Department of Agriculture takes initial steps to acquire grant funding for climate change adaptation

Castries, Saint Lucia, 13th March -The Department of Sustainable Development in the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development is working alongside the Department of Agriculture Fisheries, Natural Resources and Cooperatives to host a number of focus group and stakeholder Consultation as part of its engagement to develop a project proposal for submission to the Adaptation Fund.

To date consultations have been held with farmers in regions six (6), seven (7) and eight (8) and other key agencies including the  Water Resources Management Agency (WRMA), the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) and the Saint Lucia Meteorology Office. Additional consultations are planned for the coming months.

These consultation, follows on previous engagement of the Department of Sustainable Development with the CDB and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) to develop a project proposal for submission to the Adaptation Fund.

The Adaptation Fund—established in 2009—is a fund which supports concrete climate change adaptation projects, and is the first climate change fund where countries can access funding directly.

Through the Adaptation Fund, developing countries which are most impacted by climate change, can access up to US$10M in grant funding per programme or project for climate change action on the ground. In 2014, Saint Lucia endorsed the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) as a Regional Implementing Entity (RIE) through which Saint Lucia can access Adaptation Fund resources.

The proposal will be built on three broad areas. The first is to promote adaptation practices in geographic areas to reduce vulnerabilities to climate change and increase climate resilience in sustainable production, productivity, and incomes, and to mitigate risks from weather-related disasters, as an input to a cross-sectoral (crops, livestock and fisheries subsectors) management plan for agriculture.

Another area deals with adopting a sector-wide strategy for water runoff harvesting using dedicated bare slopes in selected communities on the western and south western side of the island and expanding the practice on the farm, using proper designs and measures, whilst the third area of focus leans towards mainstreaming climate resilience in production, processing and agro-tourism, to encourage investment through promotion and practical demonstration of green agro- parks, with linkages to tourism and agro-processing, using alternative energy and rainwater harvesting to increase access to water for agriculture.

These areas were identified from a previous consultative process under the Climate Change Finance Readiness Programme jointly implemented by the CDB, 5Cs and GIZ from 2014-2015.

When developed, this programme will be Saint Lucia’s first in the Adaptation Fund pipeline.

The Department of Sustainable Development and the Department of Agriculture Fisheries, Natural Resources and Cooperatives, are working towards a proposal submission before the end of 2017.

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