Regional Project Launched to Protect Fishing Sectors Across the Eastern Caribbean

Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 30, 2017 (SKNIS):  The Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4FISH) project was launched in St. Kitts and Nevis on Tuesday, May 30, during a national workshop, with the aim of increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change impacts in the Eastern Caribbean fisheries sector through introduction of adaptation measures in fisheries management and capacity building of fisherfolk and aquaculturists.

 The CC4FISH Project was implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with a US$5.4 million grant under its Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). It is expected to be rolled out in seven Caribbean countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

 Dr. Iris Monnereau, Regional Project Coordinator – FAO, said that it is important to implement a project of this nature, noting that as “climate change is becoming increasingly real” it is also important to look at countries and regions that will suffer disastrous impacts.

 “These developed countries are often most vulnerable to climate change because they have a high level of poverty, low human development and face economic hardship,” said Dr. Monnereau. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are considered to be vulnerable because often they have very vulnerable coastlines where the majority of the infrastructure in human settlement are within the first 10 kilometers of the coastline, which is obviously highly vulnerable to storms.”

 Dr. Monnereau expressed her delight in working with all stakeholders with the aim of making the project a success – which is dependent on the input of everyone.  She noted that it is a great opportunity to tailor the project to the needs of St. Kitts and Nevis over the coming months.

 The Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Marine Resources, hailed the many assistance that the FAO has offered over the years, noting that it is well appreciated.

 “In all this, CC4FISH project seeks to work closely with our government. It also seeks to work closely with non-governmental organizations and with fisherfolk groups and other stakeholders in our state,” he said. “We work together to promote a more balanced and integrated approach to climate change adaptation and also to achieve inclusive and sustainable development in the region.”

 Minister Hamilton encouraged stakeholders to give FAO and the project their full support, which will eventually redound to the benefit of all who are involved in the fishing sector, as well as “to those who are users of fish.”

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