Building capacity related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP MEAs 3)

Saint Lucia

Sea Moss Farm in Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is nestled in the Lesser Antillean arc between Martinique and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Forests and woodlands account for approximately 35 percent of its land area, and the country possesses a high degree of biodiversity relative to its size. This includes over 1 800 species of plants, 150 species of birds, at least 250 fish species and 50 species of coral.

About 17 percent of Saint Lucia’s land is agricultural, providing 20 percent of employment and accounting for about 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). In the past decade, extreme weather events such as droughts, hurricanes, and floods have significantly impacted the agricultural sector. Runoff of pesticides and fertilisers from farms threatens Saint Lucia’s terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems, including rivers and coral reefs.

ACP MEAs 3 actions

ACP MEAs 3 focuses on the following key areas across the island:

1. Agroforestry and sustainable forestry

  • Promote agroforestry on privately owned farms and in river-side communities;
  • Restore vegetation buffers on riverbanks to prevent soil erosion and improve the provision of ecosystems services;
  • Build the capacity of forestry officers to deliver gender-sensitive extension services;
  • Encourage the use of hardy native species and under-utilised indigenous species for agroforestry use.

2. Enhancement of the cocoa sector

  • Improve agronomic practices and facilitate the adoption of ecosystem-based approaches to cocoa cultivation and farm management;
  • Guide cocoa farmers and processors, especially women, to more sustainable and resilient production systems;
  • Generate information that will support the transition to more sustainable cocoa value chains.

3. Pesticide use and management

  • Improve pesticide imports controls; review and update the classification of pesticides in national legislation; institute mechanisms for continual review and update;
  • Raise awareness of the hazards of chemical pesticides;
  • Build the capacity of agricultural extension officers to delivery gender-sensitive extension services;
  • Provide hands-on training for farmers to promote responsible pesticides management and encourage alternatives to the use of hazardous pesticides.

4. Conservation of native agricultural genetic diversity

  • Develop a national strategy for the management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, with an emphasis on climate and disaster resilience;
  • Promote farmers’ participation in the conservation of local crop diversity.

Key partners