Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Earth Today | Antigua & Barbuda get climate resilience boost

Published:Thursday | March 11, 2021 | 12:11 AM

As part of ongoing efforts to boost access to climate financing, the Department of Environment, Antigua and Barbuda and the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) recently launched a project with civil society as its focus.

The ‘Enhancing Caribbean civil society’s access and readiness for climate finance’ project officially got under way on February 25, with grant funding to the tune of US$1.29 million from the Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme of the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Ambassador for Climate Change and Director of Department of Environment Diann Black-Layne welcomed the support of the GCF.

“There is a need to step up climate action globally as we feel more effects from climate change. Civil society organisations (CSOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are a force of good for community building in Antigua and Barbuda, so the Department of Environment will continue to work with them on the national response to climate change,’ she said.

“There are also many community, NGO and CSO groups with infrastructure that will be affected by climate change ... and they will need support to climate-proof their infrastructure through accessing climate finance,” Black-Layne added.

She also thanked CANARI for their ongoing support in the implementation of the initiative to promote civil society leadership to build local resilience.

“Civil society initiatives are often small-scale and piecemeal, as they lack the necessary funding and technical assistance,” noted CANARI’s Senior Technical Officer and Project Manager Dr Ainka Granderson.

“However, CSOs are well positioned to lead bottom-up approaches to tackle the climate crisis in Antigua and Barbuda, and the wider region. Mobilising funds from GCF and other climate funds is key to better support civil society and channel resources to the most vulnerable communities and groups,” she added, while welcoming the partnership with the Department of Environment and civil society in Antigua and Barbuda to make the project a reality.

Climate resilience

The goal of the project is to build the capacity of CSOs, including national NGOs, community-based organisations and resource user groups, such as farmer and fisherfolk associations and co-operatives, to access and deliver climate finance and build climate resilience in the Caribbean.

It is to enhance CSOs’ knowledge, skills and organisational structures, and strengthen institutional mechanisms to enhance civil society voice and participation in climate change decision-making nationally and regionally.

The project is being implemented from February 2020 to August 2022 by national designated authorities to the GCF across Caribbean Community member states, with targeted activities in Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and Suriname. The Climate Change Division in the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change in Jamaica is the lead authority. CANARI is serving as the implementing entity for the project.