Climate change is expected to impact significantly on the Eastern Caribbean fisheries sector, resulting in declining productivity, loss of fish habitats and damage to boats and infrastructure due to extreme weather events, higher ocean temperatures and coral bleaching, ocean acidification and sea level rise.  Coastal communities and fisherfolk (men and women involved in all aspects of the sector) are particularly vulnerable to these impacts as they are dependent on the fisheries sector for food security, livelihoods and household income.  However, at present, there is a fairly ad hoc approach to assessing the climate change vulnerability of coastal and fishing communities.  This limits the potential for comparisons across the region and for improved understanding of who and what is vulnerable and how to effectively adapt in the fisheries sector.

CANARI has been contracted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to undertake regional implementation of the Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) in coastal and fishing communities under the Climate Change Adaptation in the Fisheries Sector of the Eastern Caribbean Project (CC4FISH). CANARI conducted Phase 1 of this work from September 2017 to September 2018, which focused on development of a regional framework and toolkit for conducting VCAs. Building on this work, Phase 2 activities will focus on implementing VCAs in coastal and fishing communities from October 2019 to November 2020. See here for the project summary.

Project goal

The overall goal is to improve understanding of climate change impacts and vulnerabilities for effective adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean fisheries sector through implementing VCAs in coastal and fishing communities in the region.

Key activities and outputs

Phase 2 (October 2019-November 2020):

  • Update VCA toolkit for conducting local level VCAs in coastal and fishing communities in the Eastern Caribbean and prepare instructional materials to complement the VCA toolkit.
  • Conduct VCAs at local level in 14 target coastal and fishing communities across the four target countries, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, including providing in-country training and technical support to local field teams.
  • Prepare country reports on VCAs for the four target countries, identifying priorities and measures for adaptation for inclusion in climate-smart fisheries management plans.
  • Develop communication products on the VCAs and key findings from the four target countries to improve awareness of climate change impacts, vulnerabilities and possible adaptation measures for the Eastern Caribbean fisheries sector.

Phase 1 (September 2017-September 2018):

  • Develop a communication and engagement strategyto guide project visibility, stakeholder engagement and dissemination of results, lessons and recommendations.
  • Develop a technical review reporton the application of VCAs in coastal and fishing communities in the Eastern Caribbean based on a comprehensive desk review.
  • Prepare a regional framework and toolkit to guide VCAs in coastal and fishing communitiesin the Eastern Caribbean.
  • Test and validate the VCA toolkit in four fishing communities in Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (two communities each). Download the field report here.
  • Facilitate a regional workshopto elicit stakeholder input and finalise the regional framework and toolkit for implementing VCAs in the Eastern Caribbean fisheries sector. Download the workshop report here.

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For more information, please contact Ainka Granderson, Senior Technical Officer at [email protected]

See related work under CANARI’s Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Programme and Coastal and Marine Livelihoods and Governance Programme.