Building capacity to mobilize forest financing in the Eastern Caribbean

This week, the UNFF Secretariat organized an expert meeting on financing sustainable forest management (SFM) in the Eastern Caribbean in Castries, St Lucia, from 11 to 15 June 2018. The meeting followed a request from the Governments of Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia to receive support from the UNFF Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network in mobilizing financing for SFM. The meeting was opened by Mr. John Calixte, Permanent Secretary of Agriculture of St Lucia and Mr. Alistair Edwards, Permanent Secretary of St Kitts and Nevis. It was attended by 32 participants from Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia, including the chief of the indigenous Kalinago tribe of Dominica. An observer from St Vincent and the Grenadines, with support from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), also took part in the meeting.

The aim of the expert meeting was to exchange experiences and build capacity in designing national and regional forest financing strategies and project proposals on sustainable forest management. Participants covered a wide range of topics from formulating resource mobilization plans, to designing payments for ecosystem services mechanisms and preparing logical frameworks that meet the investment criteria of the Green Climate Fund and other major financing mechanisms. The meeting also laid the basis for the joint forest financing strategy and project proposal that the UNFFS team of national and international consultants will support in designing, in close consultation with the authorities of Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia. The project will focus on enhancing forest-based resilience of these SIDS countries which are particularly exposed to hurricanes, as witnessed in 2017 with Hurricane Maria, and for whom climate change is already a reality.