The CATS II Programme which operates in eight (8) out of 15 CARICOM member states namely Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Vincent & the Grenadines with Dominica, Grenada, and St Lucia being the three focal countries, embrace efforts to reduce vulnerabilities linked to climate changes and promote actions that increases resilience and adaptation. The Programme targets groups and organizations predominantly in marine managed areas communities. The major groups include fisher folk, farmer organizations as well as employees in the tourism sector and small and medium-sized businesses. The Programme has a regional focus and promotes strong collaboration amongst partners to improve adaptation of groups and communities to climate change. An integrated and gender-sensitive approach is embraced to tackle poverty, unsustainable practices which diminishes the ability of terrestrial and marine ecosystems to produce goods and services. Components of support of this technical corporation Programme are consulting, institutional, organizational and human resources development, procurement of equipment to a limited extent, as well as support for the organization of seminars and conferences and the establishment of dialogue platforms for the implementation of measures aimed at adaptation to climate change. CATS prided itself in applying systemic resources management in selected member states to increase climate resilience and as a tool for sustainable development. The Programme is implemented jointly between GIZ and the CARPHA, together with other national (focal) partner institutions in the countries.
The Programme will end in August 2021 after the completion of a berthing jetty construction project in Dominica and is succeeded by the Sustainable Marine Financing Programme.
Justification for the Jetty Development in Dominica
In recent years, extreme weather events have caused major disruptions to several coastal communities across Dominica. Notably, Tropical Storm Erika in 2015 and Hurricane Maria in September 2017 were the most economically disruptive causing widespread damage to road infrastructure and the impairment of terrestrial and marine ecosystems in numerous locations including the Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Reserve (SSMR) communities. The return period of such extreme events will likely decrease (i.e. become more frequent) in the future because of climate change. The effect on communities like Soufriere and Scotts Head will be acute given the topographical constraints, the interconnectedness of the terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and the dependence of local livelihoods on the intactness of these ecosystems.
The Government of Commonwealth of Dominica (GOCD), community-based organizations within Soufriere and Scotts Head as well as the local area management authority (LAMA), echoed the need for assistance in disaster vulnerability reduction under the CATS II Programme. To mitigate vulnerability within these communities, the construction of a climate-resilient berthing jetty was seen as the most economically viable option that can provide for quick unimpeded access and sea escape route in times of emergencies. The jetty infrastructure will reduce the emergency response time between Soufriere/Scotts Head communities and Roseau by nearly half. At the same time, the construction of such a facility within the marine managed area (MMA), is expected to create and expand new economic opportunities for LAMA and the local communities towards greater financial sustainability. The jetty will also complement the proposed Community Yacht Mooring Programme and the fisher folks and farmers alike, who depend on the trading of fish and foods to other communities across Dominica.
Without this critical infrastructure, LAMA and the communities will remain extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts with limited options to support the economic opportunities within the MMA. Therefore, the construction of the berthing jetty in Soufriere was regarded as important, if not the most urgent, short term priority under the CATS Programme to increase the community adaptation to climate change and to enhance LAMA’s finances.
The present jetty location is in Soufriere Bay, Dominica as depicted in the map below. The Soufriere- Scots Head Marine Reserve is one of the two marine protected areas established in Dominica nearly thirty years ago to conserve the marine space.