Funds will be provided through the Ministry of Agriculture to communities in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique to deal with the adverse effects of Climate Change and extreme weather conditions.
The financial assistance is being made possible through the Climate Change Adaptation Fund, which was launched recently at the Flamboyant Hotel in the south of the island.
The major provider of the fund is the Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (ICCAS), a project which is being implemented jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the German International Agency (GIZ) the local Ministry of Agriculture, and Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).
The fund will be directed to projects that engage in activities, which will help Grenada to adapt to Climate Change.
These activities should be in agriculture, fishing, tourism, health, water, education and awareness, marine and coastal, livelihoods and others.
Funds will be disbursed for projects up to US $50,0000 while some groups might be eligible to get start up funds of US $2,000 for their project preparation.
According to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Merina Jessamy said that out of a recognition that Climate change is real, the Ministry has put measures in place to ensure the successful operation of the climate change project.
Jessamy referred specifically to a National Climate Change Committee that will oversee the work.
“We are also in the process of effecting a National Change Project Steering Committee which will be made up of NGO’s, the Private Sector and Government Agencies to bring synergies in our responses to the effects of climate change,” she said.
Jessamy added that she expects to receive quality proposals from the groups that are seeking to benefit from the fund.
Resident Representative of the UNDP, Lara Blanco said the agency would like to use the project as a successful template of guidance for other similar adaptation initiatives across the region.
“I am optimistic that this fund will add to the capacity of the communities to absorb and even combat the social, economic and environmental shocks caused by the impacts of climate change,” she remarked.
Technical Advisor, Eva Wuttge lamented the fact that a number of Grenadians do not know what is meant by climate adaptation strategies and believe that government is not doing anything to protect the country against climate change.
Wuttge said there is a need to bridge the gap of a perceived need to do things and actually doing it, thus making climate change real for everyone.
“We need concrete adaptation activities on the ground for people to see touch and discuss”, she added.
She highlighted that climate change adaptation can be something as small as a rainwater tank in the back of a garden, a poultry farmer installing a ventilation system to reduce the risk of heat stress, honey production or a healthy mangrove forest or farmers using less pesticides due to different agricultural techniques.