This report reviews information on drought characteristics and management in the Caribbean region, identifies the relevant national and regional agencies and focal points involved in drought management, and brings together information on their work at national and regional level.
Climate-related hazards are the most frequently occurring natural hazards in the Caribbean region, which faces significant
challenges in terms of drought. Agriculture is the sector most vulnerable to the seasonal nature of drought, affecting not only the farmers (in particular smallholders), but also the poor, children, rural and indigenous communities, downstream users and the economically important tourism industry.
The report identifies key barriers to policy-making and planning for drought management, including:
- inadequate policy, regulatory, and institutional environment that includes poor national coordination;
- lack of capacity at every level that hinders the work necessary for planning, reviewing of policies and plans, and implementation;
- weakly coordinated land management that enhances land degradation;
- the value of water, that questions restrictions on a public good that should be freely accessible;
- lack of transparent mechanisms to address up-stream/down-stream user conflicts;
- and lack of finance.
To address these issues, the report calls for inclusive participation in the planning and policy process, including community groups, who determine how resilient systems can be, and the political directorate that provides the enabling environment for sustainable development of water supplies and its efficient use.