If our society doesn’t adapt to current climate challenges, life as we know it will cease to exist. This was the basis of the recently launched EbA project in Gouyave, St John by the Grenada Community Development Agency (GRENCODA).
The much-needed project combines proactive and rehabilitative approaches through ecosystems-based adaption measures (EbA). The project expands the Gouyave Marine Protected Area (GoMPA) as well as rehabilitates and restores riparian zones in the area. Most crucially, the project will undertake a massive training and certification programme, which includes PADI diving certification for volunteers and training in lionfish management and handling. To assert a physical presence, headquarters for the Marine Protected Area will be constructed on Upper Depradine Street in Gouyave.
EbAs use local and external knowledge about ecosystems to develop appropriate adaptation projects to mitigate climate issues. In this case, GRENCODA worked alongside the Gouyave Fishermen Cooperative Society Ltd to identify the parameters and to establish the project.
The expansion of the MPA paired with eco-rehabilitation and personnel training will together increase protection for marine and terrestrial species. The project was developed by the agency after noting the depleting resources along the coast.
“The race is not for the swift, but instead, for those who adapt,” explained Ian Roberts, Project Manager at GRENCODA. Roberts said as a fishing community, Gouyave provided the ideal location for the project. Roberts hopes that other Caribbean countries will follow and be proactive in protecting their coastal communities. “I believe this project will create a new benchmark not just in Grenada; instead, I can see this EbA being a model for the Caribbean.”
The EbA project is a trailblazer in environmental sustainability on the island, as Grenada’s coastal resources are under significant threat from pollution, nutrient runoff, coastal development, over-harvesting and climate change. Many communities such as those in St John, are highly dependent on dwindling marine and terrestrial resources. The issue is further exasperated by the necessity of many of these communities to continue fishing and hunting for their livelihood. The success of this project means social, economic and cultural enrichment for the coastal communities in St John and St Mark that depend heavily on these ecosystems for an income.
This project is just one of many earmarked by the Grenada Community Develop Agency for the next 12 months. The agency will be engaging in an awareness campaign to educate the public on Grenada’s fragile ecosystems.
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