by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- CANARI to empower small and micro MPA enterprises through EU-funded project PISCES
- Officials from CANARI met with local and regional marine conservation organisations and NGOs in Grenada on Friday, 4 May
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is a non-profit organisation with the mission of promoting equitable participation and effective collaboration in managing the natural resources critical to development.
CANARI has embarked on a mission to empower small and micro businesses that are in or around marine protected areas (MPA) throughout 10 Caribbean countries, through an EU-funded project is called PISCES – Powering Innovations in Civil Society and Enterprises for Sustainability in the Caribbean.
Officials from CANARI met with local and regional marine conservation organisations and NGOs in Grenada on Friday, 4 May 2018, to strengthen their capacity to train other small and micro business owners in their respective territories on how to expand their business model.
Akosua Edwards, Senior Technical Officer for the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute, said small and micro enterprises (SME) within the MPAs have not evolved to become sustainable. “This project goes up to 2020 and we are looking at between 10 and 15 small businesses throughout the Caribbean being positively affected. We have 10 countries involved in the project and we are focusing on women and youth, being as all-inclusive as possible so that each country should have at least one SME that they can mentor because we intend on taking that same hustling mentality and expand it into something sustainable.”
Orisha Joseph, Programme Manager for Sustainable Grenadines Inc (SusGren) believes this project will improve the business model of small and micro businesses in Grenada and the region to adopt more sustainable practices to improve their income. “Sometimes we have those very small businesses with great ideas and sometimes all they need is guidance. For example, we visited a seamoss farmer in Telescope and he came with that idea from Union Island. He was able to get training over the years and now he is growing seamoss on a large scale and is employing his family and has empowered other community residents to start farming as well.”
Rhikkie Alexander, representing Nature’s Love Consultancy, St Lucia said the workshop was quite informative and will assist in helping transform the operating structure of small businesses to expand. “Our job now is to make them understand that they must have in place the necessary structure-supporting mechanism such as proper business registration, a lease arrangement etc, as we seek to guide, support and nurture their businesses to help broaden their network.”
CANARI has also developed a Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Programme to improve livelihoods and resilience to climate change and related disasters by building the capacity of stakeholders, particularly those most vulnerable, to participate effectively in ecosystem management and develop appropriate responses to climate change.