Climate Change Adaptation officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Anna Ricoy, wants an action plan for an ongoing three year project to be entrenched in the existing structures in Dominica.
Phase one of the FAO approved project began in 2010 and continued until 2011, had several components which included the development of an agricultural plan for disaster risk mitigation in the agricultural sector. Phase two is ongoing and is expected to be completed by December of 2013.
“So the project that we are implementing in Dominica follows the pattern of other disaster risk management projects that we have previously implemented in the region notably in St. Lucia, Belize, Grenada, and to a certain extent in Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba,” Ricoy explained.
She was speaking at a press conference at the Division of Agriculture on Friday.
“The approach in this type of project is to focus on two levels, one side on the institution levels on the strengthening of capacity of institutions, and also at community levels or district levels, strengthening the technical capacity on the ground,” she said.
Ricoy also mentioned that the approach that they are adopting is to shift the focus from reactive emergency response to disasters to proactive disaster risk reduction. That entails emphasizing the prevention, mitigation and preparedness to disasters.
Winston Magloire, Technical Officer project and services division of the Ministry of Agriculture said the idea of the project is to initiate awareness at all levels.
“The intent really is to pilot some of these activities to trigger the awareness and the interest so that both at the individual level, meaning the individual farmer level or fisher level or at the community level, that there is greater awareness as to what methods can be used, that individuals can engage in to reduce the impact of disasters on agriculture generally.”
Magloire said the resources provide under the project are not adequate to meet all community activities which have been identified, “But we believe that through this work that we are doing now it allows us to create the awareness and also to start the process so that if additional funds are identified then we can continue the implementation practices in different communities and different agricultural regions,” he stated.
Phase one of the project cost US $325,000 and the cost of phase two is US $157,000.
The work was done in collaboration with the National Emergency Planning Organization, Community Development Division, Forestry Division, Fisheries and Livestock Divisions, among others.