Enhanced Capacities for Disaster Risk Mitigation in Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry

Saint Lucia, is a small island developing state located in the tropical hurricane belt, south of Martinique and north of St. Vincent in the Caribbean Sea. The island's total land area is 616 square kilometers. Topography is highly divers with the highest peak Mt. Gimie reaching almost 1000m above sea level. Rain forest covers the interior. Lands suitable for agricultural are concentrated in the valleys and along the coast. With a total population of 174,000 the population density per sq km is 279. In 2002 about 21.7 % of the labour force was engaged in agriculture, forestry or fisheries as main source of income.
Due to its geographic location in the hurricane belt as well as in a tectonically-active area, St. Lucia is regularly exposed to natural hazards including tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, localized floods, drought spells, landslides and earthquakes, which regularly impact the agriculture sector. In the last 10 years five major hurricanes affected the country, including hurricanes Lilee (2002), Ivan (2004), Emily (2005), Dean (2007) and Tomas (2010). The estimated damages of the latter two were USD 40 million and USD 336.16 million respectively. Banana/plantain, root crops and livestock small scale farmers and fisherfolk were all severely affected. The damages and loss of household assets and primary sources of livelihoods have generated severe challenges for livelihood security.  

The FAO technical cooperation project for Enhanced Capacities for Disaster Risk Mitigation in Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry was requested by the government of St. Lucia to contribute to enhanced resilience of the agriculture sector against the impacts of natural hazards.

Specific project objectives

1. To improve the capacities of the staff of the departments of Forestry, Fisheries and Agriculture to systematically review/update and implement national risk mitigation policies in their respective sub-sectors and provide technical assistance to community level disaster risk management stakeholders within the agricultural sector;
2. To promote community based risk mitigation approaches and to identify measures and test demonstration activities involving farmers, fishers and other groups vulnerable to hydro-meteorological hazards;
3. To improve capacities for vulnerability mapping and damage assessment, and;
4. To develop a communication public awareness programme targeted to farmers and civil society.

Project period: September 2009 - December 2011

last updated:  Friday, February 24, 2012