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Assistance to Improve Local Agricultural Emergency Preparedness in Caribbean Countries Highly Prone to Hydro- meteorological Disasters - Jamaica

Project: Assistance to improve local agricultural emergency preparedness in Caribbean countries highly prone to hydro-meteorological hazards/disasters.








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    Project
    Good practice examples for disaster risk reduction in Cuban Agriculture
    Final project report - Assistance to Improve Local Agricultural Emergency Preparedness
    2009
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    The vulnerability of the Caribbean region to hydro- meteorological hazards such as hurricanes, floods, drought, high magnitude rainfall and related hazards such landslides is underscored. The recurrent impacts of these events have wreaked havoc on environment, economy and society throughout the region. Although the contribution of agriculture to Caribbean regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has steadily declined over the last two decades, this sector has remained a major employer of labour and as such a main player in the livelihood profile of the region. The extreme vulnerability of the agricultural sector to a variety of hazards/disaster has been a perpetual focus of hazard/disaster management and interventions in the Caribbean. Over the past decade, the FAO has regular responded to the relief/rehabilitation/reconstruction needs of the sector in the aftermath of hurricane-related disasters. While such response and rehabilitation interventions are important, the extent of devastation caused to the agricultural sector by the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons stresses the need to move from a reactive to a proactive mode in order to facilitate more long term and sustainable benefits form interventions. It is in recognition of the immense negative impact of the 2004 hurricane season on the agricultural landscape of the Caribbean region and in response to the urgent call for assistant from regional policy makers, that the FAO funded the regional project Assistance to improve local agricultural emergency preparedness in Caribbean countries highly prone to hydro-meteorological hazards/disasters.
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    Document
    Good Practices for Hazard Risk Management in Agriculture. Summary Report Jamaica 2008
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    The vulnerability of the Caribbean region to hydro- meteorological hazards such as hurricanes, floods, drought, high magnitude rainfall and related hazards such landslides is underscored. The recurrent impacts of these events have wreaked havoc on environment, economy and society throughout the region. Although the contribution of agriculture to Caribbean regional GDP has steadily declined over the last two decades, this sector has remained a major employer of labour and as such a main player in the livelihood profile of the region. The extreme vulnerability of the agricultural sector to a variety of hazards/disaster has been a perpetual focus of hazard/disaster management and interventions in the Caribbean. Over the past decade, the FAO has regular responded to the relief/rehabilitation/reconstruction needs of the sector in the aftermath of hurricane-related disasters. While such response and rehabilitation interventions are important, the extent of devastation caused to the agricultu ral sector by the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons stresses the need to move from a reactive to a proactive mode in order to facilitate more long term and sustainable benefits form interventions. It is in recognition of the immense negative impact of the 2004 hurricane season on the agricultural landscape of the Caribbean region and in response to the urgent call for assistant from regional policy makers, that the Food and Agricultural Organization funded the regional project Assistance to improve lo cal agricultural emergency preparedness in Caribbean countries highly prone to hydro-meteorological hazards/disasters. Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba and Grenada were among the worst affected countries by hurricane-related disasters during 2004-2005, hence the urgent need to emphasize preparedness as a mitigation strategy for the impacts of these events. While the aforementioned countries all have Disaster and Risk Management (DRM) frameworks that address preparedness and mitigation issues to different extent and involve a wide cross-section of stakeholders, there are weaknesses in linking long-term development planning within the agricultural sector with the realities and projections of recurrent natural hazards/disasters and improving preparedness and mitigation measures. Until relatively recently, DRM has followed the traditional path of emphasis at the national and regional levels with scant regard for community level needs. Over the last 5 years the Caribbean region has been experiencing a paradigm shift in this regard, with increased recognition of the importance and advantages of community-based disaster management planning. It is this approach to DRM, which was applied in the regional FAO project. The project was organized in two phases. The first evaluated the DRM framework as well as identified and documented good practices employed by Jamaican small farmers in mitigating the impacts of hydrometeorological hazards in three pilot sites as well as in the broader agro-ecolo gical environment. The second phase involved the implementation of good practices – in case of Jamaica the Hedgerow/alley cropping technique in a selected community. The implementation process was undertaken in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority and involved the provision of technical training as well as material inputs to participating farmers while at the same time ensuring that the project outputs are sustainable. Over 90 farmers, school children and agricultural extension officers were trained in the implementation of the technique while over 60 farmers benefited form the provision of inputs. Sustainability of project outputs was integral to the implementation process and in that regard various measures were implemented to ensure expansion of the technique beyond the pilot site as well as ensure sustainability. A number of important lessons were learned from the good practice implementation process, the most significant of which related to the role of N GO’s in the implementation of community level projects. Lessons learned and recommendations arising from the project are discussed later in this report
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    Project
    Good practices at community level to mitigate natural hazard impacts on agriculture
    Interim findings from a pilot project in Haiti
    2007
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    FAO funded the regional TCP “Assistance to improve Local Agricultural Emergency Preparedness in Caribbean countries highly prone to hurricane related disasters” in Cuba, Grenada, Haiti and Jamaica to “assist governments of participating countries to support the food security of small farmers operating in the most hazard prone areas by improving institutional frameworks and technical options for hurricane-related disaster preparedness, emergency response and post-emergency agricultural assistan ce”. The proposed approach was to use a Participatory Rural Appraisal - PRA/based qualitative research paradigm. The current section summarizes the project implementation outcome in Haiti during Phase I, June 2006 - January 2007.

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