Strengthening Climate Resilience: The Case of Grenada
Grenada is an island nation with a land area of approximately 350 km2 and a population of approximately 100,000 people. Grenada is highly vulnerable to climate change and has relatively low financial or technical capacity to prevent it. It is estimated that by 2050 climate change could cost the country $800 million which would be devastating to its economy and quality of life. Therefore, the government has led several programs to promote climate resilience. In 2011, it brought many of its government agencies to create a Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR). This program was one of the first to seek financing from international donors from the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), a donor funded financing institution for the Caribbean nations.
SPCR is an institutional framework that helps coordinate and communicate information and efforts in several focus areas: disaster vulnerability and climate risk reduction, water resource assessment and management, coastal management, forest rehabilitation, and improving data usage. When SPCR was being discussed the government of Grenada experienced pushback from both within the government from competing agencies, and from the public who felt the SPCR was mostly a rebranding and regrouping of previously failed projects. Grenada agencies released a report how these and other challenges were overcome that could be useful to other resource constrained countries seeking to replicate programs similar to the SPCR. Lessons learned include:
- Communicating efficiently between different parties with overlapping roles to reduce repeat tasks and efforts.
- Communicating outcomes with the public in specific terms. One portion of the SPCR necessitated relocating a village. The villagers and public first resisted until the resources that would be available to ensure the villagers were no worse off were made known.
- Tailoring the projects to specific needs outlined in the SPCR. In particular projects were selected and sized based on high vulnerabilities to sea rise as specified in the SPCR. One example was in coastal management, building a roadmap to zones with different threat and infrastructure upgrades and then implementing the roadmap.
- Inviting and facilitating communication across sectors. One initial criticism of the SPCR was its top-heavy nature. The public felt that the SCPR did not adequately connect regulations and government programs to local stakeholders and communities. By inviting cross-sectoral collaboration this concern was addressed.