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Assessing the Readiness of Agriculture Community Based Organisations to Advance Climate Action in Jamaica

Authors: Jhannel Tomlinson*, University of the West Indies
Topics: Rural Geography, Social Geography, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: community-based adaptation, farmer groups, collective action, adaptation readiness
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

As the impacts of climate change on agriculture continue to spread beyond the coping range of traditional farming systems, Community-based Organisations (CBOs) such as farmer groups, have become increasingly important in ensuring sustainability and dynamism in farming communities. In the Jamaican context, the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) Farmer Groups have historically been the primary institutions through which farmers have engaged with external partners. The JAS is the longest standing community-based organization in the country and represents the most widely utilized entry-point for advancing climate action at the community level in recent times. However, the sustainability of these JAS groups has had mixed outcomes, highlighting the variability in the group capacity across the island. Additionally, there is a paucity of empirical research on the institutional factors constraining and enabling climate change adaptation in local Agriculture CBOs and their overall readiness to develop, implement, and promote climate adaptation initiatives. In this paper, an institutional adaptive capacity framework is used to assess the readiness of fifty (50) agricultural CBOs in eastern Jamaica to drive climate action. Preliminary results suggest that financial challenges, political interference, and limited technical capacity are primary barriers to the effective implementation of climate action. However, local knowledge, the gender of group leader, interpersonal relationships, trust and linkages with external actors emerged as critical attributes for strengthening the resilience of these groups.

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