Thursday 2 July, 2020

Fisheries sector gets multi-million dollar grant from World Bank

Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke (left) and World Bank Country Manager Galina Sotirova.

Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke (left) and World Bank Country Manager Galina Sotirova.

Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke and World Bank Country Manager Galina Sotirova has signed a $608 million (US$4.875 million) grant to help highly vulnerable fishing and fish farming communities in Jamaica to adopt climate-resilient practices.

About 90 percent of the island’s GDP is generated in coastal areas. Both Fisheries and tourism are a major source of the country’s revenue and are largely affected by environmental pollution, overfishing, as well as the impacts of climate change and warming of the ocean.

An estimated 50,000 people are engaged in fishing activities and aquaculture directly employs between 800 and 1,000 Jamaicans.

“The project is aligned with the Government of Jamaica’s 2030 development goals and the 2015 National Fisheries and Agriculture Policy and the government is committed to ending poverty in Jamaica and providing prosperity for all by supporting communities most vulnerable to climate change,” said Clarke.

He added: said, “this is a government which believes in partnership and we thank the World Bank for its partnership over the past 55 years.”

Noting that the fishing industry plays a critical role in the Jamaican economy, Minister Clarke said it was particularly susceptible to the vagaries of climate change and the project was specifically designed to support fisherfolk and fishing communities with little or no engagement in other economic activity.

“This project will be key to putting in place effective measures to protect the marine and coastal resources, build resilience to climate change and promote livelihoods in the most vulnerable fishing communities of the country,” said Galina Sotirova, World Bank Country Manager Jamaica. “The Caribbean Sea's ecosystems and natural resources represent a unique asset for Jamaica. By helping the fishing communities protect and better manage this 'natural capital' asset, we hope to promote the blue economy and foster sustainable growth in the country."

Specifically, the Promoting Community-based Climate Resilience in the Fisheries Sector  project will: strengthen the fisheries policy and regulatory framework for climate resilient fisheries and aquaculture management and build capacity to promote sustainable fisheries management; support fishing and fish farming communities adopt climate-resilient aquaculture, coastal mari-culture/poly-culture and diversify their livelihoods and raise awareness on climate change impacts on the fisheries sector.

The project is financed by a grant from the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) of the Strategic Climate Fund. It is implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries (MICAF).



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