BELIZE CITY, Belize, Thursday January 12, 2017 – A risk insurance facility for fishers in the region is in the works.
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) said the Caribbean Ocean Assets Sustainability FaciliTy (COAST) insurance scheme will “offer an opportunity for countries to buy insurance to help protect their fisheries sector, and hence their food security, from severe weather while promoting resilience to a changing climate and encouraging the conservation of marine environments.”
According to Julia Duncan, who serves in the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Food Security, COAST will provide 180,000 fisherfolk and associated industries in the Caribbean access to insurance for losses from severe weather.
She said Jamaica has already expressed interest in COAST, which is also supported in principle by the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Ministerial group, and the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organizations (CNFO), in addition to the CRFM.
The COAST initiative is being implemented within the context of the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy (CCCFP), which provides a useful framework for considering the requirements for country-led, climate-smart food security strategies in the fisheries sector.
Ahead of the implementation of the insurance facility, the CRFM hosted a two-day working group meeting at the Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel this week.
When fisheries ministers from CRFM member states met in the Cayman Islands in October last year, they reviewed the progress made towards the activation of COAST. This week’s working group meeting, which the CRFM is facilitating in collaboration with the US Department of State, aided in the selection of a representative sample of Caribbean countries in which the initiative will be piloted.
The purpose of the meeting was to chart the steps necessary to qualify a pilot country (or pilot countries) to purchase the COAST insurance product from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC) before the start of the hurricane season on June 1, 2017.
Joining CRFM Secretariat staff members, US State Department personnel and officials of the US Embassy in Belize at the COAST meeting in Belize, were representatives of the World Bank, which has supported CCRIF SPC, a Cayman-based agency serving 17 Caribbean nations and Nicaragua, in the creation of the COAST insurance product.
According to the CRFM, the World Bank also ensures that the project meets the development objectives outlined by the financial donors – the US Department of State – including incentivizing risk reduction and coordinating disaster management.