New CRFM Logo for website updated

 

BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, Friday, 23 February 2018 (CRFM)—We know from the devastation wrought in the Caribbean last September by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, just how important it is for the region to step up its game in tackling climate change and the risks posed by natural disasters. The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) has recently inked an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that will put the region on better footing to address the impacts of disasters on fishing communities.

The CRFM—the CARICOM agency which works to promote sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector—is a regional partner on the Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4FISH) Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It is under this umbrella that the new initiative is being implemented for the benefit of the CARICOM States.

The CRFM is overseeing the development of the regional protocol to integrate climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in fisheries and aquaculture into the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy. The intent is to have the protocol ready before the start of the next hurricane season, which begins on June 1.

 

Leslie John Walling of Jamaica, a Coastal Resource Manager whose specializations include Coastal Resources Assessment and Management, Disaster Risk Reduction Planning, and Climate Change Adaptation Planning, has been engaged as a consultant to assist with the development of the new protocol. Mr. Walling will be consulting with government and non-government stakeholders in fisheries/aquaculture, climate change and disaster risk management, including the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), as he puts together the draft document.

 

The draft protocol will be presented for review and validation at a regional workshop slated for 18 April 2018 in Montserrat, on the heels of the 16th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, the technical and advisory arm of the CRFM. After the technical experts from the member countries and partner agencies weigh in on the document, it will be refined then tabled at the May 2018 meeting of Caribbean ministers responsible for fisheries and aquaculture, the Ministerial Council of the CRFM, which sets policy for our region.

 

The catastrophic hurricane wrecked important infrastructure that supported fisheries

Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica last September. The fisheries sector suffered substantial losses as well.

The Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy, which was endorsed by the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), in October 2014 lists, among its objectives, the development of a fisheries policy that integrates environmental, coastal and marine management considerations, in a way that safeguards fisheries and associated ecosystems from human-induced threats and to mitigate the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.

 The policy calls for the development of protocols to build upon the policy and recognizes that those protocols would also be considered to be a part of the regional policy.

 (Photographs provided by Fisheries Department, Dominica)

Published in Press release

The CRFM Secretariat is inviting expressions of interest from suitably qualified persons to undertake a short term assignment to develop a regional protocol to integrate climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in fisheries and aquaculture into the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy. The Consultant will consult government and non-government stakeholders connected with fisheries/aquaculture, climate change and disaster risk management across the CARICOM countries and develop a draft Protocol for presentation, discussion and validation at a regional workshop on 18 April 2018 in Montserrat. The revised draft protocol must be submitted by 28 April 2018.

Expression of interest should be submitted to the CRFM Secretariat on or before 5.00 pm on Tuesday 13 February 2018.

Click here for further details.

Published in Press release

 

The CRFM is developing a Model Disaster Preparedness and Risk Management Plan for the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector for CRFM Member States. This has emerged out of a necessity to have a framework that would advise regional partners on the measures to be taken in order to be better prepared, prevent and minimize loss, damage, destruction and death arising from hazards such as severe hydrometeorological events, tsunamis and oil spills. The Model Plan will enhance the Caribbean’s ability to manage all disasters at a regional and national level, with special emphasis on the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

  

Published in CRFM News

 

Over US$2 billion to aid recovery after Hurricanes Irma and Maria

 

Belize City, 28 November 2017—Hurricanes Maria and Irma have left a wide swath of devastation through the Caribbean, underscoring the need for greater attention to be given to climate change and disaster risk management. The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism was among the agencies present at the UN Headquarters in New York for a recent high-level meeting called by the United Nations and CARICOM to attack this challenge head-on.

Dubbed the “CARICOM-UN High-level Pledging Conference: Building a more Climate-Resilient Community,” the event resulted in over US$2 million in pledges to respond to the urgent needs the countries and to offset an estimated US$5 million in recovery costs.

According to information released by the CARICOM Secretariat, the pledges (in US dollars) are as follows: $702 million from The Netherlands, $352 million from the European Union, $140 million from the World Bank, $ 78 million from Canada, $30million from China, $27 million from Mexico, $12 million from Italy, $4.3 million from the United States, $4 million from Japan, $1 million from Kuwait, $2 million from India, $1 million from Venezuela, $1.2 million from Belgium, $1 million from Chile, $500,000 from Denmark, $300,000 from Colombia, $250,000 from Haiti, US$ 250,000 from New Zealand, $200,000 from Brazil, $150,000 from Kazakhstan, $100,000 from Romania, $100,000 from Portugal, and $20,000 from Serbia.

The Inter-American Development Bank pledged U$1 billion in loans, while Italy pledged $30 million in soft loans and Venezuela forgave $1 million in debt for a more resilient Caribbean.

CRFM Executive Director Milton Haughton participated in the technical meeting for the conference held on Monday, 20 November. Meanwhile, Caribbean leaders participated in the ministerial meeting convened on Tuesday, 21 November.

 

24680499218 dbc720b2ef z

Over 400 attended the high-level meeting organized by CARICOM and the US

 

CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said at the conference which was attended by over 400 high-level representatives of government, private sector, civil society and multilateral agencies that, “the task of rebuilding is beyond us. We cannot do it alone. We need your help.”

He urged that the same collaboration and generosity which marked the relief efforts should continue as the countries go forward to build a resilient Caribbean.

Speaking specifically on the plight of the fisheries sector in affected member states, the CRFM Executive Director underscored the vulnerability of fisheries communities, noting that they have sustained extensive damage and loss throughout the production and distribution chain as a result of the recent hurricanes.

According to Haughton, preliminary damage estimates for Dominica’s fisheries sector stood at roughly US$3 million. The initial assessment for Antigua and Barbuda stood at just over US$316,000. These numbers figures reflect damages mostly to fishing boats and equipment, as well as infrastructure vital to the sector.

The CRFM Executive Director explained that these figures do not include damage to marine ecosystems and habitats (coral reefs, mangroves etc.) or impacts on the fish stocks themselves

Haughton stressed that many fishing communities already subsist in precarious and vulnerable conditions because of poverty and rural underdevelopment, and he underscored the need for adaptations to secure a more resilient future for them.

The widespread use of information technology in establishing early warning systems to share weather information, as well as to share market information, is one form of adaptation.

One important strategy is to spread and reduce risks through the diversification of livelihoods and the provision of risk insurance.

Haughton detailed the Caribbean Ocean Assets Sustainability FaciliTy (COAST), which is a parametric insurance facility designed to incentivize investments in preventative measures that promote both sustainable fish production and adaptation to climate change. It also helps Caribbean States to incorporate climate-smart food security best practices during reconstruction of coastal assets after extreme weather events.

He said that the objective is to provide incentives for the fisheries sector to use climate-smart food security best practices within the region to simultaneously improve food security and coastal resilience in the face of a changing climate.

Published in Press release

 

Belize City, Friday, 20 October 2017 (CRFM)—Several Caribbean countries have been recently devastated by two catastrophic hurricanes, Irma and Maria, underscoring the need for Member States of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) to press forward with risk insurance for the fisheries sector—being developed by the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC, formerly known as the CCRIF) in collaboration with the World Bank. This initiative to develop risk insurance for the fisheries sector in CARICOM States is supported by the United States government under the Caribbean Ocean and Aquaculture Sustainability Facility (COAST).

At the 7th Meeting of the CRFM Ministerial Council, hosted in Georgetown, Guyana, on 5th October 2017, policy-makers underscored the need for CARICOM Member States to move ahead with adopting risk insurance that would enable the fisheries sector and fishers to bounce back more quickly after a hurricane strikes. So far, there has been no payout provided specifically for the rehabilitation and recovery of the fisheries sector, although there have been other payouts under the broader umbrella of the CCRIF scheme. Since its establishment in 2007, the CCRIF SPC has made payouts of a little more than US$100 million to 12 of its 17 member countries – all within 14 days of the disaster event.

“Having such an insurance scheme is one of the good things we can do to help fishers get back on their feet as soon as possible after a disaster,” said CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton.

The development and implementation of the livelihood protection policy for individual small-scale operators and the sovereign parametric policy for States that the CCRIF SPC is working on, now assumes greater urgency for the sector, the CRFM Executive Director underscored.

Haughton expresses the hope that in light of the destruction and devastation which the recent hurricanes have caused in CRFM Member States such as Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Haiti, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Turks and Caicos, that all parties will redouble their efforts to get the risk insurance facilities for the sector established as soon as possible and certainly before the next hurricane season. He said that the insurance policies are being designed to provide quick relief to those fishers who experience distress as a result of disasters such as hurricanes.

A report published by the Fisheries Division of Antigua and Barbuda in September, titled ‘HURRICANE IRMA – PRELIMINARY DAMAGE ASSESSMENT FOR ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA’S FISHERIES SECTOR,” said: “In terms of the impact Hurricane Irma had on fishers and their families, considering the role the sector plays with respect to employment, food security and as a ‘safety-net’ for other economic activities (i.e., occupational pluralism), a total of 778 individuals were affected including 193 fishers and 585 financial dependents… This accounted for 25.5% of the population of Barbuda (1,800) (i.e., one in every four persons) and 0.3% of the population of Antigua (91,440).”

The report notes that there were 37 boats, over 2,000 fish traps, and 17 gill nets destroyed. An aquaponics facility at which fish and vegetables are farmed together suffered minor damage and damages were also reported to some fisheries facilities, such as wharves and public buildings.

The CRFM Secretariat is currently developing a model Disaster Management Plan for the Fisheries Sector of the region to facilitate adequate preparation by stakeholders before disaster events and to ensure speedy, coordinated assessment and recovery efforts after such events.

 

Published in Press release

This report is the second of four outputs in this initiative of CRFM and FAO on ‘Climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in fisheries and aquaculture in the CARICOM region’. The aim is to develop a strategy and action plan for integrating DRM, CCA and fisheries and aquaculture, with a focus on small-scale fisheries (SSF) and small-scale aquaculture.

This strategy and action plan is built upon, and integrates into, core policy documents. The regional policy context is primarily the ‘Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change’ (the Regional Framework) that articulates CARICOM’s strategy on climate change. CARICOM Heads of Government endorsed the Regional Framework at their July 2009 meeting in Guyana and issued the Liliendaal Declaration which sets out key climate change related interests and aims of CARICOM Member States. Based on the Liliendaal Declaration is the Implementation Plan (IP) for the Regional Framework. It is entitled ‘Delivering transformational change 2011 - 2021’ and incorporated several global to regional instruments concerning climate change and variability.See volume 1 for references and a comprehensive list of recommended further reading.

Fisheries and aquaculture initiatives in the CARICOM region should be integrated into the IP and take into account the CARICOM and OECS approaches to climate change that integrate DRM. Inclusion of, or collaboration with, non-CARICOM Caribbean countries in the IP also needs to be cnsidered. The CDEMA Enhanced CDM Framework for 2007-2012 is another core document that emphasises in Outcome 4 the need to focus on community level adaptation and management. The fourteenth session of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC), held in Panama in February 2012, agreed to address CCA and DRM in fisheries and aquaculture in future sessions and, in its 2012 - 2013 Work Plan, included the preparation of a strategy, action plan and programme proposal on these, to be supported by FAO. Several policy instruments need to be taken into account specifically for ecosystem approaches to fisheries and aquaculture. These include the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO 1995) and the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy (CCCFP) and the OECS St George’s Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability (SGD).These documents contribute to a vision such as: regional society and economy that is resilient to a changing climate and enhanced through comprehensive disaster management and sustainable use of aquatic resources.

The CCCCC Regional Framework contains five strategy elements and twenty goals or similar statements. Some are more relevant to fisheries and aquaculture, using an ecosystem approach, than others. Several aspects are developed in the IP, mainly under the heading of coastal and marine matters. This strategy and action plan incorporates fisheries and aquaculture more prominently into the IP as requested by the CRFM in order to strengthen the existing linkages to mutual advantage.

The strategy and action plan draws on the above-mentioned documents, elaborates on the concept of transformation and develops content to which the proposed programme for the region can be linked (see Volume 3). This volume sets out strategic actions “to strengthen regional and national cooperation and develop capacity in addressing climate change impacts and disasters in the fisheries and aquaculture sector”. It draws upon key regional policy instruments on fisheries, aquaculture, climate change and disasters. Ultimately it will be important for there to be linkages between the enhanced IP and critical fisheries and aquaculture policy at the regional and national levels. A protocol to the CCCFP that sets out these relationships could be a logical next step in this process. 

 

Member login

Username and Password