UNDP Supports Nature-Based Solutions For Erosion Control In Grenada

PR  – Through funding from the Global  Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is  implementing the Climate Resilient Agriculture for Integrated Landscape Management  Project in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry. 

In August, the GEF/UNDP Climate- Resilient Agriculture Project provided field  demonstration and practical hands-on experience in the development and maintenance  of check dams and gully plugs, using natural materials, as effective erosion control  structures. Over 35 persons, including 20 women, participated in this demonstration  activity, which took place within the Grand Etang Forest Reserves. 

Increased rainy periods are typically associated with increased soil erosion on hillsides and nature-based solutions (NbS) offer solutions to societal challenges and  environmental degradation issues through working with nature. The concept of using  NbS is grounded in the knowledge that healthy natural and managed ecosystems  produce a diverse range of services on which human wellbeing depends, including  measures to reduce soil erosion, promote landscape stability, and support integrated  watershed management. 

UNDP’s Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Specialist, Aiden Forteau, and members  of the Forestry Division of the Ministry of Agriculture supported the participants in  knowledge development through key activities, including identification of slopes and  hillsides affected by high-velocity erosion flows; determination of appropriate site and  distancing for development of check dams along the slopes and gullies; determination  of the type of natural materials, such as stone, wood and foliage, for implementation  and maintenance of check dams; and construction and maintenance of check dams. 

According to Forteau, check dams can be used where temporary channels or  permanent channels are not yet vegetated; channel lining is infeasible, and velocity  checks are required. The appropriate use of the check dam will serve to limit erosion by  reducing flow in small open channels. This approach is typically suitable for use of  drainage areas within two acres or less.

This nature-based approach for the check dam demonstration activity is part of the  various climate-resilient practices the project is implementing to build capacity for  sustainable landscape management as a restoration tool in the context of watershed  rehabilitation. In contrast with many engineered solutions, NbS have the potential to  tackle both climate mitigation and adaptation challenges at relatively low cost, while  delivering multiple additional benefits for people and nature. 

Also present during the training was UNDP Project Coordinator, Ms. Rudo Udika, who  indicated that the project intends to continue the implementation of capacity building for  Sustainable Land Management and Climate Smart Agriculture activities. Specifically,  the GEF/ UNDP Climate Resilient Agriculture Project will support a combination of  activities to reduce deforestation and environmental degradation; reduce soil erosion  and improve ground cover and access to sustainable livelihood opportunities. This will  seek to augment existing good practices, test new innovative approaches, and develop  and support replication of suitable practices. 

The objective of the GEF/ UNDP Climate Resilient Agriculture Project is to  operationalise integrated agroecosystem management through mainstreaming  biodiversity conservation in productive landscapes and increasing the resilience of  agricultural systems. The project intends to use an integrated landscape management  approach that will allow combining resilient agricultural and conservation practices in  productive landscapes.