To develop and foster the implementation of targeted innovative, climate-change resilient approaches to Sustainable Land Management (SLM), Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) (including Water Use Efficiency (WUE)), Integrated Coastal Zone management (ICZM) and enhanced management and maintenance of ecosystem services, through the execution of eight national sub-projects.
Under this component, eight of the participating countries are implementing national sub-projects which apply the project approach to management of water, land and ecosystem management at specific sites. They include small-scale investments supported by the GEF-Small Grants Programme in order to enhance livelihood opportunities and socio-economic co-benefits for targeted communities from improved ecosystem services functioning.
One of the aims of the GEF IWEco Project is to assist in the development and strengthening of nature-based enterprises in and around national sub-project sites. The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) in March 2021 began a two-year regional initiative under IWEco to strengthen and support stewardship and sustainable and climate-resilient livelihoods in IWEco countries to in turn facilitate healthy and resilient ecosystems. This is being achieved through the implementation of four inter-linked intervention areas:
1. Enhancing ecosystem stewardship to support sustainable livelihoods of surrounding communities: Activities to build the capacity of community nature-based entrepreneurs and resource users in the surrounding communities to take stewardship actions to protect ecosystems upon which their livelihoods and well-being depend.
2. Strengthening community enterprises to ensure sustainable use and enhance socio-economic benefits to surrounding communities: Nature-based community enterprises/SMEs which are dependent on local natural resources (goods or services) for their operations and processes will be targeted to establish and/or strengthen their capacity to deliver triple bottom line (environmental, social and economic) co-benefits.
3. Building resilience of livelihoods to climate change: Activities to ‘climate proof’ community nature-based enterprises in the target GEF-IWEco countries.
4. Knowledge sharing for sustainable nature-based livelihoods: Activities to scale out approaches such as ecosystem stewardship, business strengthening and climate proofing beyond the target SMEs and project life cycle.
Component 2 (focusses on Research & Monitoring): contributes to the strengthening of the integrated water resources management (including water use efficiency), sustainable land management (and ICZM) and ecosystems monitoring, and indicators framework that already exist at the national and regional levels and enhance mainstreaming for evidence-based decision making.
The Laboratory Assessment for Caribbean Countries Participating in the GEF IWEco Project conducted for UNEP GEF IWEco in 2020 aimed to strengthen national and regional capacity to perform environmental quality monitoring. It assessed environmental quality monitoring needs, including the capacity in the national and regional laboratories and Regional Activity Centres to respond to demands for environmental quality monitoring in participating SIDS. The assessment made recommendations for suitable laboratories in which to conduct capacity building activities.
IWEco committed to capacity building in selected laboratories through the provision of equipment to support environmental quality monitoring and, through training, to support the provision of consistent results fit for the intended purpose.
From March – June 2022, GEF UNEP IWEco delivered a webinar training series aimed at building capacity amongst participating countries in environmental quality monitoring, as follows:
Participants included staff and on-site managers of government and non-government water quality testing laboratories within the ten (10) participating countries of the UNEP GEF IWEco Project. The training was prepared and conducted by the UNC Water Institute and UNITAR and was very well attended and received.
The training materials from all five modules are available at: UNITAR | Environmental Monitoring Platform (chemicalsandwaste.wixsite.com)
An important support mechanism under IWEco’s Component 2 is a Research Partnership composed of lead project partners whose primary mandate is scientific investigation.
The partnership is coordinated by CARPHA and includes academic institutions and research organizations within the Caribbean and from outside the region.
Through the Research Partnership researchers (graduate, post-graduate and other) submitted proposals in response to a call for proposals in areas which were prioritized by the Partnership.
This IWEco-supported research has resulted in significant collaboration and the following reports (click to download them):
In June 2020, the IWEco Project commissioned a feasibility Study for the Establishment of a Regional Environmental Monitoring Data Portal (REMDAP). The report examined the varied MEA reporting requirements of IWEco project countries, associated data needs and data flows, and presented some scenarios for the establishment of this mechanism, along with the required resources.
Following this assessment, regional partners, at recommended the use of the final report as a guide or baseline for other projects and agencies when developing a new regional platform. Subsequently, the OECS undertook coordination of this activity under the IWEco Project and in early-2022 prepared the Terms of Reference for a consultancy to develop and implement the REMDAP which will serve as a clearinghouse mechanism to strengthen the process of regional environmental monitoring and assessment in the Caribbean. This is expected to be implemented in the period August 2022 – July 2023.
The intention is for the REMDAP to include tools and indicators for multi-scale applications, support improved methods for multi-scale assessment and monitoring of land degradation trends, and contribute to regional monitoring of impacts of investments in water, land and ecosystem services maintenance. Successful development of the REMDAP could significantly transform the region’s approach to reporting on sustainable development initiatives and, ultimately, decision-making.
This component addresses the policy, legislation, institutions and capacity needs to enable Caribbean SIDS to develop and implement integrated natural resources management by contributing to strengthening of policy, legislative and institutional reforms and capacity building for integrated water resources management (including water use efficiency), sustainable land management (and ICZM) and ecosystem services management taking into consideration climate change resilience building.
A Governance Partnership group that comprises key regional and international governmental and non-governmental agencies provides technical back-stopping to assist countries strengthen and mainstream policies and strategies drawing on the knowledge-base of these agencies through collective experience in work in the region.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), a co-executing partner of the GEF-IWEco project is responsible, in collaboration with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), for executing Component 3.
Action Framework for IWRM Framework for the CARICOM Region
The Action Framework for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) for the CARICOM Region builds on multiple efforts towards a coordinated approach to IWRM in the region, including a CARICOM resolution in 2008 to initiate the Consortium of CARICOM Institutions on Water to develop a Common Water Framework for the Community, and the Global Environment Facility's (GEF) Caribbean-wide Integrating Watershed and Coastal Area Management (IWCAM) project, (2006 to 2011), which supported the development of national IWRM plans and reviewed the policy, legislation, and institutional structures in IWEco participating states.
The Framework was developed through consultation with stakeholders in IWEco participating states, and given that it is intended to support the CARICOM region, this document serves as a first draft. The next step includes the revision of the Framework to ensure the needs and priorities of all countries within the CARICOM Region are incorporated. The revised Framework is then expected to be presented to the Council for Trade and Economic Development- Environment (COTED-Environment) for formal endorsement.
Integrated Management System Assessment Model
The Integrated Management System Assessment Model was developed to guide the literature review and primary data collection in the review of legislative and institutional capacity to support Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and water resources and ecosystems management in participating states. The Model was used to determine gaps which would inform priority interventions within the IWEco participating states. It is a useful tool to assess natural resource management systems and can be used outside of the scope of the IWEco Project for the analysis of other countries in a similar context and can be further expanded and refined as part of future projects.
Enhancing knowledge exchange, best-practices, replication and stakeholder involvement.