(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – How to better assess vulnerability in coastal communities to inform adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean fisheries sector?
This was the central question addressed at a regional workshop in Barbados recently with government and civil society stakeholders, including the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations (CNFO), Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), coastal zone and disaster management agencies and fisheries authorities from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
The workshop held from July 2-3, 2018, aimed to develop a regional framework and toolkit for a harmonised approach to community-level assessments of vulnerability and capacity to adapt to inform adaptation measures for the Eastern Caribbean fisheries sector.
CNFO Programme Coordinator, Mitch Lay, highlighted at the workshop, “the critical need for better understanding of the vulnerability of coastal communities, especially fisherfolk and aquaculture farmers, to adapt and build resilience in small-scale fisheries across the region as climate change adds to existing pressures like market volatility, lack of investment, ageing fisherfolk populations, competition and pressures from other interest groups and sectors, pollution and environmental degradation.”
At the workshop, stakeholders reviewed drafts of the regional framework and toolkit developed for vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) in coastal and fishing communities and lessons learned from pilot testing the VCA approach and tools in Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to determine their suitability for the Eastern Caribbean context. They identified opportunities for roll out of VCAs in their countries to inform adaptation in the fisheries sector once the regional framework and toolkit are finalised.
Stakeholders were also provided with the opportunity for knowledge exchange and insights into the vulnerability of coastal communities and fisherfolk in Barbados through field visits to Payne’s Bay, Weston, Speightstown and Six Men’s Bay. Further details can be found in the workshop report.
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and the University of the West Indies Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (UWI-CERMES) co-facilitated the workshop as part of the “Regional Implementation of a Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) under the Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector Project (CC4FISH)”. CC4FISH is a Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project, which is being implemented by the FAO, Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC) and national fisheries authorities in seven Eastern Caribbean countries from 2017-2020.