Editorial Staff
8 months ago

Editorial Staff
8 months ago

Trial Project to Address Soil Erosion on Barbuda Using Vetiver Grass

The issue of soil erosion on the Sister Ilse, Barbuda, is receiving some attention.

A section of the sandbar in Low Bay, which encloses the Codrington Lagoon is being eroded and a trial project, using the vetiver grass, is being jointly implemented by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) to help solve the issue

As part of the implementation, 300 slips of vetiver grass were shipped to Barbuda between May and June and will be planted over several weeks, after acclimatizing to the conditions there.

The grass will be planted over several weeks “utilizing various agronomical practices, building on lessons learned in using the vetiver green engineering system at the Cooks Landfill in Antigua and from the exchange of experiences from a recent field visit to EbA project sites in Dominica”, according to a media statement

This trial is applying nature-based solutions for soil erosion control, supported by the project to strengthen coastal and marine climate resilience through upland and coastal ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and community engagement, implemented by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

Chairman of the Barbuda Council Agriculture and Fisheries Division Mr. John Mussington, says this increases the exposure, vulnerability, and risk to the lives and livelihoods of all Barbudans.

“Without urgent and strategic interventions, this situation will further compromise the ability to utilize adaptation strategies to cope with the consequences of the climate crisis.  This is a visible and direct climate change impact, i.e., sea level rise, as well as poor land management evidenced by several ill-advised and unapproved developments. Together, these climate hazards and non-climate stressors have negatively altered the coastal dynamics and the sand budget of the island,” he said.

Mussignton said this situation has caused continued changes in the water chemistry, physical conditions, and habitat quality of the Lagoon. Many of its ecosystems have been negatively impacted and disrupted.

The IICA and Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) project implemented in Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia and Tobago is funded by the CBF EbA Facility, supported by the German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety and the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

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