IICA-CBF EbA project provides green business training to improve livelihood opportunities in Dominica and Saint Lucia 

Continued engagement between CCIF, EbA project management and local soaps producer at Canabelle, Canaries, during recent green business training activities in Saint Lucia (Photo: IICA Saint Lucia)

Under the CBF-funded project “Strengthening Coastal and Marine Climate Resilience through Upland and Coastal Ecosystem Based Adaptation and Community Engagement”, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Dominica and Saint Lucia in collaboration with IAMovement, hosted green business training during the last two weeks of June, 2022.

EbA Project Technical Officer, Ms. Jaime Romany, together with the Vetiver Education and Empowerment Program/Vetiver System (VEEP)/VS) Specialist Mr. Nikolai Emmanuel of IAMovement,  IICA National Specialists, Mr. Brent Theophile and Mr. Kent Coipel, met with the community-based organisations (CBOs) and community participants, to continue building on the project’s previous training sessions on vetiver handicraft, propagation and land stabilisation installations. These capacity-building sessions are intended to help improve livelihood opportunities in rural communities across the four EbA Project Caribbean islands.

During green business development sit-down sessions, participants learned more about marketing and business establishment through engagement with the team. IAMovement shared the success of the VS and handicraft business in Trinidad and Tobago, along with lessons learnt, and the approach taken for possible replication on the islands, along with other ideas that could be added to their business models for improvement of their programs locally.

Potential green business entrepreneurs from Canaries were guided through conducting site assessments, and developing quotations for clients interested in green engineering services. A site assessment was modelled at the St. Lucia Water and Sewage Company (WASCO) water treatment plant along the Micoud Highway, where VS was used to stabilise the facility which has a history of land slips. Mr. Edwards’ details indicated that, “The full assessment of the site as it relates to design and planning needs was completed. This was done to ensure replication can take place independently of supervision from the main team.” Training and site assessments continued around Canaries, including the Anse La Raye Quarry, where vetiver plants have been installed to mitigate sediment runoff from the quarry into the adjacent rivers and oceans.

Technical Officer, Jaime Romany, discussing with the WASCO site supervisor, IICA St Lucia Team, and community representatives, possibilities for VS installation at site based on different design elements (Photo: IICA Saint Lucia)

In Dominica, VS training took place with farmers, dwellers and field workers at Petite Soufriere. “The training is aimed at increasing capacity building among participants on the use of nature based and climate smart EbA approaches, VS-VEEP being one such tool for the restoration of marine-coastal ecosystems and upland watersheds, reducing soil erosion and land spillage,” remarked Mr. Coipel. During the first session Ms. Romany gave the context of the training and Mr. Emmanuel facilitated the technical sessions. The training concluded with a visit to the community vetiver nursery in San Sauver where participants were exposed to harvesting clumps and preparing vetiver slips.

Participants assist in plant propagation training and nursery assessment at the Petite Soufriere San Sauveur Village Council (PSSVC)’s site in Dominica (Photo: IAMovement)

Mr. Marcus Antoine, Chairman of the Canaries Community Improvement Foundation (CCIF), spoke to aspirations for the green businesses that are to be developed by their CBO which has a mandate of community development, “What we’re hoping is that we’ll be able to develop a consistent means of earning an income, that we can hire a formal staff.” Mr. Antoine further elaborated that CCIF expects to employ community members in Canaries and nearby areas, in the planting and preparing of the vetiver grass that will go into the vetiver solutions presented by CCIF.

The EbA Project follow up activities will support participants in advancing their green businesses e.g. completing business canvases, which are intended to serve as “a ‘map’ for how the businesses can work and the different elements involved which should be considered to support its success,” according to Mr. Jonathan Barcant, Managing Director at IAMovement.

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