Community vulnerability maps and adaptation plans have been developed in 11 vulnerable communities in Dominica through a consultative process undertaken by trained extension officers in the Departments of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Environment, Local Government, Physical Planning and Health working with local residents and village councils . This work was undertaken under a collaborative initiative supported by two Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded projects, namely the (GEF/UNDP) Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Project and the GEF/World Bank Special Program on Adaptation to Climate Change (SPACC) Project.
Laminated 48 inch x 36 inch copies of these vulnerability maps and adaptation plans have been printed for distribution to the participating communities . Prior to these projects the communities were without any form of maps or vulnerability atlases upon which to base development decisions . By way of example, the village council of one pilot community used a 1972 hand drawn map (included in a brochure identifying sites of historical importance in the village) as the basis for decision-making on development planning . Most importantly, awareness of climate change and other pressing environmental risks was limited at the community level and at the technical level within many government departments . Consequently, the identification and implementation of meaningful risk management measures was not possible.
The projects have raised awareness of climate change vulnerability and site -specific risks not only in affected communities but also amongst the extension officers of Government Departments working with these communities . Most importantly, the training of extension officers within key government Departments in the area of community vulnerability mapping, and climate change adaptation planning - and the process of community engagement by these extension officers that was a key part of the process to develop these community vulnerability maps and adaptation plans - has not only built national adaptive capacity, but also resulted in the identification and implementation of meaningful adaptation and disaster management measures in these vulnerable communities.
Recognising the value of this process, the Government of Dominica hopes to expand the community vulnerability mapping and adaptation planning process to other vulnerable communities under the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR ) which is currently in the design stage.
Read the entire Sustainable Land Management (PDF, 6.39MB) document.