
This initiative is being implemented under the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Global Climate Change Alliance Project, iLAND Resilience – Promoting a Climate for Change, funded by the European Union (EU). The overall aim of the iLAND Resilience project is to support the implementation of the OECS St. George’s Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability, namely the protection and sustained productivity of the OECS countries’ natural resources. CANARI is providing technical assistance to the Department of Environment under this initiative to create an enabling policy framework to build the resilience of livelihoods, the economy and natural ecosystems in St. Kitts and Nevis.
About iLAND Resilience - Promoting a Climate of Change:: iLAND Resilience - Promoting a Climate of Change is the brand for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Global Climate Change Alliance project on Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Land Management in the Eastern Caribbean. This project is funded by the European Union (EU). One component of this project focuses on Technical Assistance for the Development of Frameworks aimed at Enhancing Environmental Management. This technical assistance component seeks to develop institutional frameworks towards improved environmental management and resilience to climate change in four OECS Member States, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia. CANARI is implementing this component on behalf of the OECS and providing co-financing through its EU funded project, Powering Innovations in Civil Society and Enterprises for Sustainability in the Caribbean (PISCES). See here for more information on the iLand Resilience project: http://iland.oecs.org/.
About CANARI:The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is a regional technical non-profit organisation which has been working in the islands of the Caribbean for more than 25 years. Our mission is to promote equitable participation and effective collaboration in managing natural resources critical to development. Our programmes focus on capacity building, policy planning and development, research, sharing and dissemination of lessons learned, and fostering regional partnerships. See here for more information on CANARI: http://www.canari.org/.
ST. Kitts & Nevis- By Glenroy Blanchette
Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, has declared that St. Kitts and Nevis is in a state of readiness to respond to the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Dr. Harris’ statement was made during a recent sitting of the National Assembly on Friday 13th July. He stated that all government agencies and NGOs have indicated their readiness with their hurricane preparedness activities.
“Minutes of the last meeting of the Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Council showed that Hurricane Preparedness Updates were provided by the MET Office, the St. Kitts and Nevis Red Cross Society, the Ministry of Education, Housing and Shelter and SCASPA [and] all of them gave a good account of where they’re at in terms of their preparation,” Prime Minister Harris stated.
Prime Minister Harris also advised citizens and residents to take the necessary precautionary measures now so that they can respond to any hurricane emergency.
“It is not too early to start thinking and doing something that conforms to an active preparation which each of us should undertake. It is not too early to ensure that required supplies are accumulated and stored well in advance. We want to ask our people not depend upon last minute preparations. The vulnerable among us, the elderly, they should also be given special attention and of course as part of our exercise of preparation we should begin to think about how and where we will treat our elderly and those who are vulnerable in the context of a visiting hurricane,” said Dr. Harris.
The establishment of a Comprehensive Disaster Management Youth Ambassador initiative last year is also expected to increase youth participation in hurricane preparedness and awareness. The initiative is an attempt to get more young people in the different communities involve in disaster preparedness.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Natalie Fough, Director General of the St. Kitts and Nevis Red Cross, reported that the Red Cross has implemented several training programmes as part of its preparedness efforts for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
“We have partnered with NEMA and the Nevis Disaster Management Office in a number of training exercises to improve community resilience to hurricane impacts. For example, we have provided training in the use of a shelter toolkit to help community residents better respond to hurricane disasters. We have also conducted Psychosocial Training (PSS), prepositioning of food containers, and assisted lead agencies in public awareness campaigns,” said Mrs. Fough.
The latest forecast by the Colorado State University predicts a less active 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. Only eleven named storms, four hurricanes and one major hurricane of Category 3 or higher intensity are expected this season. The previous forecast predicted 14 total named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season produced 17 named storms of which 10 became hurricanes including six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5). It was the seventh most active season in the historical record dating to 1851 and was the most active season since 2005. The Caribbean region suffered tremendous damage from the impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Antigua & Barbuda- By Onika Campbell
The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) is urging residents to be mindful of the destructive force of hurricanes and prepare accordingly to minimize damage during this year’s hurricane season which begins on Friday (June 1).
Grenada- By Maryam J. Tawfiq
The prediction for this year’s season which runs up until November is for 12 – 15 storms, 6-8 hurricanes and 3-5 major hurricanes.
Director of NODS Philmore Mullin reiterates that it only takes one storm or hurricane to cause significant disruption to normal life and residents should prepare adequately ahead of any threat.
Mullin is reminding residents that the recovery cost for damage done to Barbuda from Hurricane Irma last year is approximately 222 million US dollars.
The head of the Disaster Office further notes that with the formation of the sub-tropical storm Alberto before the hurricane season and the damage it has caused in the US it may become necessary to have year-round hurricane preparation.
It is advised that any major repairs to structures should be done ahead of the season. Other steps that should be taken are: prune trees properly, stock up on necessary medication for at least two weeks along with non-perishable food and water, get lumber for shutters early, battery-operated radio, flash-light and extra batteries.
Boat owners should be aware of where they will have to take their vessels long before a threat, farmers should harvest their crops ahead of any storm and livestock owners who have their livestock in low-lying areas need to take the necessary steps to minimize loss. Employers are also advised to ensure that workplaces secure their equipment and records.
Be prepared, is the mantra adopted by the island of Grenada after the devastation of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
Since then, the island is always in a state of preparedness for natural hazards, but this is usually heightened during the hurricane season, 01 June to 30 November. The Minister of State with responsibility for Disaster Management and Information, Senator Winston Garraway, told a news conference at the beginning of the 2018 season, that preparedness would now be providing employment to several people, with the introduction of the Environmental Wardens Programme.
“This is permanent employment that has been created throughout the country; so persons will be given that opportunity to go back to the old days when we had the public works, so you had persons with their spades and wheel-barrows and they will be cleaning the drains, cutting the overhangings and likes and so forth,” Senator Garraway told a news conference.
He said the objective is for Grenada to be prepared for any eventuality during the season, and the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) will ensure that anything that can become a missile during a storm, is taken away.
Grenada has also realigned its hurricane shelters to better serve communities, and shelter managers and volunteers have been identified.
In addition, NaDMA circulates daily hurricane preparedness tips via the media, to help residents stay alert and take actions that can significantly reduce personal damage during a hurricane.
St. Lucia- By Delia Louis
St. Lucia, like the rest of the region is gearing up for what is expected to be a slightly heavier hurricane season. Key agencies are meeting to identify potential gaps in the services provided during and after hurricanes.
St. Lucia narrowly escaped the first Atlantic Hurricane Beryl, and agencies like the Ministry of Health and the National Emergency Management Organisation want to ensure that residents are prepared and informed during and after any major weather event.
Below are 10 Things people should do to protect their lives and properties during the Hurricane Season.
- Stay in the know-monitor reputable news outlets for updates
- Know where your nearest hurricane shelter is located
- Discuss, plan and practice the disaster plan with family, including your kids
- Ensure all important documents are secure and easily accessible
- Ensure enough safe drinking water, food, toiletries and other necessities are available prior to the weather system
- Ensure pets are safe; put them inside if you have to
- Ensure your home is hurricane ready- roofs secured, cover appliances and put furniture up if necessary
- Stay indoors, do not risk your life trying to shoot videos of the weather system
- Check on elderly and disabled neighbours regularly; help them create an emergency plan if necessary.
- If you live in a flood or landslide prone area evacuate before the storm starts
Remember material items can be replaced not lives!Close
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT INSTRUMENTS
This thematic area is based on the fact that environmental issues are usually complex and may require several policy instruments to adequately address each one. Therefore, the GCCA project is assisting Member States to develop these instruments in a coordinated manner that increases efficiency and also reduces unnecessary administrative costs.Read More
St. Lucia on its way to implement REDD+ strategy
Saint Lucia is well on its way to implementing a National Strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).
This major development was the result of two days of consultations held here last week. Agencies and experts who attended the two day consultations represented the Forestry Department, the OECS, Department of Sustainable Development, Physical Planning, a soil carbon specialist, project manager for the Iyanola Project, Caribbean Youth Environmental Network, Invest St. Lucia, Fauna and Flora International (FFI), the Physical Planning Department and the Japan Climate Change Alliance.
The workshop was facilitated by Climate Change Expert Mr. Eduardo Reyes of Panama, who was contracted by the OECS Commission, with funding from the EU , to provide technical assistance for the establishment of a REDD+ National Strategy.
The workshop provided the attendees with a brief synopsis of climate change and its impacts. It also explained REDD+ as an initiative developed to mitigate climate change by reducing deforestation, forest degradation, conservation of existing forests, and the enhancement of carbon stocks through reforestation and afforestation. Deforestation and Forest Degradation account for nearly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it has become increasingly clear that in order to lessen the impacts of climate change to tolerable limits the global average temperatures must not be increased to more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. This will be practically impossible to achieve without reducing emissions from the forest sector, in addition to other mitigation actions.
Mr. Reyes informed the workshops that REDD+ is an initiative with a three phased approach. “The first phase would allow a country to decide on actions within REDD+ that it may choose to carry out without having to report formally on these actions. The second phase builds on the first and usually includes projects that enhances the existing carbon stocks within the country. In the third phase the country applies to access the payment mechanism under the REDD+ initiative. This payment mechanism allows countries to sell carbon credits through bi-lateral agreements or receive payments for carbon credits through the green climate fund”, informed Reyes.
Regulations supporting Montserrat’s Conservation Act now being drafted
The Department of Environment (DoE) in Montserrat is closer to developing regulations that would see people being fined for illegally destroying trees, hunting and burning charcoal.
The regulations are being drafted with input from key stakeholders to include representatives of the National Trust, the Tourism Division, The Royal Montserrat Police Service (RMPS) and civil society.
The guidelines will support the Conservation and Environmental Management Act (CEMA) passed into law 3 years ago. The Honorable Minister responsible for the Environment Claude Hogan says the regulations, when implemented, will address some of the current problems with managing the protected areas of Montserrat.
“It will address some of the problems we have with the forest reserves and the cutting down of trees, so I am very glad that we’ll move from administratively implementing the CEMA into having real regulations now with fines and powers for the Director of Environment, the Chief Fire Officer and the Police to get involved on matters of the environment.”
The proposed regulations will address six key issues, including environmental approvals and permits, forests and forest fires, protected areas, noise and other forms of pollution. The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute CANARI is supporting the Department of Environment by providing technical assistance to facilitate its engagement with the stakeholders.
CANARI’s representative Ainka Granderson says the regulations will strengthen the existing legislation and effectively coordinate activities between key groups. This initiative is under the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Global Climate Change Alliance project, iLAND Resilience - Promoting a Climate of Change funded by the European Union (EU). The overall aim of the iLAND Resilience project is to support the implementation of the OECS St. George’s Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability, namely the protection and sustained productivity of the OECS countries’ natural resources.
Tanisha Christopher is the OECS iLand Resilience Media Liaison for MontserratClose
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS AND CONTROL INSTRUMENTS
Physical planning relates generally to the design, growth and management of the physical environment, especially the use of land, through the application of Development Policies, Plans, Strategies, and other Control Instruments. Under this thematic area, the GCCA project is assisting all Member States with the Development of "best practices" Recommendations for Implementing the revised OECS 2015 Building Codes.Read More
The OECS/GCCA iLAND Resilience Project is presenting Dominica with recommendations for provisions to be included in the building code
Building Code Workshops in Anguilla & Dominica, Faciliated by Mrs. Alison King- Joseph - Environmental Engineer and Consultant
Cashew Hill Gets Help With Its Flooding Problem
A 10.6 million Euros OECS Climate Change project is expected to help reduce the possibility of flooding in the community of Cashew Hill.
The funds for this project, and several others in the nine member states of the OECS, will come from the iLAND Resilience awareness initiative which was recently launched in Grenada.
The project will provide “Detailed analysis and engineering designs for alleviation of flooding (and related risks) at Cashew Hill.” Disaster officials have long warned that areas like Cashew Hill, despite its name, are flood prone areas.
Under the iLand resilience project Antigua & Barbuda will also benefit from the development of Climate Change and Environmental Management Policy and Strategy.”
It is with this funding that the development of Environmental Regulations for the Environmental Protection & Management Act of 2015 will be drafted.
Acoording to the project there will also be the development of “best practices” recommendations for implementing the revised OECS Building Code.
Antigua & Barbuda will also receive technical assistance in the development of local area physical development plans and to conduct of a Knowledge Attitude and Practice (KAP) survey in the OECS. The survey will Assess climate change Adaptation and sustainable sand Management and Implementation of Public Awareness and Project Visibility Activities.
iLand Resilience is the brand for the OECS Commission’s Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Land Management Project. The project is managed under the OECS Environmental Sustainability portfolio and financed by the European Union’s Global Climate Change Alliance.
Head of the OECS GCCA Project, Mr. Chamberlain Emmanuel, highlighted that through the iLAND Resilience initiative, OECS Member States can demonstrate their capacity to deal with the threats and opportunities that come with climate change.
“Several interventions are being undertaken throughout the nine participating Member States to address key challenges faced due to the effects of climate change. Examples of these projects include coastal protection initiatives in the British Virgin Islands and in Nevis; and water security through rainwater harvesting in Grenada and Montserrat,” Mr. Emmanuel said.Close
NATIONAL LAND POLICIES
National Land Policy according to the OECS Regional Land Policy Guidelines, “defines what actions a government intends to take in managing its land and related natural resources, including water resources, fisheries, forest and wildlife”. The National Land Policies being developed for Anguilla, the Virgin Islands, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are “formulated within a Natural Resources Management Framework, as it provides the basis for optimal and sustainable use of land and land resources”. For each participating Member State, the document describes the context for the National Land Policy, a vision, objectives, benefits to be derived from its adoption and implementation, Key Directives and associated rationale and actions. An Action Plan for implementation of key policy interventions within the next three to five years, as well as an Indicative Financial Plan to operationalize the Action Plan is also presented.Read More
In December 2017 Stakeholders met in St. Vincent & Grenada to review the Draft National Land Policy.
The Consultation was structured in a manner to allow maximum participation by the various stakeholders. It consisted of a formal Opening Session and Plenary and Working Group Sessions.
The presentations made during the Opening Session provided the context for the discussion that took place during the National Consultation. Mr. Anthony Bowman, Chief Technical Officer, Ministry of Housing, Land and Surveys, Physical Planning and Informal Human Settlement, spoke on the behalf of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In his address, Mr. Bowman provided a brief overview of the various efforts that have been made with respect to the rationalization of land management and planning in SVG and underscored the importance of the current initiatives. He identified a number of specific examples that were used to underscore the importance of proper land and land management and planning. Mr. Bowman, also thanked the National Focal Point (NFP) for the excellent work done thus far in coordinating the SVG component of the OECS National Land Policies project. Mr. Cornelius Isaac, Technical Specialist, OECS Commission, spoke on the behalf of the OECS. In his statement, Mr. Isaac placed the SVG component of the project into its broader regional context. He also gave a brief overview of the various products that will result from the SVG component of the project.
The Plenary Sessions were structured in a manner that allowed the consultant to present the entire text of the Draft National Land Policy for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This enabled the stakeholders to consider and discuss all the elements of the Draft National Land Policy. Plenary Sessions were convened on the following themes:
- Framework for the National Land Policy Including the Rationale Why it should be considered within a Natural Resources Framework and the reasons why the implementation of a sound and functioning Natural Resource Management system in SVG is necessary.
- The Objective of the SVG NLP and its consistency with the OECS Regional Land Policy Guidelines
- Derived Benefits from the Adoption and Implementation of a National Land Policy
- Key Policy Directives of the National Land Policy For each Policy Directive, the Actions  highlighted in the Draft National Land Policy were considered by the Consultation.
PUBLIC AWARENESS AND PROJECT VISIBILITY
The GCCA project along with climate change best practices widely featured in the media across the member states. This made possible through the iLAND Resilience project.Read More
Public awareness and visibility is a key theme for the iLAND Resilience Project. The Thematic area seeks to educate the public on Climate Change and Sustainable Land Management best practices in an effort to changes attitudes and habits.
Sustainable Land Management-A Message of Hope
Coastal Erosion- Change Your Heart-Change Your Habits
Gone With The Wind- Adhere to Building Codes
Drought Mitigation- Make A Change
Adhere to Building Codes- Change Your Habits
iLAND Resilience Jingle-Resilient and Strong
Activities under this thematic area are aimed at enhancing the capacity of participating Member States to sustainably access adequate quantities of quality water for sustaining livelihoods, food production, health and sanitation, and for preserving ecosystems.
Towards this end, the GCCA project is supporting a solar powered Rain water harvesting system for irrigation on Montserrat, and safe potable drinking water in schools, hospitals, and senior citizens’ homes in GrenadaRead More
The micro irrigation technology is assisting in reduction of water bills at the trust and is providing a steady source of water to the Montserrat Botanical Gardens. Contractor, Keith Thomas, of K T Engineering consulting says that the project is the first set up of its kind on the island.
The project is solar powered and is one of several projects sponsored by the GCCA/OECS/EU through its ILand Resilience Initiative.
FLOOD MITIGATION/ MANAGEMENT
This area of GCCA supported interventions involves the management and control of flood water movement.
At Sandy Ground in Anguilla, there is the installation of a Control Mechanism for the Inflow and Outflow of Water at the salt Pond.
In Montserrat, It’s the management of flood water often resulting in landslides, soil erosion and sediment loss in areas affected by the Collins and Caines rivers and associated tributaries.Read More
Residents of Sandy Ground To Benefit from Automated Flood Control Systems
A major flood mitigation project is near completion in Sandy Ground Anguilla. The OECS and Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) funded project is expected to controlling the outflow and inflow of water in the Road Bay Salt Pond.
The project is responding to the overall objective of the OECS/GCCA SLM/CCA project, which is to contribute to the achievement of the provisions enshrined in Article 24 of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre.
It consists of a floodgate that will open automatically when water in the pond reaches a certain height allowing the water into the sea; an automated flood warning system for the villagers and a cloud-base system that will warn the public of any imminent flood.
Speaking at a press briefing, the Minister for Infrastructure, Environment and Agriculture, announced that he was pleased to be able to share with the public the work that his Ministry has been undertaking, as part of its mandate to build resilience in terms of Anguilla’s ability to feed itself, manage the green waste it produces, manage land resources appropriately and withstand the impacts of climate change.
" We are grateful for the support of the OECS as well as the support of the Global Climate Change Alliance in providing the funding for two physical adaptation projects in Anguilla, which you will hear a little more about shortly. I must place on record our Government’s thanks and appreciation for the continued support of these organisations which have been our partners for several years," expressed Honorable Curtis Richardson.
The Minister recognises the importance of such projects to the Tourism and Agricultural sectors in Anguilla, and is aware that his island is not excluded from being a target for climatic disasters.
" While we like to say Anguilla is unique, and indeed it is in many ways, it is not unique in its level of vulnerability. Thankfully we have a team of dedicated public servants who would have capitalized on this opportunity and ensured that Anguilla received funding to improve the governance framework for land use and also to undertake these two projects on streamlining green waste and the construction of a flood gate at Sandy Ground. A lot of work has been done on these projects and we welcome this opportunity to share with the public the progress that has been made to date," stated Honorable Richardson
Further phases of the project will include an earthen dyke around the southern, eastern and northern perimeter of the pond and the raising of a culvert crossing.Close
WATERSHED/ FOREST REHABILITATION
The GCCA project has provided resources to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to assist with the Implementation of an Integrated Watershed Management Plan, which is primarily aimed at restoration and maintenance of natural forest cover and watershed stability for the Upper Cumberland and Perseverance Watershed regions.Read More
St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is the second most disaster-prone country in the world by population
The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) says that St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is the second most disaster-prone country in the world, by population.
The GFDRR also states that SVG is the fifth most disaster-prone country in the world by land size and because of this, Kedahli Crichton, a physical planning officer at the Physical Planning Unit, says that projects like the European Union (EU) funded “ILAND RESILIENCE” initiative are very important to small island developing states (SIDS) like SVG.
ILAND RESILIENCE is the name of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States’ (OECS) brand associated with the OECS-managed Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) project. The GCCA’s shared portfolio of climate change adaptation and sustainable land management is being implemented in SVG, through the Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of Economic Planning.
This project focuses on sustainable development in SIDS through sustainable land management towards climate change adaption and seeks to, among other things, help locals mitigate against the threats that come with climate change, and create awareness.
“We have a long history of being impacted by climatic anomalies and we also have a great deal of people living under threat given our particular development scenario where we are all on the coast,” Crichton said.
GFDRR statistics show that 41.2 per cent of Vincentians are at risk from two or more climatic hazards and, according to Crichton, if you turn that the other way, it means that 58.8 per cent of Vincentians are at risk of facing two or less hazards.
“We are definitely disaster prone,” said Crichton, who noted that the GCCA project is just one vehicle through which policy decisions are being made to address climate change mitigation and how SVG and other OECS countries can see “our way out of suffering the full effects of climatic hazards”.
Crichton said that the floods that have taken place locally have captured a lot of media attention, but climatic variability has also caused droughts as well, which have impacted the agricultural sector, among other facets of Vincentian life.
“It is something that we at the Physical Planning Unit and the Ministry of Agriculture are paying close attention to and the GCCA project seeks to build awareness and institutional capacity and create actual physical mitigation measures,” Crichton said. Under physical adaptation measures of the GCCA project, the Ministry of Agriculture, through the Forestry Division, has secured a consultancy for the extension of the Cumberland/Perseverance Watershed Management Plan.
This plan seeks to, among other things, ensure the sustainability of the ecosystem services and the related livelihoods, such as tours etc.
“Institutional strengthening has been done as well,” Crichton said, adding that the GCCA project has trained persons on Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping, which allows one to visualise, question, analyse and interpret data to understand relationships, patterns and trends and present geographic data.
Engineer Adrian Galloway of Galloway Group Inc. photoed in one of the pictures
GCCA Flood Mitigation Works in Saint Vincent
Residents and Farmers in Montserrat Benefit from Disaster Relief Interventions.
Heavy rain is no longer a deterrent to farmers in Upper Blakes, Montserrat who want to access their lands as work to improve the access road is almost complete.
Contractor Galloway Group Inc. says it has already laid 90% of the 700 metres of concrete and drains required under the Upper Blakes Soil Erosion Management Project.
The drains are to enable the run off of surface water caused by heavy rains which often resulted in continuous erosion of the access road, making it impassable.Close
ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION/ REHABILITATION
Ecosystem restoration is the process of returning an ecosystem as closely as possible to natural conditions and functions.
Under this thematic area, the GCCA project is assisting Dominica with reforestation of degraded dry scrub forest ecosystems in three areas using agroforestry methods.
These were areas affected by the rapid spread of alien and invasive flora species such as Lemon grass, Glory Cedar, and Zing Zing.
It is anticipated that this effort will result in the re-establishment of natural habitats and forest species, including the national endemic flower, the Bwa Kwaib (Sabinea carinalis).Read More
The invasive lemongrass plant which covers most of the area was removed and replaced with hardy trees and shrubs that can withstand the harsh climate and minimise the chances of brush fires, which can occur where there is a significant presence of the lemongrass plant.
This thematic area involves the application of physical methods such as retaining walls, drop structures, and sabo dams or bioengineering approaches such as terracing, grassed waterway, and tree planting or, a combination of the two.
The aim of these measures are mainly to manage runoff, stabilize slopes, and reduce erosion.
The GCCA project interventions include soil erosion management for farmers at Duck Pond and Blake’s Estate in Montserrat, the promotion of Mango Biodiversity preservation in Saint Lucia so as to secure the ecosystem services it provides in regulating slope failure, soil and water loss, and the establishment of a Model Agricultural Demonstration Station to illustrate Sustainable Land Management through Soil and Water conservation measures.Read More
Collins Ghaut Slope Stabilization Project Update
Contractors of the Collins Ghaut Slope Stabilization Project say the project is on schedule to be completed by December 2018.
The project is one of the ways in which the OECS is helping to strengthen the island’s resilience to climate change and its impacts by protecting housing vulnerable to landslides and river erosions that may cause damage to lives and property .
Mango Biodiversity Cooking Competition-Saint Lucia
A rehabilitation project in Woodford Hill Dominica to encourage slope stabilisation best practices.
Collins Ghaut Slope Stabilisation Project
DROUGHT MITIGATION AND FOOD SECURITY
Under this thematic area, the GCCA supported activities are aimed at emphasizing the physical and environmental inter-connectedness between land, coast, and the sea.In BVI, the intervention is called the “North Shore Integrated Coastal and Watershed Stabilisation Project”.
This is being implemented as a Physical Adaptation Pilot intervention in the OECS Member State of Anguilla. The main objective is to streamline green waste through composting for improved sustainable soil management. It will utilize green waste from local farms and government operations, to create appropriate and affordable soil amendments, using appropriate combinations of composting technologies to develop high quality composts for local food production and agricultural resilience. This will result in enhancing food security. The project priorities and themes are waste minimization, compost development, organic soil amelioration, strategic waste management, enhanced agricultural resilience, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and sustainable land management.Read More
Grenada Welcomes iLAND Resilience Rainwater Harvesting Project
St. Georges,Grenada- December 5, 2017-An OECS/ Global Climate Change Alliance(GCCA) rainwater harvesting project is expected to bring relief to the Mac Donald College, the Mirabeau Agricultural Station, and by extension the surrounding community in Grenada.
The rainwater harvesting project forms part of a number of OECS\GCCA iLAND Resilience projects across the OECS region. The projects aim to mitigate the effects of Climate Change, like drought, which the Principal at the college says is a major issue for the institution. The rainwater system will therefore be used as an emergency backup up for irrigation, drinking and cleaning.
"In many of drought, it is very difficult to have school, and in times of prolonged rainfall, once the damns are overflowed, we may not have water at the school for days. Over the last 27 years we had many stoppages of school due to the water shortage. Therefore, I think a project like this will alleviate the problem and make it easier, now that we have a good alternative source of water," expresses Carl Andall Mac Donald College Principal.
The agricultural industry is another sector which will benefit from the rainwater harvesting project. Land Use Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries & Environment, Trevor Thompson, says that drought periods often result in loss of farming outputs like seedlings. He asserts that the rain water harvesting project is a valuable solution to climate change.
"Last year we had a substantial loss of seedlings due to the extended dry season. The 18 thousand gallon tank installed at the Mirabeau Agricultural Station, will augment the water supply, when water in the damn is low. The system is also solar powered and therefore, there is no need for fuel or regular maintenance; it is really a climate smart system," explains Thompson.
One of the main thematic areas of the OECS GCCA iLAND Resilience project is Water Security, as a means of climate change adaptation. This is evident at the Mac Donald College, as well as the Mirabeau Agricultural Station. Project Leader of the OECS/GCCA iLAND Resilience Project, Chamberlain Emmanuel, explains that the rainwater harvesting project is far reaching ,in that it supports Food Security ,another key thematic area of the OECS/GCCA iLAND Resilience project.
" Food security is visible primarily at the Mirabeau Agricultural Station, where the Ministry produces seedlings, thousands of seedlings which are critical to be used by farmers and householders for propagating various crops. That project is complete and will resound to the benefits of the Agricultural station."
"The project is also connected to a 12 acre farm at the school, which will help to feed the other irrigation system for that farm, educate the students and provide actual supplies to the community," informs Emmanuel
The OECS/GCCA iLAND Resilience team is satisfied with the rainwater harvesting project, and is hoping to mirror its success in other OECS member states.
The OECS/GCCA iLAND Resilience team is satisfied with the rainwater harvesting project, and is hoping to mirror its success in other OECS member states.
Article 24 of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre demonstrates the conviction of Member States in their shared commitment to implement the St George’s Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability. The Declaration was designed for the long-term protection and sustained productivity of the region’s natural resources and ecosystem services for optimal and equitable economic, social and cultural development.
The goal of the OECS Climate Change Programme is to enhance the resilience of OECS Member States to Climate Change Impacts as a means to enhancing the competitiveness of States.
The Programme seeks to create an enabling environment and enhance capacity of institutions and stakeholders at the community, national and regional levels to effectively manage natural resources and reduce the risks associated with climate change through the adoption of climate change adaptation mechanisms and removing the barriers to implementation.
The programme seeks to intervene in several related areas, including:
- Enabling Environment for Adaptation to Climate Change - Policy, Legal and Institutional framework
- Sustainable Land Management
- Coastal Zone Management
- Watershed Management
- Research and Systematic Observation
- Disaster Response and Risk Reduction
- Biodiversity Management - Resources Conservation; Protected Areas Management
- Sustainable Energy
- Education / Capacity-Building
INTEGRATED WATERSHED AND COASTAL MANAGEMENT
Under this thematic area, the GCCA supported activities are aimed at emphasizing the physical and environmental inter-connectedness between land, coast, and the sea. In BVI, the intervention is called the “North Shore Integrated Coastal and Watershed Stabilisation Project”.
It is located within the neighboring watersheds of Cane Garden Bay and Brewer’s Bay, on the north shore of Tortola. The objective is to attenuate physical damage or potential loss to terrestrial and marine resources arising from extreme climatic events. In St. Lucia, the project seeks to create a model watershed in an urban/semi-urban area that supports sustainable land management and encompasses the ridge-to-reef concept in the Bois d’Orange watershed. The intervention in St. Kitts is entitled “New River Estate Stabilization of Degraded Lands Project” and seeks to rehabilitate and reduce the effects of climate change and human induced degradation on the environment at the New River and Coconut Walk area. It specifically intends to reduce soil erosion through restoration of natural vegetation, use of stone contours and reduce overgrazing through animal control mechanisms, and also decrease coastal erosion through the strategic placement of boulders.Read More
New River & Coconut Walk Estate’s Slope Stabilization and Erosion Control Project is on track
The New River & Coconut Walk Estate’s Slope Stabilization and Erosion Control Project in Nevis provide important benefits to stakeholder groups on the island.
Several natural and human activities such as sea level rise, illegal sand mining and overgrazing have caused sections of the coastal slopes in the area to be severely eroded. The project seeks to stabilize the slope and control erosion by implementing structural mitigation measures including the placement of a 65 meter long rip-rap and bio-engineering works to re-vegetate the area.
According to Mr. Floyd Liburd, Forestry Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture in Nevis and Focal Point for the physical adaptation pilot project, stakeholders such as farmers who live and work in the area will reap tremendous benefits from the measures that are being put in place to protect the coast and adjacent historic buildings such as the Lime Kiln ruin at New River Estate.
“Everyone in the area will benefit. Farmers in the area will benefit. Tourists will also benefit because the area can become a tourist attraction. There is a lime kiln in the area already and this would just add to the value of that attraction,” said Liburd. “Farmers would benefit because the plants that would be placed along the coast would intercept some of the salt spray that were affecting melons and tomatoes and so on in that area. And so farmers and the general public stand to gain from this project.”
The local contractor for the Project is Lefco Equipment Rental and Construction Company Ltd.
The physical adaptation pilot project at New River is a sub-component of a broader regional project (termed as the iLand Resilience Project) which is a collaboration between the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA), the European Union and the OECS Commission. The overall project goal seeks to build awareness of global climate change as well as to build the capacity of Member States to address the effects of climate change.
Three other key national outputs of the iLand Resilience Project includes: the development of a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for St. Kitts and Nevis, the development of “best practices” recommendations for the implementation of the Revised OECS Building Codes, in addition to implementation of public awareness and project visibility activities.
The Department of Environment as the National Focal Agency for the iLand Resilience Project is pleased with the progress of the project and in particular the progress that is been made under the New River Slope Stabilization and Erosion Control project in Nevis.
Saint Lucia benefits from slope stabilisation activities through gabion walls and drain wall projects in Corinth/ Grand Riviere
Climate Change & Greenhouse Gases
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main cause of human-induced climate change. Burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas, to generate energy has the greatest impact on the atmosphere than any other single human activity.
Sustainable Land Management
Sustainable Land Management (SLM) is the use of land and water resources for our everyday needs, in such away that future generations can continue to benefit from it.
Rising Sea Levels
Average global sea level is expected to rise 7 – 23 inches before the end of this century.This is especially dangerous because half of the world’s population (including the OECS region) lives within 37 miles of the sea.