(New York, United States of America) The partnership between the International Trade Centre (ITC), a United Nations agency, the Jamaica’s Alligator Head Foundation and the Coconut Industry Board “Alliances for a bluer, greener Caribbean (Ridge to Reef)” today was announced at the United Nations HQ in New York as the laureate for the Environmental category of the SIDS Partnerships Awards 2023.
The Alligator Head Foundation, a Jamaican organization that assists communities dependent on marine resources for their livelihoods, is scaling up its ‘Ridge to Reef’ strategy of environmental conservation and sustainable community development.
This partnership, backed by funding from the European Union, demonstrates targeted environmental impact whilst boosting production and trade in Jamaica and across the Caribbean.
The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Partnerships Awards recognize that thanks to partnerships, SIDS can achieve diversified farmer livelihoods through coconut production and trade, increased food production through sustainable environmental management, protected land and marine ecosystems, biodiversity, and climate change adaptation.
ITC’s Alliances for Action methodology establishes networks that transform food systems and advance the Sustainable Development Goals through producer partnerships that cultivate ethical, climate-smart, sustainable agricultural value chains. The aim is to achieve resilience and growth for farmers and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through more mindful and responsible trade, production and consumption systems and improved opportunities to compete on a global market. This includes building the strength and competitiveness of MSMEs and enabling sustainable market linkages and value addition. There is also a strong focus on incentivizing and engaging more youth and women at all sector levels.
This flexible methodology is combined with the strong environmental sustainability strategy at the Alligator Head Foundation (Ridge to Reef) and leverages CIB’s coconut sector expertise across the Caribbean region. Through these three approaches, the partnership meets its environmental sustainability objectives while improving capacities and economic resilience of coconut farmers in Jamaica and across the Caribbean region, with holistic farm to fork impact through ITC’s additional support on commercialization, marketing, investment support and trade.
The partnership has so far supported over 40 smallholder farmers and their communities in producing and commercializing diversified crops with over 10,000 combined coconut, scotch bonnet pepper and plantain sucker seedlings distributed. These efforts are now being scaled up to a further 100 farmers and 250 associated household/community members, as well as another 5,000 farmers across the region who will benefit from knowledge sharing. The result: food forests that feed families, bring in extra income and improve soil quality and biodiversity.
Additional partners such as the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute and Jamaica’s Rural Agricultural Development Authority help lead regular trainings that build farmer community capacities in Jamaica, for long-term, sustainable impact.
This successful alliance is now acting as a springboard to scale-up impact across other Caribbean SIDS. This sets the stage for a bluer, greener Caribbean.
‘Receiving this SIDS Partnerships Award highlights the importance of speeding up the green transition with the blue economy in mind, to ensure a healthy natural ecosystem at its core. We can’t forget economic sustainability and quality jobs for all – in a way that works for SIDS. Thanks to our partners, the Alligator Head Foundation and the Coconut Industry Board of Jamaica, for working with us through our Alliances for Action initiative to establish networks that transform food systems and cultivate ethical, climate-smart, sustainable agricultural value chains.’
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre
‘Our mission is that we work for fish-filled seas, healthy reefs, and thriving communities. This partnership brings a green dimension into our blue economy work, by developing climate-smart agriculture that helps boost our coconut sector and provide crucial tools to our farmers so they can build sustainable livelihoods. So being celebrated for this achievement is a really proud moment.’
Nickie Myers, Director, Alligator Head Foundation
About the International Trade Centre – The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Alliances for Action is an ITC initiative that seeks to transform food systems through producer partnerships that cultivate ethical, climate- smart, sustainable agricultural value chains.
For more information, visit www.intracen.org.
About the Alligator Head Foundation – Alligator Head Foundation is a not for profit, non government organisation with a community driven model focused on ecological restoration through marine conservation.
About the Coconut Industry Board – The Coconut Industry Board is a statutory body promoting the interest of Jamaican coconut industry & its stakeholders. Focused on facilitating & coordinating a vibrant, efficient coconut industry to improve the socio economic conditions of growers, processors, traders & other stakeholders relying on the crop for a livelihood.
For more information, visit https://coconutindustryboardjm.org/
This article was originally published by: ITC