EVENT: Fishing, Forestry and Climate Friendly Futures: A showcase of Jersey’s role in tackling climate change, biodiversity loss and multidimensional poverty

17 May 2024
On Tuesday 21st May, JOA will be hosting an event, alongside partners the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, showcasing how Jersey funding is helping to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and multidimensional poverty.

Environmental degradation has led to unprecedented losses in both species and habitats and is estimated to affect the wellbeing of 40 per cent of the world’s population – 3.2 billion people. The devastation of these natural systems, including through climatic change, is most acutely felt by the world’s poorest – those who are least responsible for causing it and arguably the least well-prepared to withstand it.

The discussion event, entitled ‘Fishing, Forestry and Climate-Friendly Futures’, will take place at Jersey Arts Centre on Tuesday 21st May, and will see experts from RSPB and Durrell join JOA to discuss how, through pioneering projects in Sierra Leone and Madagascar, Jersey is helping to address these critical issues.

JOA’s international development grants, which are awarded to registered UK and international charities and NGOs, are concentrated on three key themes – Conservation Livelihoods, Financial Inclusion and Dairy for Development - selected for their effectiveness in bringing lasting change and because they are areas in which Jersey has skills and knowledge that can add value to programmes. Together with its partners, through its Conservation Livelihoods programme, JOA has improved community-level nutrition and supported the diversification of livelihoods whilst strengthening – locally and institutionally – the management of natural resources in JOA’s six target countries (Ethiopia, Zambia, Nepal, Rwanda, Malawi and Sierra Leone).

In 2022, JOA allocated funding to the RSPB to enable the charity to establish its pioneering ‘Cocoa’s sweet spot: Maximising livelihood, biodiversity and carbon benefits from cocoa agroforestry in the Gola landscape’ project. “We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Jersey Overseas Aid for the first time to help diversify the income of cocoa farmers in the forest edges of the Gola Rainforest National Park in Sierra Leone. The next stage of this JOA funded project will see several cocoa agroforestry techniques trialled, that will help increase food security, develop additional income streams and reduce the need for deforestation,” explained Shashi Kumaran, Head of Conservation Enterprise at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in the UK who are leading this project with their in-country partner, the Gola Rainforest Conservation -LG, and scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). “The sale of carbon credits is another way of diversifying the income of cocoa farmers and since 2014, the Gola Rainforest National Park and cocoa farmers have received income from the sale of verified REDD+ carbon credits to sustainably manage the forest. This JOA funded project also has the potential to secure additional carbon credit sales and therefore additional future income streams for the forest edge communities.”

Under JOA’s local charity funding stream, JOA also supports a project with Durrell that has contributed toward restoring habitats, protecting species, and strengthening natural resource governance, whilst increasing food security, financial independence, and reproductive health choices in 20 communities surrounding three protected areas in Madagascar.

“The conservation of ecosystems, and poverty eradication, are intrinsically linked and must be tackled together. Low-income communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of environmental degradation, which is destroying livelihoods and resulting in growing food insecurity and displacement. For many communities, the conservation of the ecosystem in which they live is essential to improving their livelihoods to alleviate poverty. By conserving the environment through enhancing environmental protection, whilst enabling nature-dependent communities to benefit sustainably from such natural resources, we intend to strengthen a virtuous circle of wellbeing between people and the environment,” said Jersey’s Minister for International Development and Chair of the JOA Commission, Deputy Carolyn Labey.

The event is free of charge and part of JOA’s Jersey International Development Network (JIDN) – a forum that provides an opportunity for islanders to learn more about overseas aid and how Jersey is making a difference on the international stage. At JIDN events current crises are discussed, the latest trends are debated, and islanders can hear from leading experts in the sector. Free tickets must be booked at Fishing, Forestry and Climate-Friendly Futures - Jersey Arts Centre.