Volume 72

Strengthening Fisher Resilience to the Impacts of Climate Change through the use of Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment Tools in 3 Communities in Saint Lucia

Felix, M-L.
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 307-316

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Fishing communities in the Eastern Caribbean are prone to the influences of climate. In Saint Lucia, under the CC4FISH (Building Resilience in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector) Project, efforts are in place to aid fisherfolk adapt and better cope with climate hazards. In so doing, there is a need to prioritize interventions to take into consideration client needs and resource constraints. A Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment mechanism to quantitatively assess climate change vulnerabilities of fishing communities has thus been developed. This mechanism enables communities most in need of assistance to be identified through the calculation of vulnerability indices (VI). The mechanism was field tested in July 2019 in 3 communities in Saint Lucia. CC vulnerability indicators were selected as a function of the IPCC (2007, 2014) recommendations of Exposure (E), Sensitivity (S) and Adaptive Capacity (AC). Climatic hazards assessed included extreme drought, rainfall variability, tropical waves and hurricanes, and invasive species. A minimum of 100 fisherfolk and residents were interviewed in each community. Responses were linked to indicators with assigned scores from 1 to 3. Vulnerability indices (VI) were calculated based on the overall score received per community. Selection and prioritization of CC interventions was also achieved using a series of open ended questions and scoring guidelines. Validation of results occurred through community meetings. Vulnerability indices results ranged from 148 to 152 out of a possible range of 71 to 213. The higher the VI the more vulnerable the community. Notably, recommended key interventions were similar but not identical per community. The VCA outcomes will be used to provide needs-based interventions to fishing communi-ties.

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