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“If we as individuals are demanded to insure our businesses, then why aren’t the governments of the region faced with such demand to insure their business sectors?” – Susan Renton- Singh

We all know the little green GEIKO gecko, who provides affordable car insurance for persons all over North America. How does that insurance work? In short, you pay a premium and if your car gets hit, you’re covered to an agreed extent. However, if you take steps to reduce your risks, such as defensive driving, your premium is reduced. Now imagine an insurance policy that protects the livelihoods of our fishermen and women in a world with increasing risks due to climate change.

On the second day of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) International Conference on Climate Change, Susan Renton- Singh of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) hinted toward an innovative financing facility aimed at managing the risks to food security in the fisheries/aquaculture sector due to climate change. This policy development is spearheaded by a list of stakeholders including the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CRIF), the World Bank, the United States Department of State, and a host of other stakeholders.

In a one-on-one interview, Ms. Renton- Singh discussed the design of the policy plan and its potential to protect the future of our fisheries sector in an ever-changing environment. Two models were noted, 1. The Individual Fisher Insurance and 2. The National Scaled Parametric Model:

You may be asking yourself, do fishermen need insurance and do they really want it? Simple answers, Yes and Yes. Survey results of fisherfolk in the CRFM Member States conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC), and CRFM and Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organizations (CNFO) in 2015 shows:

  • 97% of fisheries assets are not insured
  • 83% of fishers are willing to purchase affordable coverage
  • >50% willing to invest in adaptation and mitigation practices

Currently, the individual policy plan is developed while the parametric model is in the developmental phase. Stakeholders are acquiring resources for capacity building to expand this innovative behavioral economic plan across the region through the COAST program!

Initiatives like this are needed to protect the livelihoods of climate-vulnerable sectors and personnel. Such adaptations stimulate all pillars of sustainable development and will protect the future development of economic diversification.

Can the Caribbean Region extrapolate such Climate Policies to other sectors? Agriculture? Tourism?

Damian Clarke

About Damian Clarke

Damian is reading for a BSc in Environmental Science and Sustainable Technology at the University of the West Indies. He is the National Youth Commissioner of ScoutsTT and a member of Admit One. Damian as a passion for the environment, humanity, and creating a better world. His favorite quote: "Above all else, Character." - Robert Baden Powell