ComeDev in the caribbean: a SIDS perspective on Climate Change


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This presentation discusses the critical importance of the “Communication for Development” (ComDev) approach in ensuring that the voices of all stakeholders are heard in the decision-making process that will be needed in Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change, but especially illustrates how ComDev can engage those whose livelihoods are most vulnerable and most dependent on natural resource bases. Illustrative examples will be drawn especially from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean, including the “Voices for CC” initiative in Jamaica as well as best practices in ComDev from RARE Radio in St. Lucia, Toco Radio in Trinidad, among others.

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ComeDev in the caribbean: a SIDS perspective on Climate Change

  1. 1. ComDev in the Caribbean: A SIDS Perspective on Climate Change Maria Protz, Ph.D. Caribbean Centre for Communication for Development (CCCD) Caribbean Institute for Media and Communications (CARIMAC) University of the West Indies (UWI) Panel: Advancing Adaptation through Communication for Development (Technical Session: IIIB) Monday, February 23 rd , 2009 3 rd International Conference on Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change Dhaka, Bangladesh
  2. 2. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as those in the Caribbean are especially vulnerable to Climate Change.
  3. 3. The Caribbean is now even a “hotter” place to be thanks to CC. Germanwatch in its 2009 Global Risk Index ranks countries according to how severely they have been affected by climate-related events such as hurricanes and floods.
  4. 4. Out of an analysis of almost 150 countries, six Caribbean Islands were ranked as Climate change “HOT SPOTS”: <ul><li>Dominican Republic – 12th </li></ul><ul><li>Haiti - 16th </li></ul><ul><li>Martinique – 24th </li></ul><ul><li>Dominica – 25th </li></ul><ul><li>Saint Lucia – 27th </li></ul><ul><li>Jamaica  - 34th </li></ul><ul><li>McLymont, Panos, December 4 th , 2008 </li></ul>
  5. 5. When di big breeze blow, di trees dem shake!
  6. 6. In recent years, natural disasters – such as floods, landslides, droughts and especially hurricanes have threatened our agricultural livelihood base: Ivan (2004), Dean (2007) and Gustav (2008).
  7. 7. CC events also threaten our biodiversity - critical to the livelihoods of our people and also tourism on which we all depend.
  8. 8. Thus, in the Caribbean, the entry point for considering Climate Change and CBA has to be through DRM.
  9. 9. “ Rock Stone a Riva Bottom nuh kno sun hot! Who feels it, knows it. Hence the need for Local Community based approaches.
  10. 10. There is no “ soon come ” for farmers in agriculture. They are not waiting for Climate Change Science. They are already adapting whether for good or ill. Types of Adaptation Measures : <ul><li>Moving out of banana production to other types of low-risk, tuber crops; </li></ul><ul><li>While other farmers in other non-traditional areas are going into banana production </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Planting of dwarf fruit tree varieties (Mango, June Plum, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivation of hedgerows as wind brakes </li></ul><ul><li>Use of pineapple barriers and productive hedgerows </li></ul><ul><li>Shifting the seasonal sowing times of specific crops </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Planting of nurseries and extra seedling materials in case of hurricanes, etc. </li></ul>
  13. 13. To facilitate these positive adaptation processes, farmers need to set the science agenda and need tested information (i.e., knowledge) – quickly and timely - hence the importance of Communication for Development .
  14. 14. GAPS in the CBA process : <ul><li>Farmers’ livelihood adaptation strategies and technologies are not yet being documented, validated and tested (ComDev can help with documentation and observation) </li></ul><ul><li>Proven farmer-based technologies are not packaged and shared across islands or even within island states from one parish to another (ComDev can help with this as well) </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Extension officers cannot reach all affected areas (ComDev can help with ICTs and innovative communication methods) </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Extension services are not familiar with two-way participatory techniques and need training ( PRCA training is needed) </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Livelihood adaptation demands a multi-faceted approach among a variety of agencies who do not necessarily work or coordinate together </li></ul><ul><li>Community expectations are often not realistic of what rural services can deliver </li></ul><ul><li>Short-term coping strategies that undermine long-term sustainability are often selected because alternatives are not known or promoted (i.e., ganja cultivation, migration…) </li></ul>GAPS in CBA, continued..
  18. 18. <ul><li>CBA is understood as a “ technical” matter and not seen within the context of local culture and community dynamics </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative and participatory produced information needs to be linked to GIS systems imaging and digital formats </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers need to be linked digitally to early response and warning systems. </li></ul>GAPS in CBA, continued..
  19. 19. Some “Best Practice” examples of ComDev in the Caribbean that can possibly be harnessed for CBA in the agricultural sector: <ul><li>Panos – Voices for CC initiative (Jamaica) </li></ul><ul><li>RARE Radio (St. Lucia) </li></ul><ul><li>Taco Foundation (Trinidad and Tobago) </li></ul><ul><li>CABI International </li></ul><ul><li>ICTs4Dev – Jeffery Town, Jamaica </li></ul><ul><li>Among others… </li></ul>
  20. 20. PANOS Caribbean Voices for CC, Jamaica <ul><li>HEAR, HEAR Jamaican entertainers get exposure to climate change threats </li></ul><ul><li>Youth journalism program </li></ul><ul><li>Oral history documentation “Voices from Mocho” (tales from back beyond) </li></ul><ul><li>Community newsletters and publications </li></ul>
  21. 21. RARE Radio, St. Lucia (communicating NRM through long-running radio drama edutainment)
  22. 22. Rural radio, distance learning, media centre, newspapers, agro tourism and organic agricultural.
  23. 23. CABI Caribbean <ul><li>Knowledge for Development: Implementation of and capacity building in farmer participatory research and training throughout the region   </li></ul><ul><li>Farmer Field Schools in Integrated Pest Management techniques throughout the region </li></ul>
  24. 24. Commonwealth of Learning (COL)’s L3 Farmers Lifelong Learning
  25. 25. ICTs 4 Dev – Jeffrey Town, Jamaica (rural radio and multimedia centre)
  26. 26. ICT tools for women organic farmers – the Knowing & Growing Network
  27. 27. And projects, such as: <ul><li>The OPAAL (OECS Protected Areas and Alternative Livelihoods Project) in the Eastern Caribbean </li></ul><ul><li>The IWCAM (Integrated Watershed and Coastal Areas Management) project of the Wider Caribbean. </li></ul>
  28. 28. In the Caribbean, CARIMAC’s Caribbean Centre for Communication for Development (CCCD) is working to partner with the best regional practices in ComDev and to scale up these experiences as part of regular MOA and MOE strategic programme planning for CBA.
  29. 29. Thank You Email: