The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat’s third climate change seminar is underway (September 3 to 5) at the Royal Saint Lucian Hotel in Saint Lucia.
The annual event, which focuses on ‘strategies and innovations in tourism and agriculture’, will feature a Mini Festival on climate change. The OECS says the theme for this year’s seminar, Climate Change, Tourism and Agriculture –Strategies and innovations for adaptation, is especially significant in light of negative impacts already being felt by these sectors. Predictions indicate that OECS Member States are likely to experience even more adverse economic impacts on their most important industries, which depend heavily on the attractiveness of natural environments; and good weather and climate.
A major output, which is expected from the seminar, is a portfolio of new ideas for strategies and innovations in agriculture and tourism that will enable these sectors to better manage climate-related risk and build resilience. The seminar is therefore organised around a number of pertinent topics, which will address both sectors, including:
1. Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture and Tourism 2. The Economic Contribution of Small Island Resources to the Tourism Sector 3. Maximizing Business Benefits through Building Resilience 4. Reducing climate related risks to agriculture and tourism 5. Sustainable Land Management and Agriculture 6. A look at adaptation measures for farming
The topics identified will be delivered by selected experts from around the region and beyond.
The OECS Secretariat estimates that some 80 participants will be in attendance at the two-day seminar representing private entities, government agencies, international and regional bodies – who work in agriculture, tourism, environment and climate change.
The seminar is being held as part of the OECS/USAID RRACC Project – a five-year developmental project which was launched in 2011 to assist OECS governments with building resilience through the implementation of climate change adaptation measures.
Specifically, RRACC will build an enabling environment in support of policies and laws to reduce vulnerability; address information gaps that constrain issues related to climate vulnerabilities; make interventions in freshwater and coastal management to build resilience; increase awareness on issues related to climate change and improve capacities for climate change adaptation.
** This article is an edited version of a statement from the OECS Secretariat.