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DRM Webinar IV: Building resilience to natural hazards and climate-related disasters in the Caribbean


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While another active and likely severe Hurricane season is approaching, different countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, particularly in the Caribbean, continue to slowly recover from the impacts caused by the catastrophic Irma and Maria events of last year. At the same time, more countries remain highly exposed to natural disasters - of different nature – whose frequency and severity is worsened by the effect of climate change and the limited application of measures for disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the region.
According to the results of Post-Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNAs) conducted in Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, the overall amount of damage and losses that occurred in the agriculture sector and sub-sectors (crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry) in these two countries - after the last hurricane season - are: 211 USD million and 0.5 USD million respectively. These figures show how severely natural disasters can affect the economy and food security and nutrition of countries and people largely relying on the agriculture sector and sub-sectors.
It is increasingly acknowledged that investing in preparedness and early action contributes to saving lives and livelihoods, and lowering the costs of humanitarian response. Early action consists of activities that can be implemented before anticipated hazards to mitigate and to prepare to respond to their impacts. Acting early in the face of the upcoming hurricane season has the potential to significantly reduce the impact on agricultural livelihoods. Additionally, studies continue to show that for every one dollar invested in preparedness, 3 to 5 dollars are saved in response and that on average one preparedness activity can save up to 1 week of response time. However, investments in early actions and preparedness are still very limited and the tendency is to continue spending billions of dollars on responses to humanitarian emergencies without successfully solving the root causes of the problem.

The webinar aims to:
• Enhance awareness on Agriculture Disaster Risk Reduction through Preparedness, Early warning and Early Action and Emergency Response in the LAC region;
• Discuss approaches on disaster risk management in agriculture, with specific focus on the LAC region;
• Exchange experiences in implementing preparedness, early action, and emergency response initiatives.
• Daniele Barelli, Subregional Emergency Focal Point and DRR Specialist, FAO
• Laura Tiberi, Liaison and Operations Officer, FAO
• Niccolò Lombardi, Early Warning Early Action Specialist, FAO
• Oriane Turot, Emergency Food Security and Agriculture Assessment Specialist, FAO
• Sylvie Wabbes, Emergency and Rehabilitation Officer, FAO

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DRM Webinar IV: Building resilience to natural hazards and climate-related disasters in the Caribbean

  1. 1. DRM Webinar IV: Building resilience to natural hazards and climate- related disasters in the Caribbean Daniele Barelli, Subregional Emergency Focal Point and DRR Specialist, FAO Laura Tiberi, Liaison and Operations Officer, FAO Niccolò Lombardi, Early Warning Early Action Specialist, FAO Oriane Turot, Emergency Food Security and Agriculture Assessment Specialist, FAO Sylvie Wabbes, Emergency and Rehabilitation Officer, FAO 26 June 2018
  2. 2. • This webinar aims to: • Enhance awareness of FAO's Strategic Programme to increase the resilience of agriculture livelihoods • Explain the role of o Emergency Preparedness o Early warning Early Action (EWEA) o Needs Assessments in the Caribbean region. Objective of this webinar
  3. 3. Caribbean SIDS – Crop and Livestock Production Loss per Disaster Type, 2005 – 2015
  4. 4. Average absolute and relative impact of disasters in SIDS and non-SIDS countries
  5. 5. Sub-sector Damages Losses Grand Tot. Needs Agriculture 0.15 0.37 0.52 0.52 Fishery 0.31 0.16 0.47 0.46 Total 0.46 0.53 0.99 0.98 Sub-sector Damages Losses Grand Tot. Needs Agriculture 55 124 179 88 Fishery 2 1 3 3 Forestry 30 - 30 15 Total 87 125 212 106 Impact of hurricane season 2017 on agriculture sector in the Caribbean Antigua & Barbuda – D&L +Needs in million USD Dominica – D&L + Needs in million USD
  6. 6. Forecast hurricane season 2018 • The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June through November. • Seasonal forecast (last release on the 24th of May 18) indicate a below average season. • Forecasters expect a slightly below-average season, with 10 - 16 named storms. Five to nine of those are expected to become hurricanes and one to four are expected to be major hurricanes. • While above the long-term average of 10-16 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes and 1-4 major hurricanes, this forecast is quieter than 2017, which had 17, 10 and 6, respectively. Source: National Hurricane Center (NOAA) / World Meteorological Organization
  7. 7. Situating resilience in the global policy processes Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Paris Agreement Prevention Agenda One Health/Global Health World Humanitarian Summit
  8. 8. What is FAO resilience work? Of whom? The 2.5 billion smallholders worldwide who rely on renewable natural resources. The agricultural livelihood system supporting small-scale farmers, herders, fishers and forest-dependent communities Three types of man-made and natural disasters or crises affect the livelihoods of smallholders. To what? Of what? Of whom?
  9. 9. FAO resilience pillars
  10. 10. Increase the resilience of livelihoods in the face of threats Risk Monitoring and Early Warning Emergency Preparedness Vulnerability Reduction Measures Response and Recovery Impact and Needs Assessment EW Trigger Risk governance and risk awareness Early Action Risk Profiling and baseline data
  11. 11. Emergency Preparedness for the Agriculture Sector • What is emergency preparedness? • The knowledge and capacities developed by governments, response and recovery organizations, communities and individuals to effectively anticipate, respond to and recover from the impacts of likely, imminent or current disasters (UNISDR, 2017) • Why is it important? • Natural hazards and climate-related disasters in the Caribbean are more predictable than often assumed • Agriculture absorbs 23 percent of all damage and loss caused by natural disasters; when only climate related disasters are considered this figure increases to 26 percent • Preparedness measures contribute to lowering human suffering, the loss of livelihoods (damage and loss) and the costs/time of humanitarian response
  12. 12. Understanding theriskyouarepreparing for • Understanding the risk environment is crucial to identify • agriculture sector preparedness interventions that are context, sector and hazard specific and • the capacities, knowledge and resources required to implement these • It is important to establish mechanism for the use of risk information in a strategic manner by decision makers at different levels, most importantly the farm producers in the front-line • Understanding the risk allows to put in place monitoring mechanisms for the most context relevant hazards; monitoring is a continuous process
  13. 13. Scaling-up emergency preparedness Multiple threats to food security and increasing frequency and intensity of climate related hazards Regional, national, and local institutional preparedness Farm-level agricultural DRR/preparedness practices Improve data collection, information management and EWS Put in place emergency response mechanisms (financing mechanism, SOPs, contingency plans) Promote resilience good practices in agriculture Map and assess capacities and gaps Strengthen community awareness and participation Strengthen agriculture infrastructure to withstand flooding or wind damage Routinely prune/brace trees prior to the hurricane season Designate facilities for securing fishing equipment/seeds and seedlings Establish livestock evacuation routes and build refuge mounds
  14. 14. Securing infrastructure: covering and securing roofs of shelters to protect livestock
  15. 15. Banana tree bracing to avoid loosing the trees due to strong winds and storms ©Alexandre Meneghini - Reuters
  16. 16. Use of livestock refuge mounds in the case of floods Hayloft for forage storage Refuge mound during floods Refuge mound during floodsConstruction of refuge mound
  17. 17. Early Warning Early Action (EWEA)
  18. 18. What are Early Actions • “Early action are activities that can be implemented before the imminent impact of an anticipated hazard to lessen the extent of its impacts” – OCHA/FAO definition. • Early Actions are ‘triggered’ by a change in the risk level which is signaled through a specific early warning alert and early warning indicator thresholds. • Early Actions are those actions which FAO can implement in a defined timeframe preceding a specific disaster event (anticipatory window) within which it is possible to lessen the impact of the event on agriculture based livelihoods. • Actions include mitigation or preparedness activities. The distinction between mitigation and preparedness activities is not always clear cut as many activities can be considered to belong to two or more categories.
  19. 19. Hurricane Preparedness and Early Action examples Preparedness Early Action Communication and Planning Establish communication and outreach plans Provide alerts (via text) to fishers or farmers working in remote locations Community training on asset protection, including equipment and infrastructure (e.g. securing animal shelter roofs) Asset protection upon early warning emission Fisheries Pre-allocation and distribution of containers to keep fishing gear safe and solar-powered refrigerated storage facilities Storing fishing gear to safe havens upon early warning emission Designation of facilities for securing fishing equipment and gear Moving boats and fishing gear to safe havens Agriculture Preservation of seeds and seedlings Pre-harvesting of staple crops Food processing and preservation practices (prior hurricane season starts / upon early warning emission) Pre-position tools and clearing equipment Selection and agreement on storage facilities (in case of flooding these should be about 1.5 m of height) Transportation of equipment, irrigation equipment, mobile garden beds, vertical farming, etc., to safe havens or crop silos Triangular Bracing Mechanism for Bananas Forestry Routine tree-canopy management Prune tree-canopy and harvest fruits, such as coconuts and papaya upon early warning emission Livestock (poultry, sheep, goats, bees) Selection and agreement on livestock evacuation sites and safe areas Evacuate livestock to pre-identified sites Preposition feed, health treatments, milk stabilizers and diesel plants to ensure continuity of milking at dairy farms Distribution of material for continued milking after the hurricane Cash and Vouchers Develop capacity of staff to use cash and vouchers, assess and monitor market functioning, map and assess the capacity of potential service providers Cash transfers (via Social Protection systems) alongside a messaging system of ‘best- practices’ on how to protect livelihoods with a forthcoming cyclone early warning EW trigger
  20. 20. Early action in the face of hurricanes - Example • Information advisories on how to best protect assets, issued by Min. of Agriculture/NDMA (e.g. through SMS). • Cash transfers through social protection systems, issued upon early warning triggers, allow fishers to cover the cost of safeguarding their equipment inland before the hurricane hits. ©Guadalupe Island - Hurricane Maria 2017 (Picture: Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte)
  21. 21. Early action in the face of floods – Example (Somalia) • Early warnings in August/September indicated heavy rainfall for the Deyr season in October, driven by El Niño. • FAO Somalia acted early: reinforced banks and built barriers at over 90 critical flood points along the Shabelle and Juba rivers. • Remote sensing and post-flood assessments found that over 9,000 ha of farmland was saved • This corresponds to over USD 6.7 million in maize production, about 4 times the initial investment.
  22. 22. Hurricane season in the Caribbean – Early Action Timeline Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Climate Impact of Hurricane 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Indicators - Triggers Emergency Response Emergency Response Early Actions EMERGENCY ACTIONS (out of the Early Actions scope) Phase Two: Early Actions Phase One: Early Actions MONITORING R I S K L E V E L PRE-EMERGENCY Early Actions Long-range seasonal forecast (above average hurricane activity) + High Vulnerability Weekly & hourly Meteorological Service Updates (tracking hurricane path and intensity) Wet Season Hurricane Season
  23. 23. Needs Assessments: Post Disaster Impact and Needs Assessments Phase 0 Pre-crisis Recovery assessment • Livelihood recovery assessment Phase 1 72 hours Phase 2 2 weeks Baseline Initial assessment Multi-cluster: • MIRA / DANA Rapid assessment Multi-cluster: • MIRA II Agriculture sector: • Rapid food security and agricultural livelihoods assessment Phase 3 3 months In-depth assessment Multi-cluster: • PDNA / DaLA Agriculture sector: • Food Security and Agricultural livelihoods assessment • Specialized sub- sectoral assessments Phase 4 12 months What is the impact of the disaster on agricultural livelihoods and food security? Who and how many have been affected? Who has been most severely affected? What are the risks for the near future? What are the immediate and longer term needs of the people? Are there underlying causes contributing to this impact? What could be done to not just replace what has been damaged or lost, but build resilience? Post disaster impact and needs assessmentsDisaster What can be done now? • Gather baseline data • Organize trainings • Establish procedures and responsibilities • Identify key humanitarian indicators • Prepare with fact sheets and lessons learnt on the likely disaster What outputs? • Pre-crisis data compiled • Assessment preparedness plan
  24. 24. Needs assessments: Within an Agriculture and food security information system Disaster Trigger Pre crisis baseline data Post disaster impact and needs assessmentsEarly Warning Risk Monitoring AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY INFORMATION SYSTEM Initial assessments Rapid assessments In-depth assessments PDNA/DaLA Recovery assessments Livelihoods Demographics Socio-economics Agriculture Hazard risks Food security and nutrition Alerts EW assessments Agricultural production, market functionality, hazard risks (weather conditions, pests and diseases, etc.) => Release early warnings => Monitor risk reduction targets under Sendai framework and SDG indicators on D&L An AFSIS collects data, analyses it and communicates information for evidence-based programming
  25. 25. Needs Assessments: Building resilience? PDNA. Baseline Disaster impact Recovery needs Response options analysis Recovery framework • Informing resilience • Contribute to an information system: data from needs assessments feeds back into disaster risk profiles and helps reduce risks to future hazards. • Livelihoods approach - not only macro level damages & losses calculations. • BBB - Building Back Better to increase resilience. • Bridging information and action • Strategic planning of disaster response and recovery to reduce future risks for resilient and sustainable development. • Multi-sectors and multi-stakeholders process such as Recovery framework after PDNA.
  26. 26. Conclusions • For SIDS and Caribbean SIDS especially, shifting from emergency response to risk reduction response (including emergency preparedness, EWEA and needs assessment among others) is urgently needed. • Even if the Agriculture sector plays a minor role in the economy and GDP of some of the Caribbean SIDS, the roles of the agriculture, forestry, fishery and environment related sectors are underestimated for supporting lives, livelihoods and in pre and post disaster situations. • Risk and vulnerability assessment, Emergency preparedness, EWEA as well as resilience good practices must be boosted across the agriculture sectors. This also include the enforcement of existing national and international policies and frameworks (i.e. ADRM Plan, Sendai, SDGs, etc.). • Today there is a growing body of evidence on the role of green and blue and hybrid infrastructures or nature-based solution for risk reduction and climate change adaptation. • Standardized data collection and institutionalization of tools and methodologies for pre and post-disaster analysis and monitoring remains critical for building a resilient agriculture sector. • Overall the resilience of agriculture livelihoods is an essential ingredient for sustainable development and prosperity of present and future generation.
  27. 27. Thank you