The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MoAFF), together with international partners, held a 3-day face-to-face meeting and prepared a concept paper presenting Dominica as the Global Resilience Centre for Agriculture.
The workshop included presentations from lead agencies, MoAFF, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CEDEMA), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and The Climate Resilience Execution Agency of Dominica (CREAD). The workshop included a consultation with critical stakeholders.
The meeting was held at the Prevo Cinemall from the 18th to 20th of February, 2019.
Chaney St. Martin of IICA, said several technical outputs were achieved in the various meetings.
“We were able to get the consensus on the way forward in terms of developing a concept paper which will be followed by a project document and we also identified the rules and responsibilities of the organisations that are going to contribute to that,” he said.
“I think that in some way, we’re in a good position to go forward; everything is clear as to who has to do what and what has to be done. We have developed a very sound frame work for the centre and that has guided how we are going to implement the strategy of the entire movement,” St. Martin added.
He explained what was discussed on each day. He said that on the first day, they sought to get a profile of the areas of interest of the various institutions in terms of their activities, not only in Dominica, but in the region and other countries.
“The second day, having fulfilled the outputs of the first day, having very clear what the resilience centre is going to look like, we then started talking about other processes in terms of how are we going to continue along that line. The third day, we used it again to flesh out ideas to ensure that all the institutions are on the same page going forward,” the IICA official said.
St. Martin also said that the face to face meeting allowed for a more intimate discussion and clash of ideas in an attempt to solidify things going forward.
Meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Dr. Reginald Thomas noted that the agricultural sector has to transform itself in accordance with Dominica’s goal of becoming the first climate resilient country.
“Post Hurricane Maria, we recognized as a country, the impacts of natural disasters on our food systems, our ability to feed ourselves in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster. It was clear to us that we needed to do things differently,” he said.
Thomas highlighted the importance of building resilience in the agri-food system that produces the food we consume and export.
“…Hence one of the reasons and outputs expected from this centre, where it will transform the sector to make it able to withstand the shock, but importantly, to be able to re-establish itself once an impact has been dealt on the system.”
Thomas also stated that our schools need to understand the meaning of climate resilience and in what ways they can contribute.