JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Thousands of Jamaicans have benefitted from climate change awareness and resilience building strategies, through the Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate cHange (Ja REEACH) project.
  • Since the project’s implementation in 2012, Ja REEACH has worked with key partners, impacting rural lives and livelihoods in over 70 communities across the island.
  • Through a range of interventions, Ja REEACH works with Government, civil society and farmers and community members to increase awareness and application of practical actions that help Jamaicans to become resilient to the impacts of climate change. Each community is targeted based on climate or disaster hazards being faced.

Thousands of Jamaicans have benefitted from climate change awareness and resilience building strategies, through the Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate cHange (Ja REEACH) project.

Since the project’s implementation in 2012, Ja REEACH has worked with key partners, impacting rural lives and livelihoods in over 70 communities across the island.

Participants in the various programmes were exposed to training in: capacity building, institutional strengthening, leadership and communication skills, team building, land husbandry best practices, community awareness, among others, aimed at strengthening their ability to adapt to the different variables in climate change.

A beneficiary of the project, who represented the Douglas Castle Producers Marketing Organisation, Verol Douglas, said through the various programmes, they will be able to better adapt to the different variables in climate change, while providing greater efficiencies in services.

He urged Jamaicans to take a more holistic approach to climate change and become more climate resilient in their actions. “Each year, millions of dollars have been spent through disaster risk reduction programmes that can be reduced if we take the right approach in disaster risk reduction and adaptation strategies,” he said.

Mr. Douglas was speaking at the Ja REEACH partner recognition and project closing luncheon, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, today (September 16).

The beneficiary,  who hails from Clarendon, said the programmes will provide an opportunity for beneficiaries to “chart a new course in shaping the destiny and future of our communities.”

 

“Let us all move forward and ensure that these projects be the overall success that we all hope for.  Let us therefore be the next catalyst for change in our respective communities that will transform the next generation,” he added.

Mission Director, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Denise Herbol, said the programmes that were undertaken were crucial and will assist in mitigating the effects of climate change in the island.

She noted that the partnerships with key institutions have assisted tremendously in ensuring that the various programmes undertaken were successful, so that individuals can improve their adaptive capacity to climate change.

“I have no doubt that with this partnership, which has evolved over these past three years, the strong basic building block of our programmes, is going to be transferred to each one of you, resulting in further successes,” she said.

The key agencies she cited in the partnership included the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the parish councils.

Some of the achievements of the programme include: increased adaptive capacity of over 6,000 project beneficiaries to respond to climate change and disasters; the completion of farmer field school sessions that built adaptive capacity for more than 57 farmer groups (over 1,000 farmers).

Also, more than 25 extension agents received training in agro-meteorology; 20 agroforestry demonstration plots and projects were established and over 936 farmers applied individual innovations on farm plots; 300 farmers graduated from 17 climate-smart agriculture schools in agroforestry and horticulture; 2,146 youth (aged 25 and under)  were reached through the project’s training programmes; and 100 graduated from five climate change agent training groups.

 

The Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change (Ja REEACH) project is a three year initiative funded by the USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA and local partners. ACDI/VOCA is a private, nonprofit organisation that promotes broad-based economic growth, higher living standards, and vibrant communities in developing countries.

Through a range of interventions, Ja REEACH works with Government, civil society and farmers and community members to increase awareness and application of practical actions that help Jamaicans to become resilient to the impacts of climate change. Each community is targeted based on climate or disaster hazards being faced.