The land based component of the Caribbean Aqua-Terrestrial Solutions (CATS) Programme focuses on the Soufriere Watershed in Saint Lucia. This area is of volcanic origin with high mountains, steep slopes, thick rainforest, and typically high precipitation rates in the inland. With the presence of physical features resulting from its volcanic origin and the beaches, Soufriere has become a tourism hot spot in Saint Lucia.
Activities in this watershed impact the Soufriere Marine Management Area (SMMA). Heavy rains results in runoff carrying eroded soil, remains of fertilizers and pesticides, and other chemicals used in the hinterland into this unique marine ecosystem.
Therefore, the CATS-Programme cooperated with the Belle Vue Farmers' Cooperative, to train farmers on improved agricultural practices and to help implement these in the field. The focus is on utilization of adaptation mechanisms in agriculture and forestry to combat climate change; farmers have already realized changing patterns which can be attributed to climate change.
To sensitize farmers and to share information on best practices, a training session was organized and conducted by the Belle Vue Farmers' Cooperative in November 2014. Currently, several alternative practices are being tested on demonstration plots in the area, namely the use of eco-friendly drip-irrigation, resistant varieties, composting, and mulching.
National Liaison Officer for CATS: Mr Dominique Prospere