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Caribbean Region SPCR Validation Workshop Underway in Kingston

  The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, in its capacity as Executing Agency for the Caribbean Regional Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience, is hosting a Validation Workshop for the Development of an Investment Proposal in Kingston, Jamaica from July 29 to 30. More than 20 stakeholders are in attendance at the critical workshop under the Inter-American Development … Continue reading

Climate Services Partnership Early Career Professional Network Hosts Virtual Meet & Greet

The Climate Services Partnership Early Career Professional Network (ECPN) held its first virtual Meet and Greet on July 16. The CSP ECPN offers networking and professional development opportunities for early career professionals in the field of climate services. The group is a unique platform for members to develop professional and social networks and share ideas, advice, and experiences.

The virtual exchange featured two members of the ECPN community, including Selly-Ann Cox of 5Cs’ sister institution, Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH). Ms Cox discussed the proposed Caribbean Climate Impacts Database (CID), an inventory of impacts occurring as a result of climate variability and impacts caused by hydro-meteorological hazards. The database will also include planning and response mechanisms used in the DRM sector. The CID is envisaged to be a product that will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of sustainable planning, adaptation, and mitigation in the Caribbean and support regional growth resilient to climate risks.

The second presentation was done by Marisol  Osman, Center for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (CIMA) /CONICET-UBA, who discussed her work on current levels of predictive skill in South America, the associated predictive limitations, and the impacts of ENSO on predictability and skill.

Peruse the recorded webinar. 

CSP ECPN activities include:

  • Virtual Meet and Greet sessions: These 30 minute webinar sessions provide members with a space to present their work and constructively discuss with peers from throughout the CSP ECPN community.
  • A LinkedIn group page: This aspect of the network provides a virtual space for ongoing conversation, network announcements, and planning. Learn more about who’s who in the CSP ECPN, meet new faces, and keep in touch with established connections. To engage with the ESPN community online please visit.
  • Conference meet-ups: As it represents an international community with members from all over the world, the CSP ECPN encourages its members to meet in person when possible, often at conferences, workshops, etc. Announcements and planning for these meet-ups will take place via the group’s LinkedIn space.

 For further information, please contact Allyza Lustig at arlustig@iri.columbia.edu

 Credit: The Climate Services Partnership

5Cs Concludes Annual Board of Governors Meeting

Credit: Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. Not for use without written permission.

Credit: Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. Not for use without written permission.

5Cs Concludes Annual Board of Governors Meeting:

Expanded partnerships with CARPHA and CDB, new facility and enhanced institutional capacity announced

Belmopan, Belize July 26, 2014― The Board of Governors of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre concluded its annual meeting (July 24 -26) in Belize City today.  Among the key decisions taken, the Centre has been charged to deepen a range of partnerships, including the expansion of its collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA, which includes the former CEHI ), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and other agencies. The Board also approved plans for institutional strengthening, including pursuing a not-for-profit status to enable greater resource mobilization to address climate variability and change; entering bilateral discussions for the establishment of a new multi-purpose facility, strengthening coordination among regional negotiators and revising the management mechanism for an independent Trust Fund.

Following a special presentation to the Board of Governors by Dr. C.J Hospedales, CARPHA’s Executive Director, the Centre committed to deepen collaboration with the region’s premier health agency. The two entities are expected to collaborate immediately after the Board of Governors Meeting to develop joint proposals aimed at reducing the region’s vulnerability and  building  resilience to the likely effects of climate change. Further, the Board noted that the Centre has been working with CARPHA to broaden the regional  focus on climate change and health, as a vital element of the Caribbean’s sustainable development thrust.

The Board notes that  Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) are essential to advance the Centre’s multi-pronged approach to building climate resilience in the region. Citing the success of the Centre’s PPP oriented pilot projects, including  the installation of  reverse osmosis desalination facilities  in Bequia, Petit Martinique and Cariacou to improve access to potable water, which is being replicated across the region and resulting in increased demand for the Centre’s services, Chairman of the Board, Dr. Leonard Nurse says the Centre will pursue a similar approach for the continued rollout of the  Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation Tool (CCORAL). CCORAL, which was launched by the Centre in July 2013, is an online support tool developed to support climate resilient decision-making processes across sectors in the Caribbean by embedding a risk ethic, has been endorsed by regional and international partners – including the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri. The Centre will therefore work with the CDB, its longstanding partner and a permanent member of the 11 member Board of Governors, to mobilise private sector support for the tool.

The Centre has expanded rapidly since it commenced operations in 2005, having developed the capacity to successfully execute a suite of regional climate change related programmes worth between US$40 and US$50 million over the last five years. Accordingly, the Centre will implement a €12.8 million project later this year to address ecosystems-based adaptation under an agreement with the German Development Bank (KfW). The KfW supported engagement seeks to protect the region’s extensive coastal resources through a combination of ecosystems-based adaptation and environmental engineering approaches that will also embed livelihood considerations as a core element of the programme.   The comprehensive investment under the initiative developed by the Centre, in conjunction with the KfW, will focus on enhancing the resilience of the region’s coastal resources to the impacts of climate change and climate variability.

Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie says the Centre, under a directive from CARICOM Heads, has been “working with national governments to put together programmes that would help them develop bankable projects that can be funded under the various mechanisms under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Centre is putting maximum effort to ensure CARICOM Member States get their fair share of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Adaptation Fund (AF) and other funds to help them in their adaptation efforts. That is our primary thrust— to meet the mandate given to us by the regional Heads.”

Accordingly, the Centre has applied to be a regional implementing entity for the Adaptation Fund, and is strengthening its capacity by establishing a Monitoring and Evaluation Unit to better prepare it to function as an implementing agency with the requisite technical capacity to institute projects on par with international organizations operating in the region. The new Unit will also advance the Centre’s capacity to advise and help governments develop, monitor and evaluate programmes in accordance with its mandate as the region’s key node of information and action on climate change. Following decisions taken at last year’s Board of Governors meeting, the Board has strengthened its fiduciary oversight through a Finance and Audit Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors, an internal auditor for the Centre and increased focus on data and plant security.

Dr. Nurse says these changes are necessary given the Centre’s shift from a project-based orientation to more programmatic activities in a bid to ensure its long-term sustainability . He notes that the Centre, which is primarily funded through grants and not government subventions, is advancing efforts to set up a Trust Fund. The Fund, which has been seeded with US$1M from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, will be an independent arrangement administrated by the CDB that would allow the Centre to co-finance projects and fund project priorities over the long-term.

To meet the emerging challenges and demonstrate its commitment towards a low carbon development pathway, the Board also approved plans to pursue the construction of its own facilities to carry out is operations. The Centre is currently housed in rented facilities provided by the Government of  Belize. The Government of Belize has already allocated 10 acres of land to the Centre, on which a custom-designed, ‘green’ facility will be constructed. The Centre  is in the process of seeking financing to undertake  this initiative.

_______________________________________________________________________

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre coordinates the region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre is the key node for information on climate change issues and the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change. We maintain the Caribbean’s most extensive repository of information and data on climate change specific to the region, which in part enables us to provide climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to CARICOM member states through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Programme, and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. The Centre is also a United Nations Institute for Training and Research recognised Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few. Learn more about how we’re working to make the Caribbean more climate resilient by perusing The Implementation Plan.

5Cs explores partnership with universities

Christy Prouty, a Ph.D. student in Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida, reflects on her  Her area of research includes systems dynamics modeling which is used to understand the behavior of complex systems over time.  She also enjoys internationally-focused research in water and sanitation Climate change, sea level rise, community perceptions, drinking water, … Continue reading

Monitoring Coral Reefs in the Caribbean: Protecting our Rainforests of the Ocean

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) awarded YSI Integrated Systems and Services (a division of Xylem Inc.) a contract for five marine monitoring buoys that will collect high-quality data for researchers studying climate change in the Caribbean Sea, including the waters of Barbados, Belize, The Dominican Republic and Trinidad & Tobago. “The Caribbean is a unique part of … Continue reading

Jamaica Unveils World’s Largest Wind-Solar Hybrid Installation

The world’s largest wind and solar hybrid renewable energy project was recently put into operation in Kingston, Jamaica. The WindStream Technologies array was commissioned for the rooftop of the prominent local law firm, Myers, Fletcher, & Gordon. Expected to generate approximately 106,000kWh annually with a return on investment in less than four years, the plant should save the firm approximately $2 million in energy costs over the course of its 25-year lifetime.

Consisting of 50 SolarMills delivering 25 kW of wind power and 55kW of solar, the installation is the largest hybrid solar and wind installation in the world. Positioned less than a quarter mile from the Kingston coastline, the rooftop frequently experiences wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour (96.5 kilometers per hour). Fortunately, the grid-tied SolarMills not only safely generate energy, they also protect against surges under extreme conditions.

Related: Net-Zero Boulder Home for Two Attorneys Produces 140% of the Energy it Needs

SolarMills are a distributed energy technology utilizing vertical axis wind turbines, solar panels and proprietary “smart” electronics. The energy generated by each SolarMill can either be used off grid with a storage system or inverted for use in grid-tied settings. Occupying a footprint roughly the size of a solar panel, each SolarMill provides the highest energy density currently available in the renewable market. The SolarMills are made in the U.S., but WindStream Technologies also has an office in Hyderabad, India, and distribution agreements in Turkey, Ghana, Liberia, New Zealand, and Tanzania.

The solar/wind hybrid installation is also part of 5.7 MW of systems that are scheduled to be deployed across the island nation over the next 18 months by local utility Jamaica Public Service (JPS). JPS aims to provide greater access to renewable energy solutions for Jamaica, where the cost of energy is over three times the U.S. average.

Credit: Inhabitat

 

5Cs Annual Board of Governors Meeting Underway in Belize

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s Annual Board of Governors Meeting is now underway at its offices in Belmopan, Belize. The 3 day meeting, which runs from Thursday, July 24 to Saturday, July 26, will continue at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City.

Members of the regionally representative board in attendance includes:

  1. Dr. Leonard Nurse, Chairman of the Board, representing the Government of Barbados.
  2. Ms. Cheryl Dixon, representing the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
  3. Ms. Gail Henry, representing the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)
  4. Mrs. Adelle Catzim Sanchez, representing for Government of Belize
  5. Mr. Andrew Bishop, representing the Government of Guyana
  6. Mr. Gregory McGuire,representing the petroleum sector
  7. Mrs. Martha Guerra, General Manager,  representing the Insurance Association of the Caribbean (IAC)

21 Students Arrive at CSF for July 19 Start of SPISE 2014

The annual Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) is one of the flagship initiatives of the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) whose mission is to help harness science and technology for the diversification of the economies of the Region. The CSF’s objectives are to: (a) assist with Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) … Continue reading

History will condemn climate change denialists

The argument for radical action on climate change– which Australia will soon at least temporarily reject with the shameful decision to repeal the carbon tax – is embarrassingly simple. For the past 200 years, western culture has granted science pre-eminent cultural authority. A quarter century ago, a consensus formed among contemporary scientists specialising in the study of … Continue reading

12 countries ratify access and benefit-sharing treaty

UN Decade on Biodiversity

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization will enter into force on 12 October 2014 following its ratification by 51 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

In the last weeks, 12 countries have deposited their instruments including Belarus, Burundi, Gambia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Peru, Sudan, Switzerland, Vanuatu, Uganda, and today, Uruguay. Its entry into force will mean that the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol can now be held from 13 to 17 October 2014, concurrently with the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.

Ratification of the Nagoya Protocol by 51 Parties to the CBD represents a major step towards achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 16, which states that, “by 2015, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization is in force and operational, consistent with national legislation.”

The entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol will provide greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources, creating a framework that promotes the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge while strengthening the opportunities for fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their use. Hence, the Protocol will create new incentives to conserve biodiversity, sustainably use its components, and further enhance the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable development and human well-being.

“Practical tools such as the Nagoya Protocol are critical for the sustainable and equitable use of biodiversity. I commend the Member States that have ratified this important international legal instrument. By fulfilling the promise made at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, they have made a significant contribution to the post-2015 sustainable development agenda,” said Mr. Ban Ki­moon, United Nations Secretary-General.

H.E. Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State for Environment, Forests & Climate Change of India, said: “The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing translates and gives practical effect to the equity provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity. I am happy that this landmark treaty received the requisite number of ratifications during India’s Presidency of the Conference of Parties for its entry into force. I congratulate my counterparts for making this happen. A new era is now ushered in for implementation of CBD that would contribute to achieving sustainable development and a glorious future for all living beings inhabiting our mother Earth.”

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary for the Convention on Biological Diversity, said, “The Nagoya Protocol is central to unleashing the power of biodiversity for sustainable development by creating incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity while guaranteeing equity in the sharing of benefits.”

“Entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol means not only a big step towards achieving Aichi Target 16, but is an important step in mainstreaming biodiversity into sustainable development. I congratulate all Parties who have ratified the Protocol, and I invite others to do so in time to participate in the first meeting of the COP-MOP, in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea,” he concluded.

The following Parties have now ratified or acceded to the landmark treaty: Albania, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Comoros, Côte D’Ivoire, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, European Union, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, the Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Norway, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Samoa, the Seychelles, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. While the European Union will be a Party to the Protocol, its approval of the Protocol does not count towards the 50 instruments required for entry into force.

Further information on becoming a Party to the Protocol is available at: http://www.cbd.int/abs/becoming-party/

Information about the Protocol, including Frequently Asked Questions, can be found at:

http://www.cbd.int/abs/about/default.shtml

Notes to Editors

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization was adopted at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2010, in Nagoya, Japan, and significantly advances the objective of the Convention on the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources by providing greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources. By promoting the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, and by strengthening the opportunities for fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their use, the Protocol will create incentives to conserve biodiversity, sustainably use its components, and further enhance the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable development and human well-being. The full text of the Nagoya Protocol is available at: http://www.cbd.int/abs/doc/protocol/nagoya­protocol-en.pdf.The list of signatories of the Nagoya Protocol is available at: http://www.cbd.int/abs/nagoya­protocol/signatories/.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 194 Parties up to now, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is a supplementary agreement to the Convention. It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 166 countries plus the European Union have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Secretariat of the Convention and its Cartagena Protocol is located in Montreal. For more information visit: http://www.cbd.int.

For additional information, please contact: David Ainsworth on +1 514 287 7025 or at david.ainsworth@cbd.int; or Johan Hedlund on +1 514 287 6670 or at johan.hedlund@cbd.int 

Credit: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 
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