Recognising the need for more effective engagement of local communities and civil society organisations (CSOs) in disaster risk reduction and building resilience, the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is implementing the three-year project “CSOs for Disaster Resilience: Empowering civil society and local communities to build resilience to hurricanes and climate extremes in the Eastern Caribbean” from September 2019-September 2022. The project aims to improve resilience for local communities, associated livelihoods and ecosystems to hurricanes and climate extremes in the Eastern Caribbean through implementing community-based and ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR/Eco-DRR). The focus is on engaging at-risk communities in decision-making, and on conservation, sustainable management and restoration of natural ecosystems, to reduce disaster risk and help people and systems adapt.

The project specifically targets Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica and Grenada and is working with six partner CSOs and community stakeholders in six high-risk communities across the target countries to build their resilience through: capacity building; mobilising local knowledge and partnerships; and supporting practical CBDRR and Eco-DRR actions on the ground. It is funded by a US$350,000 grant from the Inter-American Foundation. See here for the project summary.

Highlights:

  • Regional Forum held June 2020 on: Catalysing innovation & partnerships to build local disaster resilience in Caribbean communities
  • Regional training of trainers’ workshop held in June 2021 tor technical capacity building of partner CSOs in the three target countries and other CSOs operating across the Eastern Caribbean and wider region to apply integrated CBDRR and Eco-DRR.
  • Practical actions underway in six target communities, led by partner CSOs on the ground – community Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (VCAs) conducted from January-July 2021 and development of (pilot) practical action projects focused on CBDRR and Eco-DRR is currently underway.

Key Activities and Results 

  • Strengthening CSOs to deliver integrated CBDRR and Eco-DRR: CANARI will update its ‘Implementing Climate Change Actions’ toolkit and conduct a regional training of trainers’ workshop and follow-up virtual training sessions to build technical capacity in the Eastern Caribbean for effectively planning and delivering integrated CBDRR and Eco-DRR solutions. Organisational strengthening of six partner CSOs in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and Grenada will be facilitated by CANARI and its mentor network including coaching, one-on-one training and peer exchanges. These actions will be informed by technical and organisational capacity assessments at the start of the project, and at the end to measure progress.
  • Supporting practical DRR actions: Using criteria, six high-risk communities (two each) in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and Grenada will be identified as targets for practical actions to improve local resilience to hurricanes and other climate related disasters. Access to small grants, coaching and mentoring will be provided to support six partner CSOs to lead and conduct participatory vulnerability assessments and action planning to identify local priorities for DRR and resilience building; and use results to design and implement practical CBDRR/Eco-DRR projects with the target communities.
  • Knowledge mobilisation and partnerships: this will be enhanced through mapping of resilience initiatives in the Eastern Caribbean to guide knowledge sharing and inform project design; development and dissemination of communication products on project results, lessons, best practices and innovations; and convening of a regional dialogue and follow-up webinars with peers, practitioners and policymakers for continued learning and dialogue on CBDRR, Eco-DRR and resilience building in Eastern Caribbean.

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For more information, please contact Candice Ramkissoon, Technical Officer at [email protected]

See related work under CANARI’s Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Programme