IICA is receiving a USD1.65 million grant and contributing USD320,000 of co-finance to implement this multi-country project in ten sites across four island states with the following partners: Antigua & Barbuda: Gilbert Agriculture and Rural Development Center (GARD); Dominica: Petite Soufriere San Sauveur Village Council (PSSSVC); Saint Lucia: Canaries Community Improvement Foundation (CCIF), and Trinidad & Tobago: Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC). Intervention sites have been selected: Cook’s Landfill, Antigua; Carrington, Barbuda; Morne Prosper and Petit Soufrière, Dominica; Anse La Raye and Choc Bay, Saint Lucia; Quinam and Carli Bay, Trinidad; as well as Castara and Roxborough Bay, Tobago.
The project employs a ridge-to-reef (R2R) approach to reduce impacts on the coastal environment: installation of the vetiver system (VS) on slopes, combined with integrated soil and water resource management, will protect and rehabilitate upland areas, reducing upland drivers of degradation to the near-shore coastal environment, thereby strengthening ecosystem services and providing nature-based livelihood opportunities. Target ecosystems comprise upland farming systems and slopes, as well as coastal ecosystems, including mangroves, wetlands, marches, sea grasses and coral reefs. In partnership with IAMovement, this project scales and replicates proven VS solutions, using its Vetiver Education & Empowerment Project (VEEP) model. Existing beneficial land management techniques are integrated with vetiver handicraft training for the development of green business opportunities. Ecosystem health along the terrestrial-coastal-marine gradient will be monitored, with the assistance of the University of Florida -SPECLab, using drones, LiDar, and undersea technologies.