La résilience
Assistance to improve disaster risk management capacities in the agriculture sector in Dominica

Assistance to improve disaster risk management capacities in the agriculture sector in Dominica

26/02/2015

Dominica is the most mountainous and rugged of the Eastern Caribbean islands. Due to its geographical location within the Atlantic hurricane belt and its topography, Dominica is regularly affected by tropical storms, accompanied by heavy winds and rainfall and causing severe flash floods and landslides.

For instance, in 2007, Hurricane Dean not only caused extensive damage to housing and infrastructure, but also to crop production, livestock, fisheries and forestry. The Ministry of Agriculture reported widespread damage in all the productive areas throughout the country, with losses of over 70 per cent of agricultural production and over 3.000 affected farmers. Immediate suspension of banana exports resulted in the loss of foreign exchange estimated in excess of USD 13 million annually.

The FAO technical cooperation project Assistance to improve disaster risk management capacities in agricultural sectors was requested by the government of Dominica to enhance the resilience of Dominica’s agriculture sector (including fisheries and forestry) to natural disasters, thus contributing to the promotion of sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. The project was implemented from June 2010 to December 2014 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Physical Planning and Fisheries, with the technical assistance of FAO.

The project achieved the following outputs:

  • A cross-sectoral disaster risk management plan for the agriculture sectors, was developed through an interactive disaster risk management stakeholder process and endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF). The plan follows a proactive integrated approach to Disaster Risk Management, with a focus on risk prevention, mitigation, and preparedness.
  • Capacities of extension agents and farmers to promote best practices for DRM in the crops (soil and water management), fisheries, livestock and forestry sectors were enhanced. The trainings also included sessions on the mainstreaming of DRM in agriculture planning at all levels.
  • Field demonstrations of pre-selected Good Practices Options (GPOs) for DRM were delivered in the crop, livestock, fisheries, and forestry sectors in major districts all over the island. GPOs support sustainable livelihoods and contribute to build climate resilience.
  • An integrated Community-Based DRM (CBDRM) approach was established in two pilot villages: Dos d’Ane and Good Hope. The social mobilization process included needs-based identification of additional GPs led by local communities and capacity building for enhanced DRM coordination and planning at village level as basis for increased hazard resilience.

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