In this edition we explore a number of issues relating to effects of climate change and sustainable land management across the OECS region.
Climate Change and Your Health
By Delia Louis
When we think of Climate Change the first thoughts are often about strange weather patterns, stronger hurricanes, drought and sea level rises. While this is all true to climate change, and we must remain resilient to these effects, we must also consider one critical factor that comes with climate change- Health issues!
Along with all the effects of climate change, health risks and concerns should be of equal vigilance. Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO)" between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress."
With increasing health problems on our already limited health resources, small island states like the OECS will be the least able to cope without assistance, to prepare and respond. Stronger hurricanes can destroy our health facilities, making it more difficult to treat and contain illnesses.
Therefore, it is critical that we strive to be climate change resilient by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, through smart transportation methods, buying local food, adhering to building codes, practicing sustainable land use methods and using energy efficiently.
This audio feature examines the steps Montserrat is taking with the help of regional and international partners to assess its readiness for climate change adaptation in the fisheries sector.
Whales beached in Nevis
By Glenroy Blanchette
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, (10 February, 2018 –A group of pilot whales were beached at Indian Castle, the north-east coast of Nevis today.
According to reports from villagers, eleven whales washed ashore during the morning and many citizens tried desperately to return them to the sea.
Minister Eric Evelyn reported that most of the whales were still alive after they were discovered but initial attempts to get the whales back into the sea were unsuccessful.
“Quite a number of the whales were actually alive, however, a few of the guys were trying to refloat the whales and it was unsuccessful because the seas are extremely rough at the moment” said Minister Evelyn.
He noted that government officials contacted persons with trucks, backhoes, cranes and other heavy duty equipment to help save the whales. Three whales were transported to Long Point in Nevis and released back into the sea.
The dead whales were buried in the sand after fishermen raised concerns about the possibility of shark infestation in the area.
Minister Evelyn indicated that he was unsure what factors caused the whales to be washed ashore in Nevis. However, Trecia Greaux, Marine Management Areas and Habitat Monitoring Officer, Department of Marine Resources in St. Kitts noted that the whales may have been affected by disruptions in sonar environment. Pilot whales may move from one location to another due to lack of food, and this can result in the beaching in areas the whales are not used to hunting in. The pilot whales rely on echo-location so they cannot identify that they are swimming into shallow waters because when the sand is soft the echo does not return same way.
Climate change has been suspected as an underlying cause for the beaching of whales in recent years.
In September 2016, several dead whales washed ashore in Chile and scientists suspected that climate change was the cause. According to an article published by the Jamaica Observer, Frederick Toro, a conservation medicine professor at Andres Bello University, said that there has been an increase in marine life in norther Chile, possibly due to climate change. The increase in algae due to "El Nino", an extreme weather phenomenon that strikes Pacific regions every few years, may have increased the diversity of the whales. Biologist Gerardo Cerda of Chile’s National Fisheries and Aquiculture Service (Sernapesca) believes that whale beaching may be a natural consequence of these greater numbers of whales in the region.
Researchers at Duke University also found that the strain on prey populations pressures pilot whales, who feed on these species, into having to search for prey in other areas of the ocean, increasing the instances of beaching. They also found that climate change is altering the marine ecosystems and the species which rely on them.
Antigua & Barbuda Embarks on Climate-Resilience Actions
February 10th, 2018- St. Johns –Antigua: The Department of Environment in collaboration with several international agencies have taken the bull by the horn in its quest to increase the climate-resilience of public buildings in Antigua and Barbuda to hurricanes, droughts and extended dry periods, flooding and increased air temperatures.
This initiative will seek to ensure that critical services remain operational during and following extreme climate events; as well as bring about reduced maintenance costs of buildings owing to the installed climate-proofing interventions. Additionally, the private sector will also gain access to funding for climate-proofing of their buildings.
Working at the national and community according to Chief Environment Officer Diann Black-Layne will incorporate lessons from past initiatives such as the ‘Global Climate Change Alliance+’ (GCCA) and ‘Sustainable Pathways – Protected Areas and Renewable Energy’ (SPPARE), as well as the ongoing Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) project.
Antigua and Barbuda is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) consisting of two inhabited islands with a total land area of ~450 km2. Antigua is the larger of the two islands at 280 km2, while Barbuda – which lies 78 km north of Antigua – has a land area of 176 km2. Both islands are low-lying, with 70% of the land in Antigua less than 30 m above sea level and the majority of Barbuda only 3 m above sea-level2. Low-lying coastal areas and buildings are more vulnerable to extreme climate events such as hurricanes, droughts and extended dry periods, flooding and rising air temperatures. Antigua and Barbuda, like other Caribbean SIDS, is highly exposed to hurricanes.
In recent times, Hurricane Irma caused an estimated US$150 million of damage whilst, environment experts are of the view that climate change is expected to increase both the frequency and severity of hurricanes, and as a result, the country is increasingly vulnerable to their impacts.
To increase the resilience of the population in Antigua and Barbuda to extreme climate events, plans are afoot to implement climate-resilient technologies and interventions in public and community buildings and strengthen institutional, technical and financial capacity within the Government of Antigua & Barbuda to enable climate-resilient building development in the long term.
Black-Layne explained that “these climate-proofing interventions will be implemented in buildings providing critical services – including disaster services, healthcare, fire services and police – as well as those buildings providing public and community goods – including inter alia community centres and schools.”
Climate-proof identified public buildings to improve resilience to extreme climate events, including tropical storms, hurricanes, droughts and extended dry periods, floods and rising air temperatures, and improve adaptation measures during such events.
The public buildings identified for inclusion in the proposed project are based on several assessments that have been undertaken in Antigua and Barbuda to determine priority of service delivery to remain operational during and following extreme climate event; number of people reliant on services; need for adaptation measures in the building; and previous damages experienced from extreme climate events.
Additional building assessments are currently underway on both Antigua and Barbuda islands following Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The Department of Environment (DoE) has submitted a request to the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) for technical assistance with conducting the building assessments and identifications of interventions, which will inform the development of the Funding Proposal and Feasibility Study.
Inputs under this activity will include identifying and implementing building-appropriate climate-proofing measures – such as water harvesting and storage systems, solar energy for emergency power, hurricane shutters and other retrofitting interventions, as outlined below – in the following identified public buildings:
Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC), Antigua; Hannah Thomas Hospital, Barbuda, Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB) Headquarters; Police Station, Barbuda; Fire Station, Barbuda; St John’s Fire Station, Antigua; All Saint’s Clinic, All Saint’s Police Station, All Saint’s Fire Station, Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital, Fiennes Institute, National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), Department of Environment (DoE), and Meteorological Office.
A combination of international, regional and island-specific best practices will be used to climate-proof public buildings to ensure critical service delivery during and following an extreme climate event, ultimately improving disaster risk management under changing climatic conditions. This will be accomplished through various means such as supporting the mainstreaming of adaptation for the building sector into relevant national policies and standards; building institutional and technical capacity to identify, implement, maintain and upscale climate-proofing interventions; and climate-proofing existing public buildings to ensure that critical services remain operational during an extreme climate event, with reduced damages to buildings resulting in reduced maintenance costs in the long term.
Support the mainstreaming of climate-proofing measures into funding mechanisms, policies and standards for the building sector.
The environment chief also noted mainstream climate change adaptation into Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Standards and Plans within the building sector which will ensure that climate-proof building methods are included in EMS Standards and Plans going forward.
To this end, the development of a mechanism for the biennial review of the Building Code and the EMS Standards and Plans will seek to advance the continual updates of the standards based on international and regional climate-resilient best practices and lessons learned.
Black-Layne also emphasised protocols for local sourcing of climate-proofing and other building materials at the island-level to be used in adaptation interventions in buildings, as part of the sustainable procurement and life-cycle analysis of a climate-resilient building. These protocols will be based on the 10YFP Programme on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) as well as the ISO 20400:2017 Sustainable Procurement guidelines for construction materials, and will promote mitigation and environmental co-benefits of adaptation.
This, will contribute to mainstreaming sustainable procurement into policies and approaches in Antigua and Barbuda, as well as the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union which sets sub-regional standards through the OECS Commission and the St George’s Declaration.
National training programme for architects and engineers on climate-proofing building design and construction that conforms to the updated Building Code, the updated EMS Standards, as well as international best practices will also form part of the initiative. Through making use of these sources, training will remain relevant and up-to-date on climate-proofing technologies and interventions.
Already, Antigua and Barbuda officials within the Development Control Authority (DCA) have confirmed that plans are advanced for the amnendment, publishing and enforcement of the Organisation Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Building Code; with a matter of months, as part of the OECS sub-region iLand Resilience– The OECS Commission’s Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Land Management Project funded by the European Union.
Civil Engineer Akim Browne said recommendations for amendments to legislation in light of Building Code Administrative Sections for Antigua and Barbuda are in its final stage. “Thus far, focus is on the Administrative Section of the OECS Building Code. The reveiw process held recently was the final disposing of comments which will be compiled in the document that will pave the way forward for the implementation and enforcement by the end of December into January.”
The Administrative Section highlighted seven (7) reccomendations encapsulating exemptions from Building control, Outline Permission , Review of applications and appeals , Emergency work, Fees and other recommendations that may require new or amended legislation.
Onika Campbell is the Antigua & Barbuda Media Liaison Specialist for the iland Resilience –GCCA EU Funded Project.
Saint Lucia Environmental and Pollution Bill Revised
Castries, Saint Lucia, January 18, 2018- he Sustainable Development and Environment Division with the support of the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI),the Global Climate Change Alliance Project (GCCA), and the OECS iLAND Resilience Project, is seeking to develop the Environmental Management Bill of 2014, Pollution Regulations Bill, and the development of Climate Change Legislation for Saint Lucia.
This consultation is critical as the OECS seeks to change behaviors and attitudes in response to climate change, including conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, coastal zone management, pollution control and environmental monitoring and information systems. As a result the activity aims to gain input from government and civil society to design a new legislative framework on environmental management and climate change.
As part of the Bill development process, the organising parties are encouraging stakeholder input in order to build on the existing draft environment management bill and draft pollution bill.
" We have been examining the issues that have been discerned by CANARI-our consultants, in order to ensure that our stakeholders will be comfortable with what will be presented with in the final piece of legislation," informs Chief Sustainable Development/Environment officer-Annette Rattigan The project will end in August 2018, by which time the final piece of legislation would be presented to key stakeholders organisations.
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
OECS Small Island States Enforce COP 21 Commitment
The Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) /OECS iLAND Resilience project is ensuring that the OECS Region is keeping its end of the deal of the 2015 COP 21 Paris agreement.
COP (Conference of the parties), now in its 24th year, is an international forum where countries around the world come together for negotiations on how to advance the climate change agenda, and specifically how to ensure that the 2015 COP 21 Paris agreement is being implemented.
The GCCA/OECS iLAND Resilience Project for its part, is executing a number of climate change and sustainable land management interventions across the OECS region. These projects aim to, among others, reduce coastal erosion, protect ecosystems and natural habitats, and change people's habits towards a climate change resilience focus. The OECS GCCA team is confirming that, so far, the interventions are proving successful, especially during the 2017 hurricane season.
" We had just concluded the implementation of a sea revetment in Cane Garden Bay Tortola, then Hurricane Irma hit a week or two after. The design of the revetment wall was successful as it withstood the impact of the category five hurricane. Also in Saint Lucia, we had recently constructed gabion walls and drain walls in Corinth, Gros-Islet, along with other coastal and watershed management projects across the region. We are happy that from all reports and testimonials these interventions fared well during the rainy season," explains Project Leader of the GCCA/OECS iLAND Resilience Project, Chamberlain Emmanuel.
The Caribbean islands are among the nations which generate the smallest carbon footprint, but will be one of the most affected by the effects of climate change. Because of this, Emmanuel says larger countries should hold up to its end of the 2015 COP 21 Paris agreement. He explains that though COP 23 was not as ground breaking as previous conventions, there was much advocacy and agitation from the small islands states like the OECS.
" The OECS was present at COP 23 to lend support and to ensure that our stories are told and our voices heard. There is always the attempt by some countries to delay implementation of the agreement but we are certain that our message was conveyed, and we continue to convey it through the GCCA/OECS iLAND Resilience Projects across the region," continues Emmanuel.
The GCCA/OECS iLAND Resilience Project is asking the general public to familiarise themselves with the project interventions across the region, as well as, to educate themselves on how to protect their lives and properties from the effects of climate change like major landslides, frequent flooding, extensive drought and sea level rises. For more information on these Climate Change and Sustainable Land Management best practices people are asked to visit ilandresilience.org.
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
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”.
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 intend 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
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.