Oficina Regional de la FAO para América Latina y el Caribe

Regional Training Workshop for Integrating Gender Equality in Disaster Risk Management Programming in the Caribbean

Georgetown, Guyana.
17-05-17 - 19-05-17

Taller regional  de capacitación en Guyana

I. Background information

a) Agriculture and Disaster Risk Management in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is one of the most vulnerable regions at risk of hazards, which include both natural and
man-made disasters, such as floods, drought, hurricanes and other tropical weather systems, landslides,
earthquakes and fires. This is further compounded by trans-boundary threats. The latter, inclusive of
climate change and its potential implications, have required a review of the existing approach to
Disaster Risk Management (DRM) including at sectoral level including agriculture.

The Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) established a multi-country
institutional arrangement for addressing disaster management in 1991 – the Caribbean Disaster
Emergency Response Agency (CDERA). In 2009, this entity was renamed the Caribbean Disaster
Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) which reflected a broadened mandate of Comprehensive
Disaster Management (CDM). CDM is defined as “the management of all hazards through all phases of
the disaster management cycle by all peoples - public and private sectors, all segments of civil society
and the general population.i” CDM involves risk reduction & management and integration of
vulnerability assessment into the development planning process.

CDEMA has since 2001 operated under the Regional Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy and
Results Framework. The third iteration of this Strategy and Results framework spans the period 2014-
2024 and has the goal of Safer, more resilient and sustainable CDEMA Participating States through
Comprehensive Disaster Management. This is achieved by fulfilling four outcome level results:
Strengthened institutional arrangements for Comprehensive Disaster Management; Increased and
sustained knowledge management and learning for Comprehensive Disaster Management; Improved
integration of CDM at sectoral levels and Strengthened and sustained community resilience.

Globally, it is widely accepted that, out of all natural hazards, floods, droughts and tropical storms affect
the agricultural sector mostii. Between 1970 and 2014, 445 disasters affected the Caribbean, out of
which 85% have been either storms or floodsiii, with significant implications for the productive and social

In this region, in addition to hydro-meteorological hazards, the sector has also been severely affected by
outbreaks of transboundary pests and diseases and invasive species such as Black Sigatoka, the Pink
Mealy Bug and Giant African Snail.

These disasters have resulted in loss of crops and livestock, reduced agricultural productivity,
malnutrition, forest fires, destruction of housing for livestock, increased migration of fish from the
region, high food prices and loss of livelihoods of affected farmers and fisherfolk, with impacts on the
region’s food and nutrition security. iv For example, the hurricane Ivan that hit Grenada in 2004 resulted
in USD 889 million in damages and losses to the economy (200% of GDP). The losses of the agriculture
sector were estimated at USD 37 million, including 100% of banana industry and 40% of mature cocoa
trees destroyed, and 90% of nutmeg trees toppled. In addition, the total average annual revenue
available to farmers decreased by 90%. In its 2015 Economic Review, the CDB noted that drought caused
a decline in agricultural production in Haiti; in Suriname, the Moko disease affected nearly 2000
hectares of commercial banana plantations and resulted in weak agricultural production, while the
Tropical Storm Erika adversely affected the agricultural sector in Dominicav.

b) Agenda for Disaster Risk Managementand Climate Change Adaptation in the Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

The nine major binding constraints to agriculture development in the Caribbean region have been
identified at the level of the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), initially
through the JAGDEO Initiative (JI). These are: limited financing and inadequate investment; deficient
and uncoordinated risk management measures including praedial larceny; inefficient land, water
distribution and management systems; inadequate research and development; outdated and efficient
agricultural health and food safety systems; poor transportation system particularly for agricultural
products; fragmented and unorganized private sector; lack of skills and quality human resources in
agriculture; and market infrastructure including market information and market linkages.

Within CARICOM, a Thematic Working Group on Climate Change, Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and
Natural Resources Management has been established to address the binding constraints related to
deficient and uncoordinated risk management measures, climate change; inefficient land, water
distribution and management systems. This Group has aligned its work with the CDEMA Comprehensive
Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy: Priority Outcome 3, which identifies as a key result
mainstreaming DRM within main economic sectors. This provides the vehicle the sectoral level
implementation of the Sendai Framework 2015-2030 in LAC.

Led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, its
members include: the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
(CCCCC); Caribbean Research and Development Institute (CARDI), Caribbean Farmers’ Network (CaFaN),
Caribbean Agri-business Association (CABA), Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
(CDEMA); Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), the CARICOM Secretariat,
Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on
Agriculture (IICA) and Caribbean Fisheries Mechanism (CFRM).

c) Urgent need to address gender issues in disaster risk management

Past experience has shown the relevance of taking into account the differences between women and
men, girls and boys in the design of policies, strategies and programmes aimed at protecting the
population in the face of the negative effects of disasters and in the recovery and reconstruction
thereafter. There is also a need to analyze the gender roles and relationships, considering the
productive, reproductive and community roles of men and women, their different access to and control
over productive resources and services, as well as their practical and strategic needs.

The agricultural sector in the Caribbean is male dominated and labour force statistics point to the
unequal participation of men and womenvii. In Belize, 2005 figures place males at 94% and females at 6%
of those employed in the agricultural sector and in Dominica males comprise 85% of those employed in
the sector compared to 15% of females. viiiData show that traditionally both sexes play important roles
in planting and producing crops and in rearing livestock. However, men dominate in livestock rearing,
while women mainly grow vegetable crops and raise chickensix. For example, in Grenada, the gendered
segmentation of the labour market within the agricultural sector was revealed in the aftermath of
Hurricane Ivan. The 100% damage to nutmeg destroyed the industry, which was the main source of
livelihood for many women, involved in sorting, processing and collecting this commodity. The post
impact analysis showed that women’s low economic mobility was linked to their lack of skills and poor
education levels.x

The Sendai Framework 2015-2025 explicitly identifies the need to mainstream gender in all disaster risk
reduction plans, policies and decision making processes, which is reflected in the regional strategy
proposal for integral disaster risk management (DRM) in agriculture sectors in LAC.xi The CDM strategy
also identifies gender as a cross cutting theme.

Many countries and strategic partners have recognized the urgent need for strengthening the local,
national and regional capacities to design and implement gender-responsive agricultural disaster risk
management policies and projects.

To respond to these needs, in 2016 FAO has published the training guide Gender-responsive disaster
risk reduction (DRR) in the agricultural sector – Guidance for policy-makers and practitioners that
provides practical approaches and tools to address gender issues in plans, strategies or policies on DRR
in the agricultural sector. The guidelines are designed to better understand the gender dimensions of
DRR and provide techniques for supporting the formulation of gender-responsive DRR plans or policies
for the agricultural sector.

In December 2016, FAO has signed an agreement with CDEMA to jointly strengthen the national capacities of Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to plan gender-responsive DRR interventions and action plans in the agriculture sector, through the delivery of a regional workshop and technical backstopping to selected countries in the Caribbean.

The Regional Training Workshop for Integrating Gender Equality in Disaster Risk Management
Programming in the Caribbean, is planned by FAO and CDEMA in May 17-19, 2017, in Georgetown,

II. Objectives and approach of the Regional Workshop

The overall objective of the regional workshop is to strengthen the capacity of national practitioners in
gender responsive disaster risk reduction in the agricultural sector. By the end of the training:

  • Participants (Disaster Risk Management, Agricultural Sector and Gender Bureau stakeholders from selected CARICOM States) will have discussed and applied gender concepts to DRR in the Agricultural sector.
  • Participants will have shared good practices and success stories of gender-responsive DRR and resilience building in the agriculture sector;
  • Participants will have formulated specific actions/recommendations to integrate gender within available country resilience programmes developed…
  • Participants will have discussed the Regional strategy for integral disaster risk management (DRM) in agriculture sectors as an important sectoral contribution to the implementation of the Sendai Framework 2015-2030 in

To better target the training programme and materials to the target audience, a training needs
assessment will be circulated among all participants prior to the workshop to analyze their level of
understanding in disaster management, gender mainstreaming and gender-responsive disaster risk

The workshop builds upon the Country Resilience Programmes developed in March 2016 by countries with the assistance of FAO. For those countries that, so far, have not developed their resilience programmes, they will have the opportunity to examine opportunities for integrating gender-responsiveness, by analyzing the priorities identified during the recent Agricultural Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation

The training approach was designed on the principles of the adult learning theory, based on
participatory learning, with no lengthy presentations, giving opportunities to participants for individual
and group work to share expertise and experiences. The workshop agenda accompanies this technical

III. Expected participants

Taking into account the multi-sectoral nature of integrating gender-responsive DRM within the
agricultural sector, the following national and international experts will be invited to attend the

  • National experts from the Ministries of Agriculture (specifically the Agricultural Disaster Risk Management Focal Points), National Disaster Offices and Gender Bureaus.
  • Representatives from key civil society organizations, including the International Federation of the Red Cross and Conservation International.
  • Representatives from the Institute for Gender and Disaster Management and the University of Guyana to gain a regional perspective on gender responsive agricultural disaster risk management.
  • FAO Gender and resilience building experts working in Rome, Chile and the Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean.

IV. Post-Workshop Technical Support

Upon country request, it is foreseen to provide remotely some follow-up backstopping to three SIDS
countries to support the implementation of their gender-responsive DRR country work plans. This
support will be provided by CDEMA together with FAO Regional Office for Latin America and FAO Social
Policies and Rural Institutions Division at headquarters, in close coordination with FAO focal points for
Strategic Objective 5 (SE5) in both the sub-regional and regional offices. The assistance will be given
bilaterally with the three selected countries, using Skype and other available means, reviewing the
country work plans and providing technical guidance for implementation of gender-responsive DRR