Description of the project:

What innovative actions can be taken by civil society and micro and small enterprises (MSEs) to conserve marine and coastal biodiversity while developing sustainable and resilient livelihoods?  Between 2017 and 2020, the implementing team of the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), in partnership with the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM), the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations (CNFO), the Environmental Awareness Group (EAG), the Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversite Marine (FoProBiM), Sustainable Grenadines Inc (SusGren), and the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) will implement a project to address this.

The project, Powering Innovations in Civil Society and Enterprises for Sustainability in the Caribbean (PISCES) aims to support innovative actions by civil society and coastal community small and micro-enterprises for conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity and development of sustainable and resilient livelihoods. This will be achieved through awareness raising, capacity building, fostering collaboration, supporting implementation of practical actions and advocacy to influence policy.  The project is taking place in Antigua and Barbuda; The Bahamas; Dominica; Grenada; Haiti; Jamaica; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; and Trinidad and Tobago.  It will benefit fisherfolk organisations (FFOs), community based organisations (CBOs), national non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and SMEs and focus on marine protected areas/ marine managed areas (MPAs/MMAs).

The PISCES project is being funded by the European Union EuropeAid programme, and is being managed through the office of the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM. The total budget of the project is EUR1,933,815 (EUR933,815 is co-funding pledged by the project partners). See here for more information.

Priority countries and targeted MPAs/MMAs

Key activities

The project will be implemented via five inter-linked components:

1) Capacity building of civil society: A group of at least 20 mentors from the project countries were trained to strengthen organisational capacity of FFOs, CBOs and NGOs. See the reports from the First Mentors Training Workshop here and from the second workshop here. Existing programmes, projects and initiatives that build capacity of FFOs, CBOs and NGOs for marine and coastal governance and management were mapped and possible synergies and gaps determined. Based on a needs assessment and development of a targeted capacity building strategy and toolkit, 20 organisations across the 10 project countries are having their capacity built using a combination of training, mentoring, coaching and peer learning. See list of Mentors and Mentee FFOs, CBOs and NGOs here. The PISCES project provided co-financing support for a one-day Mentor Training Workshop for organisational strengthening Mentors supporting the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CCSO) in Saint Lucia. See the report of this training workshop here.

2) Documenting cases of innovation: Case studies are documented on the innovative work and best practices currently being undertaken by civil society on the conserving marine and coastal resources and developing sustainable and resilient livelihoods in the Caribbean. A communication strategy was developed to guide targeted dissemination of the case studies including via the Caribbean Civil Society SDGs Knowledge Platform and peer exchanges.  These will particularly seek to engage Haitian organisations in regional networks. The case studies are:

3) Regional Innovation Programme for biodiversity conservation and resilience: A Caribbean Coastal and Marine Innovation Advisory Group (see Terms of Reference and list of members) are supporting design of the programme, selection of projects, evaluation and sharing of results, lessons and recommendations to support policy and practice for improved marine and coastal governance and management in MPAs/MMAs. FFOs, CBOs and NGOs will be supported via mentoring and coaching to apply for small grants (ranging from EUR5,000 to EUR10,000) to deliver projects.

4) Developing and strengthening SMEs: Socio-economic studies will be conducted to assess the baseline and results. SME mentors were identified and trained in a methodology to develop and strengthen SMEs from targeted communities around MPAs/MMAs (see reports of first and second training workshops). See list of SME mentors and their mentee SMEs. Entrepreneurs are learning ways to develop enterprises that sustainably use marine and coastal resources to deliver economic, environmental and social co-benefits as well as how to ‘climate proof’ their enterprises.  SME mentors will provide coaching and mentoring while micro grants of up to EUR2,000 will be offered to selected enterprises. Measures to establish and strengthen private-public partnerships to support SMEs will also be explored.

5) Advocacy to influence and engage: An overall advocacy strategy will be developed to strengthen civil society voice in local, national and/ or regional decision-making processes for governance and management of marine and coastal resources. FFOs, CBOs and NGOs will be supported to develop advocacy campaigns using ICTs and social networks and to document local knowledge to strengthen systems that facilitate use of local and scientific information for better decision-making to be used by civil society in advocacy.

Social media

Focus on Mentors

For more information contact, [email protected].