December 12, 2014
Launch of CATS climate Programme

Fri, Dec 12, 2014

A new initiative by the Caribbean Aqua-Terrestrial Solutions (CATS) – operated by the German Development Cooperation, GIZ through the Environmental Health and Sustainable Development Unit of CARPHA on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and CARICOM project was officially launched here on Tuesday, December 9.{{more}}

The project, which was launched at the Evesham Learning Resource Centre, is a regional programme operating in eight Caribbean countries.

The terrestrial component is focusing on adaptation measures to climate change in agriculture and forestry and a “ridge to reef”-approach is targeted – with activities concentrated in the Mesopotamia-Marriaqua Valley – the larger hinterland of the South Coast Marine Conservation Area in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – supported through WINFA on the ground.

Eva Naher, Principal Adviser for CATS 1 while addressing the launch said the topic of enhancing the image of agriculture and raising awareness is of critical importance to this project.

“If you have important information, you have to get the information out to the farmer, because if you do training with a group of farmers there might be others who are interesting as well in applying or using this information,” Naher said.

“So, we want to share these practices, share the information, and make it available and that’s where we are mainly focusing on collaboration with the Communication Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, so that there are tools to inform everyone about what is going on and how can the individual farmer improve his or her situation…

“So, for all these activities we have a plan on what we want to do and some of them are already on the path and we will be back soon to follow up the activities and we are really looking forward to those activities because they are very important to us and wherever we can help and support you the different entities involved, we are very happy to do that. And I think it’s a very good way forward to improve the situation of sustainable agriculture in St Vincent and the Grenadines and the situation of future generation. So in whatever little contribution we can make, we are happy to do that,” Naher added.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar said there needs to be a renewed interest within the Ministry of Agriculture to study and not only to study but to transfer the knowledge to farmers as to what are the areas that climate change is going to have on the sector and how farmers are expected to adapt to the vagaries of climate change.

“I am certain that with the hard work through this project, we are going to take the sector forward…

“Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fairtrade, WINFA and all stakeholders, we have to take another look at the sector and decide as a matter of critical importance for food security, for food safety and also for the sustainability of the sector, what portions of our land space we are going to dedicate to crops, which are climate change resilient,” the Minister stated.

The GIZ broad-based expertise for sustainable development supports people and societies in developing, transition and industrialised countries in shaping their own futures and improving living conditions.

As a federally owned enterprise, established on January 1, 2011, GIZ supports the German Government in achieving sustainable development. This is done through a holistic and value based approach to ensure the participation of all stakeholders.