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In plain view of the mountainous terrain of Belize’s most southern district, Toledo, farmers of Trio Village have been facing a changing environment. Ya’Axche Conservation Trust approached the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) to assist the villagers with combating threats that were exacerbated by climate related events. This involved deforestation due to lack of water, insufficient arable land and forest fires which threatened crops. The main initiative involved attaining land, donating cacao seedlings and providing technical assistance and training for climate resilient crops.
The Head of the Project Development & Management Unit at the CCCCC explained why the Centre became involved in the initiative. According to Dr. Mark Bynoe, “It’s not a case that these issues are new, it’s a case where these issues are likely to be exacerbated with a change in climate regime. So with that focus, we looked at projects within the Centre that we had and which could finance this particular initiative. We were able to find $250,000 US under the UK-DFID programme. So for the last two years we were able to fund this initiative in Trio Village.”
The partnership of UK-DFID, CCCCC and Ya’Axche came to fruition when the Forest Department granted a unique concession to allow agro-forestry within the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve. The implementation of this community forest concession resulted in 936 acres being leased to the project. The acres have been divided into sub plots for organic cacao farming and the concession includes an annual crop section for vegetables, plantain and honey harvesting.
Isabel Rash, Farmer, Trio Farmers Cacao Association
The project, completed at the end of April 2016, is having an impact on the lives of farmers like Isabel Rash. Rash admits the gruelling task is benefiting his future. While in the company of his family in Trio Village, Rash said “For the first six months we prepared our nursery with 28 to 30,000 cacao saplings. We eventually planted 250 plants per acre. It’s hard but we are doing it because in the future we don’t want to work for somebody else.”
“We want to work for ourselves. From there, when we start to produce more, my thoughts are that I can maybe just be a boss and have workers beside me…It’s five of us in my family. It’s my wife, my 14-year and 2- year old sons and me. I’m taking care of a little girl from my sister-in-law and my aim is to give them an education. That’s why I’m working hard. I want them to be different in the future.”
There is also gender considerations as 10 females are members of the Trio Farmers Cacao Association. The women have agro-forestry plots for planting cacao and a few of them are also involved in bee-keeping to harvest honey. 15 year old Cordelia Cabnal’s formal education ended after she completed primary school.
Cordelia Cabnal, Bee Keeper, Trio Farmers Cacao Association
Cabnal says, “The first time I harvested about 25 pounds and the second harvest is about 35 pounds. I am happy because I see that honey is good and now I have three hives. I want more boxes. I want to have more hives. To me it’s good because here it’s money. That’s what Mr. Sho says and he told us not to give up because this is money.”
Isodoro Sho, who trained the group in bee keeping, believes that, “In the future they will be the one showing the village people. The ladies that got involved will realize this is not only about cacao or pineapple but about saving a part of the rainforest.”
Christina Garcia, Executive Director of the Ya’Axche Conservation Trust
In response to how the Trio farmers plan to proceed following the closure of the project, the Executive Director of the Ya’Axche Conservation Trust, Christina Garcia says the members have been waiting for access to land for some years now. And now that they have it, Ya’Axche has observed full commitment from the farmers. Garcia noted, “It’s a direct result of the project. We’ve seen progress still happening after the closure of the project. Farmers are still planting their cacao and doing their under-brushing on their own. They’ve learned a lot from the training they received during the implementation of the project.”
The farmers, according to Isabel Rash, are learning new methods. Rash says, “We need to change because when we farmed from years past, we used pesticides and we burned. We can kill our own-selves smelling that pesticide and smoke. When we fall (trees) close to the river the river/creek, it gets dry.”
As annual crops such as bananas, beans, and plantains are being harvested, cacao planting could be increased by 25,000 to ensure farmers have a sustainable income. The Project directly impacts no less than 200 individuals that are part of the farming families.
Shade houses for alternative crops
Dr. Mark Bynoe and Isabel Rash
According to Dr. Bynoe, “We had to construct shade houses for protected agriculture. Why is this necessary? The whole concept of agriculture in that area is to have crops at varied periods of time. So the need for the shade houses is to pursue some cash crops farming in the immediate future. Revenue will be generated and the farmers will begin to see some returns as annual crops are maturing such as bananas, beans, plantains and so forth. And further down the road is the cacao plant. We have planted 25,000 cacao seedlings and we’re hoping to increase that to about 50,000 going forward, so we have a sustainable income to start with and farmers are less prone to deforest areas. It helps with soil protection. It helps with the integrity of aquifers and rivers, vital for the very crops they are cultivating. In total, we are looking at an entire system approach from the time they started farming to the time we withdraw. So that at the end of the day we are participating in poverty alleviation.”
Dr. Bynoe is very hopeful as he points out, “This is a pilot for the Centre but we are engaged in a number of adaptation initiatives. If this turns out to be a success story, if this translated into other areas of Belize, we can take it to other parts of the Caribbean. We do expect with the cooperation we have seen from the Ya’Axche Conservation Trust, the efforts from the farmers themselves, the support from Government, the Ministry of Agriculture who is providing extension services, the Ministry of Forestry who made the concession available, that we are indeed moving in the right direction.”
Images of the project: Trio Farmers Cacao Growers Photo Album
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) aims to multiply current actions and responses to climate change while deploying unprecedented levels of funding to invest in low-emission and climate-resilient development in the battle to save our Earth. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) was accredited as a regional implementing entity by to this key multilateral financing mechanism to support climate action in developing countries on July 09, 2015.
The Executive Director of the CCCCC, Dr. Kenrick Leslie says “It speaks to the high calibre of work being done in the region and the strength of our internal systems. We will now move forward with a set of ambitious and bankable projects that we have been developing under a directive from CARICOM Heads”.
The first GCF “Readiness Week” was held from April 25 to 29th, 2016 to assist direct access entities in developing their project ideas. The event brought together the centre and 12 other accredited direct access entities and 27 developing countries to share project concepts and project proposals with each other. Caribbean Countries represented at the session included Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados and Guyana.
The CCCCC was represented by Sharon Lindo, International & Regional Policy Advisor and Dr. Mark Bynoe, Senior Economist and the Head of Project Development Management Unit.
According to Dr. Bynoe “The recent workshop demonstrates the Green Climate Fund’s aspirations to fulfill its fit-for-purpose mantra. The workshop clearly demonstrates that the institution and its Board have been listening to the issues raised by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and is seeking to address these through its Enhanced Direct Access approach. This is a step in the right direction and one should be applauded and encouraged.”
At the close of the session, GCF’s Executive Director Héla Cheikhrouhou reiterated to participants that “GCF’s role is to provide you with the necessary support so that you can lead transformative changes in your countries and regions…You are a trusted GCF partner, and the Fund can only be successful if you deliver on bringing about significant projects or programmes.”
Looking forward from the Sodongo Readiness session, GCF Regional Advisers will schedule calls with focal points to check on work programmes and also to organize group webinars to bring entities together for briefings on specific issues.
As the first regionally accredited organization, the CCCCC is now the interface and conduit for GCF funding to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Caribbean. Applications for GCF funding takes place in consultation with country focal points (NDAs) and the CCCCC.
For further information on GCF Funding, please contact your National Designated Authority listed below or the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre at http://www.caribbeanclimate.bz/ .
Antigua and Barbuda
Environment Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands Housing and the Environment Her Excellency Ambassador Diann Black‐Layne Environment Division Chief Environment Officer and Ambassador for Climate Change Botanical Gardens, Factory Rd., St. John’s, Antigua Tel.: +1 268 464 6410 E‐mail: email@example.com
The Ministry of the Environment Housing Ms. Camille Johnson Permanent Secretary P.O. Box N 4849, Nassau, N.P. The Bahamas Tel.: +242 322 6005; +242 322 6006 E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org E‐mail: email@example.com
Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Dr. Louis Woodroffe Permanent Secretary, Economic Affairs Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados Tel.: +1 246 310 1302 Fax: +1 246 425 1100 E‐mail: Louis.firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Her Excellency Sharman Yvonne Hyde Chief Executive Officer Ground Floor, Right Wing, Sir Edney Cain Building Belmopan City, Cayo District, Belize, Central America Tel.: +501 822 2626; +501 822 2527; +501 822 1495 E‐mail: email@example.com
Ministry of Finance Mr. Samuel Carrette Chief Development Planner 5th Floor, Financial Centre Kennedy Avenue, Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica Tel.: +1 767 266 3221; +1 767 266 3561 Fax: +1 767 448 0054 E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org E‐mail: email@example.com
Ministry of Economic Development, Planning, Trade, Cooperatives and International Business Mr. Timothy Antoine Permanent Secretary Financial Complex, Carenage, St. George’s, Grenada Tel.: +1 473 440 2928; +1 473 440 2731; +1 473 440 2732 Fax: +1 473 440 4115 E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry of the Presidency His Excellency Mr. Joseph Harmon, M.P. Minister of State Vlissengen Road, Bourda, Georgetown Co‐operative Republic of Guyana Tel.: +592 225 0582 E‐mail: email@example.com E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry of Environment Mr. Moise Jean‐Pierre # 11 Rue , Pacot, Port‐au‐Prince, Haiti Tel.: +509 3701 2694 E‐mail: Moisejp8@hotmail.com
Ministry of Water, Land, Environment & Climate Change Mr. Albert Daley Principal Director, Climate Change Division 16A Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, Jamaica Tel.: +876 906 0724; +876 633 7351; +876 633 7354 E‐mail: Albert.email@example.com
Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Social Dr. Reginald Darius Permanent Secretary Castries, Saint Lucia Tel.: +1 758 468 5503; +1 758 285 0200 Fax: +1 768 452 6700 E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Department of Physical Planning and Environment Ms. June Hughes Senior Environment Officer Bladen Commercial Development Wellington Road Basseterre, St. Kitts Tel.: +1 869 465 2277 Fax: +1 869 465 5842 E‐mail: email@example.com
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning Ms. Laura Anthony‐Browne Director of Planning Administrative Centre, Bay Street, Kingstown Sait Vincent and the Grenadines Tel.: +1 784 457 1746 E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry of Finance His Excellency Mr. Gillmore Hoefdraad Minister Tamarindelaan 3 Tel. (597) 472610 E‐mail: email@example.com E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the German Financial Cooperation (KfW) signed a wide-ranging aide–mémoire last Friday evening, paving the way for the development of a €12.27 million programme, which will seek to reduce the climate change induced risks facing the Caribbean’s coastal population.
The approximately six year Ecosystem-Based Approaches for Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Zones of Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean (EBACC) programme, which is slated to start later this year, will be implemented in Saint Lucia, Saint. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Jamaica.
The programme will have two main components: (i) Investments in sustainable improvements of coastal ecosystems relevant for climate change adaptation, and (ii) knowledge management, project support and monitoring. Under the first component, the programme aims to invest in measures related to protection and sustainable management, rehabilitation or substitution, and monitoring of coastal ecosystems in an effort to assist the participating countries to mitigate climate change induced risks to livelihoods and development prospects. Investments under this component will include, among others, the purchase of equipment directly related to marine protected areas (MPAs) management, reforestation, slope stabilization, coral reef restoration, construction of artificial reefs and break water.
Under Component 2 of the programme, assistance will be provided to the countries in the preparation and implementation of the local adaptation measures, monitoring of project goals and impacts, and the systematization and dissemination of project experiences. The Centre’s Resource Senior Economist and Head, Programme Development and Management Unit, Dr. Mark Bynoe, who along with Senior Programme Development Specialist Keith Nichols led the Centre’s engagement with KfW, notes that the “measures to be pursued under this component will include the harmonization of monitoring methods and the implementation of a monitoring system for the project that will complement the overall monitoring, evaluation and reporting system being developed for the IP”.
Dr. Bynoe notes that “these four participating countries were selected because the programme seeks to establish synergies with the Caribbean’s Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR). However, mainly because of the limited financing not all the participating Caribbean PPCR countries will be involved in EBACC. The KfW and CCCCC were advised by the consultants conducting the diagnostic studies for this programme, that the greatest net returns on investments are likely to be gained through investing in the countries selected.” Dr. Bynoe adds that the programme’s focus complements priority areas within the Implementation Plan of the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change that was approved by CARICOM Heads of Government in Match 2012 in Suriname.
Specifically, it will address Strategic Elements 2 and 4 in the IP that seeks to “promote the implementation of specific adaptation measures to address key vulnerabilities in the region” and “encouraging action to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems in CARICOM countries to the impacts of a changing climate” respectively.
Executive Director of the CCCCC, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, says “the EBACC programme is part of the implementing phase of the landmarkRegional Strategic Framework to address climate change”. The programme, which will be funded by the German government to the tune of €10.8 million and €1.47 million from the Centre and participating countries through a mix of in-kind and financial support, will operate under a facility approach. This arrangement will allow both governmental and non-governmental institutions in the four participating countries to seek funding for Local Adaptation Measures (LAM).
The agreement signed by the Centre’s Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE and KfW’s Sector Economist Dr. Josef Haider marks the successful conclusion of KfW’s appraisal mission (March 7-March 17, 2013), which included meetings in Jamaica and St. Lucia with government officials and non-governmental leaders who are directly engaged in climate change adaptation initiatives.
Scientists and researchers are working together in a new initiative to collect data that will help determine the effects of climate change on coral in the Caribbean Sea.
“We want to know how climate change will impact our corals. So we will measure variables that would impact corals due to climate change,” said Mark Bynoe, senior research economist at the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).
Bynoe told IPS that the idea behind the project is to be able to monitor parameters that can affect corals from a climatological standpoint, such as increased acidification, sea temperature, and water quality.
The CCCCC has awarded the Florida-based global company, YSI Integrated Systems and Services, a contract for five marine monitoring buoys that will collect high-quality data for researchers studying climate change in the Caribbean Sea.