Bay Oil and Vetiver soap-making features as part of climate-action project for Petite Soufriere residents

Seven members of the Petite Soufriere community will enhance their knowledge and skills in the art of soap making, using the traditional bay oil and vetiver at a two-day training. The training, which builds on Dominica’s rich tradition in artisanal craft-making, forms an essential element of an ecosystem-based adaptation project being implemented by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and its partners.

Dafrica Thomas, owner of Nature’s Caress,’ is the main facilitator, supported by EbA project partner and vetiver expert, IAMovement.

The EbA project is promoting the use of natural resources, such as the deep-rooted vetiver grass as an appropriate ‘green engineering’ solution, to combat soil erosion and landslips. Petite Soufriere is one of the target project communities where nature-based climate-smart approaches and land and soil management solutions are being taught to community farmers and residents. In the aftermath of the recent landslides which caused heavy damage to community infrastructure, homes, and landscape, residents have shown much greater appreciation for vetiver to help protect the soil and slopes.

The EbA project has already established a vetiver nursery in the community to ensure the safe and continuous supply of grass. The vetiver nursery will also be an important source of supply of raw material to support the development of green enterprises. Creating sustainable livelihood opportunities in communities is a principal element of the EbA. The participants in this two-part workshop will also be supported by the EbA project to start and manage a ‘green economy’ type businesses.

The training was initiated at the San Sauveur Primary School on Tuesday, December 13. Once trained, these businesses will be launched within the community of Petite Soufriere in early 2023. The local Community-Based Organizations involved in project implementation will also benefit from support for the establishment of a ‘green’ enterprise which represents the commercialization and leveraging of built capacity and a modality for continuity post-project.

The EbA project, ‘Strengthening Coastal and Marine Climate Resilience through Upland and Coastal Ecosystem-Based Adaptation and Community Engagement’ is funded by Caribbean Biodiversity Fund EbA Facility, supported by the Government of Germany through the German Development Bank (KfW) with resources from the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The project is being implemented in four Caribbean countries, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Lucia, and Tobago.

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