EnGenDer project to benefit tri-tri fishers island-wide
Part of the gathering at the launch (photo by Robertson S Henry)
April 18, 2023

EnGenDer project to benefit tri-tri fishers island-wide

Tri-Tri fishers in the North Leeward area have received thousands of dollars worth of equipment through the Enabling Gender Responsive Disaster Recovery Climate and Environmental Resilience (EnGenDer) project in the Caribbean. The project launch took place at the Chateaubelair Learning Resource Centre, on March 28, and is expected to benefit tri-tri fishers in St. Vincent.

EnGenDer Climate Smart Fisheries Project Manager Dr. Miriam Alleyne while addressing the project launch said “Climate change is no longer a distant problem for us to worry about in the future. It is a reality that is affecting us now, and its effects are visible all around us. The recent climate disasters we have experienced have brought to light the need for urgent action to address climate change, and as we grapple with these issues, we must not forget the impact that climate change is having on fishers in the Caribbean, specifically tri-tri fishers.”

EnGenDer Climate Smart Fisheries Project Manager Dr. Miriam Alleyne (photo by Robertson S Henry)

She noted that fishers in the Caribbean are among the most vulnerable groups to climate change. Rising sea levels, ocean acidification, volcanic ash, and unpredictable weather patterns are having an impact on this livelihood, and in St. Vincent and the Grenadines the fisheries sector plays a crucial role in the economy, contributing significantly to employment and to food security.

“However, this sector is facing challenges due to the impact of climate change and natural hazards. Tri-tri fishers experienced this first hand during 2021 when La Soufriere Volcano erupted which led to losses in catch and a decrease in income and food security. Therefore, it is crucial to elevate the fishery sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and to ensure that it is resilient to the impacts of climate change.”

The Fisheries Division in the Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour, is part of the EnGenDer project in the Caribbean.
Chief Fisheries Officer Jennifer Cruickshank-Howard said “In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the EnGenDer climate smart fishery initiative is focused on the development of the tri-tri fishery, and in particular, the women and youths who are involved. The tri-tri fishery is one of the most underdeveloped fishery in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the North Leeward area is known as having several tri-tri fishing communities.”

There are approximately 350 registered tri-tri fishers in the North Leeward area, and in other communities such as Colonarie and Buccament, with 62-percent of tri-tri fishers island wide being women.

Nyasha Hamilton resource analyst in the Ministry of Economic Planning Division (photo by Robertson S Henry)

The Chief Fisheries Officer further stated that “The eruptions of La Soufriere Volcano in 2021 affected the livelihood of this group of fishers and their families tremendously, especially the females and the youth. The rivers where most of them fish were dried up and I guess some still are, which threatens food security, their livelihoods, economic development and other environmental issues. The timely intervention of this project is seen as an intervention to increase the resilience of the tri-tri fishers to ensure the continued sustainability of livelihoods, poverty reduction and also reducing the gender gaps by main streaming gender equality.”

Cruickshank-Howard added that “The tri-tri fishery is also highly vulnerable to climate change as the coastal communities are increasingly at risk from coastal hazards, such as erosion and the harvesting of this delicacy to our Vincentian population…depends on the health of the rivers to do so.”

Nyasha Hamilton a resource analyst in the Ministry of Economic Planning Division, speaking on behalf of the Director of Economic Planning told the audience that the project is jointly funded by the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom, and it’s being implemented by the UNDP office in Barbados in collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

The project is being jointly implemented in St. Vincent and Grenadines by the Economic Planning Division and the Gender Affairs Division in the Ministry of National Mobilization, and the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO).

The EnGenDer project commenced in March 2019 with nine beneficiary countries- Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

These nine Caribbean countries are at different stages of removing barriers to gender equality, and integrating gender based analysis into development planning, as well as recovery from natural disasters. This project has attempted to ensure that climate change and Disaster Risk Reduction actions are better informed by an analysis of gender inequalities and that the decisions that are taken by governments reduce inequalities.

Some of these underlying gender inequalities are made worse by increasingly intense and frequently experienced climate change and disaster risks within Caribbean societies.

“…so far, the project has attempted to empower governments to take ownership of their disaster risks, and one of the most prominent ones we’ve had in the last couple of years in St. Vincent and Grenadines is the eruption of La Soufriere,” Hamilton outlined.

“…as such, the project’s ultimate outcome is improved climate and disaster resilience for key vulnerable populations, particularly women and girls, and for future generations in the Caribbean. The objectives of the project are advanced gender responsive implementation of national adaptation plans, of which St. Vincent approved the national adaptation plan in October of 2019.”

Minister of National Mobilisation and Social Development, Orande Brewster told the gathering that “The EnGenDer project has a general gender empowerment aspect to it, as it helps to improve the lives of women throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and we all know tri-tri is something that is known to us locally here.

“Tri-tri farming has played a significant role in Vincentian culture for many, many years, and for most part, women have led this kind of enterprise, and we would not have given much thought to this type of farming,” he pointed out.

“…but I’m happy today that EnGenDer and all of the collaborative agencies saw it fit to help the tri-tri folks, not only in North Leeward, not only in North Windward, but throughout Vincent and Grenadines.”

Political and Projects Officer in the British High Commission in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Seon Samuel said that “The UK has provided support to this area through our partnerships, and a variety of implementing partners.”

He pointed out that the EnGender project “will assist the government and communities in responding to issues regarding the lack of skills and high unemployment particularly among the disadvantaged…to build relevant skills for Vincentians including access and opportunities for disadvantaged young people with disabilities.”