Description of project:

This project was seeking to address the need for civil society engagement in policy and institutional analysis for climate change adaptation and involved pioneering the use of the World Resources Institute Adaptation: Rapid Institutional Analysis (ARIA) toolkit in the Caribbean.  The overall objective was to pilot a rigorous and participatory research process in Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago that would build understanding of effective climate change adaptation policy, institutions and actions, and improve capacity for participatory climate change policy design and adaptation implementation in Caribbean SIDS. CANARI, in collaboration with the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) and World Resources Institute (WRI), implemented the project over the period April 2013 to November 2014.   This US$90,000.00 project was funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), as an overall project call managed by CARIBSAVE. 


CANARI was invited to make a presentation on the results of the project, especially on the coastal zone for Trinidad and Tobago, at the Institute of Marine Affairs Climate Change Adaptation and ICZM Policy Development Workshop, September 23 – 24, 2014.

Key activities and results

  • The first phase of the project was to undertake an assessment of the policy, institutions and actions for climate change adaptation in Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, using the ARIA workbook,  and identify the three priority areas for more in-depth research in Phase II, using similar workbooks. The three priority areas identified for the ARIA Phase II surveys in Saint Lucia were freshwater resources, food security, and livelihoods and culture, with the ones for Trinidad and Tobago being coastal zone, food security and tourism. The institutional analysis of climate change adaptation in Saint Lucia and  Trinidad and Tobago provided a review of how well key institutional functions – 1) vulnerability assessment, 2) prioritisation of adaptation activities, 3) coordination, 4) information management, and 5) mainstreaming – were performing and enabling effective adaptation policy implementation. The assessment identified priority areas for strengthening institutions arrangements for climate change adaptation in the two countries.
  • Both countries need to develop an inventory of adaptation activities, including projects, programmes, and efforts to integrate adaptation into sectors. This inventory could help provide learning, reduce duplicative efforts, and increase transparency to the public. Horizontal and to a lesser extent vertical coordination efforts appeared to be more institutionalised in Saint Lucia than Trinidad and Tobago. In Saint Lucia, the National Climate Change Committee met regularly and has broad representation, although civil society participation and transparency to the public could be improved. These processes are just beginning in Trinidad and Tobago and were confined mostly to disaster management and coastal zone management.
  • Information management was inadequate in both countries. Systems for monitoring and disseminating information were too often not functioning, out of date, or not reaching their target audiences. Efforts should be made to maintain and enhance stakeholder-informed platforms that could provide accessible and useful climate information relevant for different sectors. Overall, transparency, participation and accountability mechanisms could be improved to enable better public understanding, engagement, and ability to push for accountability.  The research process also confirmed that significant knowledge gaps persisted at the civil society level regarding national climate change adaptation priorities and activities.


Saint Lucia:

Trinidad and Tobago:

Overall Technical Report: