Participatory research to enhance climate change policy and institutions in the Caribbean: ARIA pilot tool
Some of the strongest efforts towards climate change adaptation and planning have taken place at the international and, to a more limited degree, at the community level. The result is that, in many Caribbean countries, national and sectoral level policies are lagging behind the already evident threats to development from climate change. Local organizations often lack an understanding of the needs and opportunities with regards to climate change and adaptation, resulting in a lack of pressure from civil society to drive change.
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), in collaboration with the World Resource Institute (WRI) and the St. Lucia National Trust (SLNT) have implemented a project in St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago to increase civil society engagement in policy and institutional analysis for climate change adaptation. The goal of this project was to build understanding of effective climate change adaptation policy, institutions and actions and improve capacity for participatory climate change policy design and adaptation.
As part of the CDKN Caribbean Research Call, this project pioneered the use of the WRI’s Adaptation: Rapid Institutional Analysis (ARIA) toolkit in the Caribbean. In essence, the ARIA toolkit is an indicator-based survey of existing policies and practices that can be applied by civil society organizations to their national situations. Use of the ARIA toolkit will enhance access to environmental information, public participation, and access to justice in national-level climate change adaptation. In addition, it will improve the quality of adaptive actions by the Governments of St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, the private sector and citizens.
Lead organizations in both Trinidad and Tobago (CANARI) and St. Lucia (SLNT) received training and applied the ARIA toolkit to national level policy. The data from this research was validated at a Phase II workshop, held in October, 2013 in St. Lucia, and attended by key NGOs and public sector agencies. As a result, three priority areas were identified for focused research. In St. Lucia, these areas are food security, water resources, and livelihoods and culture, and in Trinidad and Tobago, these are food security, coastal zone and tourism.
Ultimately, the work carried out during the course of this project will contribute to improving the capacity of these two islands to implement effective climate change adaptation policy and action.
- A policy brief on Strengthening Institutional Arrangements in Trinidad and Tobago to Facilitate Climate Change Adaptation Policy Formulation and Execution.
- A policy Brief on Enabling Civil Society in Saint Lucia to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
- A technical Paper on Making Adaptation Work: An Institutional Analysis Of Climate Change Adaptation In Trinidad And Tobago And Saint Lucia
- A research report on the Rapid Institutional Analysis (Aria) Phase II on Adaptation: This study examines the degree to which there exists enabling factors to support the development of climate adaptation policy and strategies in three critical sectors in Trinidad and Tobago – coastal zone management, food production and tourism.
- Presentations on Piloting a Caribbean process, and on the ARIA toolkit pilot for the 26th and 27th Meeting of the CANARI Partnership.
CARIBSAVE Contact: Judi Clarke
CDKN Project Manager: Sebastian Kratzer
Image copyright: Sebastian Kratzer