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Consultancy for Capacity Building of National Designated Authority (NDA) and Country Strategic Framework, Belize and the Bahamas

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has received funds from the Green Climate Fund  (GCF) for the purpose of implementing the project “GCF Readiness Preparation Support Project for the Enhancement of Belize and the BahamasCapacity to Access and Deliver International Climate Finance through  Targeted Institutional Strengthening” and intends to apply a part of the  proceeds towards payments for the Contract “Consultancy for  Capacity Building of National Designated Authority (NDA) and Preparation  of Country Strategic Framework, Belize and the Bahamas ”.

Interested and eligible bidders may obtain further information from,

Ms. Allison Williams,
Procurement Officer (ag),
Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC),
Email: procurement@caribbeanclimate.bz,

between the hours of 8.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday through Friday, and inspect the Bidding Documents at: http://caribbeanclimate.bz/opportunities/consultancy-for-capacity-building-of-national-designated-authority-nda-and-country-strategic-framework-belize-and-the-bahamas.html
 
Deadline for the submission of bidding documents is on or before 2:00pm (GMT-6) on Wednesday, 6th September  2017.

Climate Scientists Use Forecasting Tools to Protect Caribbean Ways of Life

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Aug 7 2017 (IPS) – Since 2013, Jamaica’s Met Office has been using its Climate Predictability Tool (CPT) to forecast ‘below average’ rainfall or drought across the island. The tool has allowed this northern Caribbean island to accurately predict several dry periods and droughts, including its most destructive episode in 2014 when an estimated one billion dollars in agricultural losses were incurred due to crop failures and wild fires caused by the exceptionally dry conditions.

In neighbouring Cuba, the reputation of the Centre for Atmospheric Physics at the Institute for Meteorology (INSMET) is built on the development of tools that “provide reliable and timely climate and weather information” that enables the nation to prepare for extreme rainfall and drought conditions as well as for hurricanes.

“We saw the need to develop a drought tool that was not only easy to use, but free to the countries of the Caribbean so they would not have to spend large amounts of money for software.” –INSMET’s Dr. Arnoldo Bezamilla Morlot

Regional scientists believe the extended dry periods are one of several signs of climate change, now being experienced across the region. Dr. Ulric Trotz, Deputy Director and Science Adviser at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) – known regionally as the Five Cs – believes climate change is threatening the “Caribbean’s ways of life”.

Dr Trotz noted, “Some countries in the Caribbean like Barbados and Antigua are inherently water scarce. It is expected that climate change will exacerbate this already critical situation. We have seen in recent times the occurrence of extended droughts across the Caribbean, a phenomenon that is expected to occur more frequently in the future.

“Droughts have serious implications across all sectors – the water, health, agriculture, tourism -and already we are seeing the disastrous effects of extended droughts throughout the Caribbean especially in the agriculture sector, on economies, livelihoods and the wellbeing of the Caribbean population,” he said.

With major industries like fisheries, tourism and agriculture already impacted, the region continues to look for options. Both the Cuban and Jamaican experiences with forecasting tools means their use should be replicated across the Caribbean, Central and South America as scientists look for ways to battle increasingly high temperatures and low rainfall which have ravaged the agricultural sector and killed corals across the region.

Charged with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)’s mandate to coordinate the region’s response to climate change, the ‘Five Cs’ has been seeking financial support investigating and pooling regional resources to help countries cope with the expected impacts since its birth in 2004. These days, they are introducing and training regional planners in the application and use of a suite of tools that will help leaders make their countries climate-ready.

zadie-1

St Lucian government officers becoming familiar with tools at a recent workshop in St Lucia. As part of the training, they will use the tools to assess planned developments and weather conditions over six months to provide data and information which could be used for a variety of projects. Credit: Zadie Neufville/IPS

The experts believe that preparing the region to deal with climate change must include data collection and the widespread use of variability, predictability and planning tools that will guide development that mitigate the impacts of extreme climatic conditions.

The recent Caribbean Marine Climate Report card reflects the findings of the latest Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, pointing to the need for countries to ramp up their adaptation strategies. Both highlight the many significant risks climate change is expected to bring to regional economies that depend heavily on eco-systems based industries; where major infrastructure are located along the coasts and where populations are mainly poor.

The report points to the threats to biodiversity from coral bleaching; rising sea temperature and more intense storms which could destroy the region’s economy, and in some cases inundate entire communities.

The tools not only allow the users to generate country specific forecast information, they allow Met Officers, Disaster Managers and other critical personnel to assess likely impacts of climatic and extreme weather events on sectors such as health, agriculture and tourism; on critical infrastructure and installations as well as on vulnerable populations.

Training is being rolled out under the Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP) in countries of the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). CCAP was designed to build on both USAID’s Regional Development Cooperative Strategy which addresses development challenges in the countries in that part of the region, as well as the CCCCC’s Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to a Changing Climate and its associated Implementation Plan, which have been endorsed by the Heads of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries.

Regional experts and government officers working in agriculture, water resources, coastal zone management, health, physical planning and disaster risk reduction from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago are being taught to use a variety of tools.

The program aims to build resilience in the development initiatives of the countries as they tackle climate change-induced challenges, which are already being experienced by countries of the region.

At a recent workshop in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, trainees were confident that the tools could become critical to their developmental goals. St Lucian metrological forecaster Glen Antoinne, believes the tools could be “useful for St Lucia because they are directly related to our ability to forecast any changes in the climate”.

He looks forward to his government’s adoption of, in particular, the weather tools to  “support the climatology department in looking at trends, forecasting droughts and to help them to determine when to take action in policy planning and disaster management”.

The tools work by allowing researchers and other development specialists to use a range of climatic data to generate scientific information and carry out analysis on the likely impacts in the individual countries of the region. They are open source, to remove the need for similar expensive products being used in developed world, but effective, said INSMET’s Dr. Arnoldo Bezamilla Morlot.

“We saw the need to develop a drought tool that was not only easy to use, but free to the countries of the Caribbean so they would not have to spend large amounts of money for software,” he said.

“The more countries use the data, the more information that is available for countries and region to use,” Morlot continued, pointing out that the data is used to generate the information that then feeds into the decision making process.

CCAP also includes activities aimed at the expansion of the Coral Reef Early Warning System for the installation of data gathering buoys in five countries in the Eastern Caribbean providing data which, among other things will be used for ecological forecasts on coral bleaching and other marine events.

The project also provides for the strengthening of the hydro meteorological measurement systems in participating countries. This will allow for better monitoring of present day weather parameters and for generating data to feed into the climate models and other tools.

Among the tools being rolled out under the project are the Caribbean Assessment Regional DROught (CARiDRO) tool; the Caribbean Weather Generator, and the Tropical Storm Model which were designed to help experts to develop scenarios of future climate at any given location and to use these to more accurately forecast the impacts, and inform mitigating actions.

There are accompanying web portals and data sets that were developed and are being introduced to help countries to enhance their ability to reduce the risks of climate change to natural assets and populations in their development activities.

These online resources are designed to provide locally relevant and unbiased climate change information that is specific to the Caribbean and relevant to the region’s development. Their integration into national planning agendas across the region is being facilitated through regional and country workshops to ensure effective decision-making while improving climate knowledge and action.

“The resulting information will help leaders make informed decisions based on the projections and forecasting of likely levels of impact on their infrastructure and economies,” Lavina Alexander from St Lucia’s Department of Sustainable Development noted, pointing to that country’s recent experiences with hurricanes and extreme rainfall events.

As one of the tool designers, Morlot believes that by providing free access to the tools, the project is ensuring that “more countries will begin to collect and use the data, providing regional scientists with the ability to make more accurate forecasts of the region’s climate.”

Putting all the information and tools in one place where it is accessible by all will be good for the region, he said.

Credit: Inter Press Service News Agency

Guyana’s Model Green Town Reflects Ambitious National Plan

BARTICA, Guyana, Aug 3 2017 (IPS) – At the head of Guyana’s Essequibo River, 50 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, you will find the town of Bartica. Considered the gateway to Guyana’s interior, the town has a population of about 15,000 and is the launching point for people who work in the forests mining gold and diamonds.

Under a new project, Bartica is to benefit from the installation of a 20Kwp grid connected Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system at the 3-Mile Secondary School along with the installation of energy efficient lighting, as well as light-emitting diode (LED) street lighting.

The implementation of the J-CCCP supports the government’s commitment to transitioning to the use of 100 percent renewable energy in public institutions by 2025.

The Ministry of the Presidency (MotP), through the Office of Climate Change, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), launched the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) in Bartica earlier this month.

The Partnership, which is being funded by the Government of Japan to the tune of 15 million dollars, supports countries in advancing the process of improving energy security planning for adaptation to climate change.

Head of the Office of Climate Change within the Ministry of the Presidency Janelle Christian said the partnership comes at an opportune time as it helps to advance the vision of President David Granger for Bartica to be developed as a model ‘green’ town.

“The J-CCCP project and the support that Guyana has been benefiting from and continues to benefit from is set within the framework of the ‘Green’ State Development Strategy (GSDS)… The pilot initiative that will be implemented in Bartica is a direct response to the President’s pronouncement on Bartica becoming the first model ‘green’ town,” she said.

The GSDS provides a framework for national development plans and policies for climate action.

Christian said that the implementation of the J-CCCP supports the government’s commitment to transitioning to the use of 100 percent renewable energy in public institutions by 2025.

“These initiatives have to date, through budgetary support and also resources that we have been able to leverage through our development partners, already started taking effect,” she said.

“The project here in Bartica is not unique to Bartica but it is part of that national programme where we would’ve already seen through the leadership of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) some schools being installed with photovoltaic system (PVs).

“Further, under the Ministry of Communities, I believe as part of the initiative for all of the townships, there is and has been budgeted resources for installation of LED street lighting and we felt that those projects must align with those national plans with respect to our achievement and implementation of those commitments that we have made,” Christian added.

United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mikiko Tanaka said that the launching of the Partnership is in line with Guyana’s ‘green’ development trajectory. “The resources will undoubtedly contribute to enhancing Guyana’s and the other seven beneficiary countries’ ability to respond to climate risk and opportunities,” she said.

The partnership is part of a regional initiative that was officially launched in January 2016 and has been implemented in Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and now Guyana.

Tanaka explained that the partnership is part of the global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as it relates to the climate action.

“The achievements from this project would ultimately support Guyana’s pursuit of evolving into a ‘green’ state, as it fosters a platform for collaborative efforts . . . the project allows for the adaptation and implementation of mitigation and adaptation technologies, which gives Guyana the flexibility to identify, develop and implement demonstration pilot projects that seek to address significant climate related ramifications,” she said.

Meanwhile, Programme Specialist at the UNDP, Dr. Patrick Chesney said that the partnership is an important response that emphasizes partnership between a developed country and developing countries.

“This is an ambitious response, and we must match that ambition with our energy with our passion and with knowledge.  Guyana is the second greenest country on this earth, so the move towards establishing a green state is simply putting in place the architecture, the mechanisms and ensuring that all we do is contributing to making and keeping Guyana green,” Chesney said.

Additionally, Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshall praised the organisations for implementing the Partnership in the community, which he said demonstrates the Government’s interest in developing the township of Bartica.

“It is most importantly a visionary council that was elected by the people for the development of Bartica, we are committed to serve, we were elected to serve and that’s what we will do, and these projects of course will bring about major transformation to the township of Bartica,” Marshall said.

Project Manager Yoko Ebisawa said the J-CCCP is designed to strengthen the capacity of countries in the Caribbean to invest in climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies, as prioritised in their Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).

These technologies will help reduce the dependence on fossil fuel imports, setting the region on a low-emission development path; as well as improve the region’s ability to respond to climate risks and opportunities in the long-run, through resilient development approaches that go beyond disaster response to extreme events, she said.

The J-CCCP brings together policy makers, experts and representatives of communities to encourage policy innovation for climate technology incubation and diffusion. By doing so, the partnership aims to ensure that barriers to the implementation of climate-resilient technologies are addressed and overcome in a participatory and efficient manner.

As a result, concrete mitigation and adaption will be implemented on the ground, in line with the countries’ long-term strategies. Building upon and supported by the NAMAs and NAPs, the partnership also supports the incubation of climate technology into targeted public sectors, private industries, and community groups and enterprises so that green, low-emission climate-resilient technologies can be tested, refined, adopted, and sustained as practical measures to enhance national, sub-national and community level resilience.

Credit: Desmond Brown, Inter Press Service News Agency

Vacancies – PACT: Programme Director

The Government of Belize, in collaboration with the World Bank (WB) is implementing the project entitled “REDD+ Readiness Project”. The objective of the REDD+ Readiness Project is to carry out Readiness Preparation through a participatory and inclusive process in order to strengthen Belize’s capacity to participate in future REDD+ carbon payment transactions. The REDD+ Readiness Project is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration (MAFFESDI) through a dedicated REDD+ Coordination Unit (REDD+CU) with Fiduciary Management by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT). REDD+ is seeking to recruit a Programme Director

Peruse the official Terms of Reference: Programme Director 

Deadline for application is 3:00 pm on Friday 25th August 2017.

For further information and clarification, please send email to andrea@pactbelize.org.

The Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund on the Move

The excitement in the room was palatable. You know you have something special going when a volunteer group from a wide variety of backgrounds can eagerly sit through and enthusiastically discuss a near 100 slide PowerPoint presentation on ordinarily mundane topics such as requirements for governance, project cycle management, financial management and so on. Such was the agenda and mood as the Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund Board met for just the second time following their formal installation and inaugural meeting on 17th July, 2017.  The Board has quickly become steeped in an exercise to develop the Trust Fund’s Operational Manual which would ensure it meets the highest global fiduciary standard.

The Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund (VICCTF) is on a trailblazing path. From its inception it has had a unique and interesting story and is continuing to position itself to make a major mark on the climate finance landscape of the Caribbean. Established among a number of biodiversity, conservation or mixed portfolio Trust Funds in the region, the VICCF is set apart as being the first Trust Fund in the region established by statute, focused exclusively on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Another distinguishing feature of the Fund is that it is also being supported by a strong country institutional framework for climate change management and a comprehensive national climate change policy.

The concept of the VICCTF was born in late 2009 following the 15th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen. COP15 was a turning point in the life of the Convention and an “aha moment” for the British Virgin Islands (BVI). It was then that the BVI resolved to directly tackle the unique position it found itself in, as a Small Island Developing State (SID), but, at the same time as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. While facing the same urgent and severe impacts from climate change, due to its political status, the BVI is currently barred from accessing the major global sources of climate finance and other forms of assistance available under the UNFCCC and does not receive any sustainable climate financing directly from the UK.

Inspired by and closely working with and supported by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, the BVI worked to establish the legal framework to provide an independent, transparent and secure vehicle to raise, manage and administer blended funds to support actions to respond to climate change. The vision became a reality in 2015 when the Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund Act was passed establishing the VICCTF. With a strong and highly engaged Board now installed, the Trust Fund is moving quickly to operationalization over the next couple years.

The Trust Fund will bring together climate finance from a number of sources, including already instituted local levies, bi-lateral support, private donations, support from foundations, market- based mechanisms and hopefully the Green Climate Fund. What started as a National Climate Fund has the potential to quickly evolve into a Fund supporting regional projects, perhaps focused particularly on channeling resources to other Overseas Territories facing the same plight, as it seeks to achieve Green Climate Fund accreditation as an International Accredited  Entity.

The VICCTF is certainly on the move and is “moving with a purpose” driven by the key role it must fulfill. Speaking to the importance of the Trust Fund in his remarks on installing the Board, Dr. Hon. Kedrick Pickering, Minister for Natural Resources and Labour said “There are milestones in the development of any country, and there are turning points that determine the destiny of a place under shifting circumstances. In a global era defined by climate change, the establishment of the Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund and now the installment of its first Board of Trustees is one such marker for the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund will be the single most important vehicle to ensure a sustainable flow of financing from local and international sources to support climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

Credit: Dr. Ulric Trotz and Angela Burnett

CCCCC Board of Governors Meeting Begins

The Annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) began on August 2nd, 2017 and will run until August 5th. It is the first time in the Centre’s 12-year history that the Board is being hosted at the Centre’s offices in Belmopan.

During its deliberations, the Board of Governors will review the Centre’s operations and its performance over the last year. Project managers and other senior members of the Agency will also report on the many projects being implemented across the region including the US$26 million Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP) funded by the United States Agency for International Development; the €12.8 million German Development Bank (KfW) funded initiative to address ecosystems-based adaptation and the most recent €5 million Joint CARICOM/ Italy regional assistance project being funded by the government of Italy.

The Board will also be apprised of the Centre’s continued work with countries to develop proposals for the Green Climate Fund and to strengthen their capacities to become National Implementing Entities (NIEs) of the Fund.. The Centre is one of two GCF accredited Regional Implementing Entities (RIEs) and works collaboratively with the Caribbean Development Bank towards developing transformative and impactful regional initiatives.

In addition to assessing the Centre’s growing portfolio, the Board will make decisions critical to its continued success as the region’s leader in implementing climate change projects and the agency with responsibility for coordinating the region’s response to Climate Change.

Chairman of the Board of Governors is Dr. Leonard Nurse from the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. Other members are drawn from regional institutions and governments.

Phase 2 of the Coral Reef Early Warning System

Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) Station

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre ([CCCCC]) and NOAA/AOML have reached an agreement through a Memorandum of Understanding for a Phase 2 extension of the Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) to at least five new countries in the Eastern Caribbean.  Under this agreement, AOML (partially funded by the Coral Reef Conservation Program), will provide consultation and information systems support, to include programming of the data gathering buoy, transmittal of the near real-time data back to AOML, ecological forecasts for coral bleaching (and other marine environmental events), a Web presence, and stakeholder engagement in the entire process through facilitation by our Sea Grant representative, Dr. Pamela Fletcher.  The data to be collected by the buoy will include minimally, winds (speed and gusts), barometric pressure, precipitation, photosynthetically active/available radiation (PAR, light), air temperature, sea temperature, and salinity; other instruments may be added through arrangement with the host countries.  AOML scientists will seek to establish new research collaborations with the host country scientists, conservationists, and Marine Protected Area managers.

Under a previous arrangement for Phase 1, stations were installed in Belize (2), Trinidad & Tobago (2), Dominican Republic (2), and Barbados.  Unfortunately, the stations in Belize were badly damaged by Hurricane Earl, and the Barbados station was inadvertently damaged through a local accident.  Phase 1 is not funded under this new agreement.

Below is the proposed schedule for the site surveys and stakeholder engagement meetings for the Phase 2 stations; however, dates and countries visited may change.  It is not known at this time when the follow-up of station installations will be conducted.  The new buoy architecture is still being researched.

Phase 2 CREWS/[CCCCC] Dates and Countries  for Site Surveys & Outreach

Proposed for 2017

  • July 10 – 14  –  Antigua & Barbuda
  • August 21 – 25  –  St. Vincent & the Grenadines
  • September 11 – 15  –  St. Kitts & Nevis
  • October 16 – 20  –  St. Lucia
  • November 13 – 15  –  Grenada

Credit: NOAA in the Caribbean Newsletter – Summer 2017

INTERVIEW-Caribbean life “as we know it” at serious risk – expert

A man rides his tricycle taxi during a thunderstorm in Havana in this 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

“A lot of the damage now comes from extreme precipitation. So that translates into floods, landslides, loss of life, loss of livelihoods”

As if hurricanes were not menacing enough, small Caribbean islands risk losing their entire way of life unless they urgently strengthen defences against a raft of future disasters, according to a climate change official.

“You don’t even need to have a hurricane to get extensive damage .. a tropical storm or depression, it comes and sits over a particular island or territory and it deposits rain,” said Ulric Trotz, deputy director at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).

“For us small island nations, basically everything comes to a stop. As a region, we are very exposed to climate risk .. and our projections show that this will be exacerbated,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Trotz – whose organisation coordinates the entire region’s response to climate change – said that along with the annual hurricane season, the Caribbean now faces extreme weather each year, from flooding to landslides.

Fishing and farming communities living in coastal areas and the tourism industry – vital for Caribbean economies – often bear the brunt of damage and loss of income.

Caribbean nations can now face as much rainfall as they would normally get over a period of months in the space of a few days, with drainage systems unable to cope, Trotz said.

“A lot of the damage now comes from extreme precipitation. So that translates into floods, landslides, loss of life, loss of livelihoods,” said Trotz, a science advisor.

“We have some serious concerns about the viability of Caribbean life as we know it.”

ECOSYSTEMS

One key way to make coastal areas more resilient to storm surges and rising sea levels, linked to global warming, is to protect marine, coral and mangrove ecosystems, Trotz said.

Reefs act like breakwaters reducing wave strength, while salt-tolerant mangroves can buffer against hurricane winds and storm surges and cut wave height.

“As far as the human body is concerned, the healthier the body is, the more resilient it will be in terms of dealing with some of the threats, diseases,” Trotz said.

“So the same principle applies here, that the healthier our ecosystems, the healthier our reefs, wetlands and mangroves are, the more they will be able to resist some of the impacts of climate change,” he said.

Across the Caribbean, scores of projects are underway to restore battered coral reefs, establish artificial reefs, replant damaged mangroves and place millions of acres of marine areas under protected areas by 2020.

Some Caribbean nations also face water shortages exacerbated by longer droughts linked to climate change, Trotz said.

In several islands of the Grenadines, a pilot seawater desalination project using solar power is underway.

In Guyana, to better cope with drought and changing rainy seasons, rice farmers are using water harvesting and drip irrigation systems, and are receiving short-term weather forecasts allowing them to better decide when to plant crops.

SLOW MONEY

But more defensive action is hampered by a lack of funds.

Despite the United Nations Green Climate Fund, set up in 2010 to help poor countries tackle climate change, red tape means many small island nations are unable to access funding.

“The bottom line is that we don’t have the resources,” Trotz said. “It’s not that we don’t have any idea about how we need to build resilience.”

It can take from nine months to up to eight years to get funds from donors, Trotz said.

“The longer you delay, a lot of the assumptions you have made in the first instance are no longer valid .. we have to find some way of shortening that whole process.”

Credit: Thomson Reuters Foundation News

Climate Change Resilience Training Workshop now on in Barbados

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

Belmopan, Belize July 25, 2017:  A national workshop to familiarize and train selected Barbadian government workers in the application and use of several tools and models to aid development and reduce the risks associated with Climate Change, will run from July 24 to August 4, 2017.

The workshop which is being held at the Cave Hill Campus, University of the West Indies (UWI), is organized under the USAID-funded Climate Change Adaptation Program (USAID CCAP) which aims to build resilience in the development initiatives of 10 countries in the Caribbean, as they tackle climate change induced challenges which are already being experienced.

Under the project the Caribbean Assessment Regional DROught (CARiDRO) tool; the Weather Generator, the Tropical Storm Model and accompanying web portal and data sets have been developed and are being introduced to help countries to enhance their development activities to reduce the risks to natural assets and populations, due to climate change.

The tools are open source online resources to provide locally relevant and unbiased climate change information that is specific to the Caribbean and relevant to the region’s development. The integration of the tools into national policy agendas across the region is being spearheaded through regional and country workshops which are crucial to ensuring effective decision-making and improving climate knowledge and action.

The beneficiary countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

The CCAP project was designed to build on both USAID’s Eastern and Southern Caribbean Regional Development Cooperative Strategy, which addresses development challenges in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, and the CCCCC’s Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to a Changing Climate and its associated Implementation Plan that were unanimously endorsed by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads.

END

TOOLS

Regional Climate Models and Caribbean Assessment of Regional Drought (CARiDRO)

The Caribbean Assessment Regional DROught (CARiDRO) was designed to facilitate drought assessment in the context of the Caribbean and Central America. It is a flexible system that should accommodate the requirements of different users. The online tool is composed of two main sections: a descriptive one where the user can find information on how to use the tool as well as terms and concepts that are useful. The other section is where the user can fill out a form with different fields in order to produce results accordingly. CARiDRO allows the user to access and to process different observed and model datasets for the Caribbean Region to produce results based on two Drought Indexes, the Standardized Precipitation Index (McKee,1993) and the Standardized Precipitation-Evaporation Index (Serrano et al, 2010).

Weather generator

The Weather Generator provides daily weather time series for use in impact assessments and impact models. It generates weather data for the future that can be used across sectors (e.g., water, agriculture, health) in the same way as historic weather series. The main benefit and utility of the WG is that it provides information for a single point location – directly comparable to what is observed at weather stations.

Tropical storm model

A simple advection model premised on past memorable and notable storms generating grids for each 15-minute period in the storm model. The variables include precipitation rate and wind speed.

Portal and observed data

This web portal provides information and datasets concerning:

  • The observed climate of the present day
  • Regional Climate Model projection of the future climate
  • Future scenarios of weather downscaled from the Regional Climate Model projections
  • Scenarios of weather derived from hypothetical tropical cyclone events

This web portal is intended for use by regional and national institutions, consultants and scientists concerned with the climate and impacts of future climate change in the Caribbean region. Accordingly, a considerable degree of contextual knowledge of climate change and its impacts, and analytical expertise is assumed. Browse the portal: http://www.cariwig.org/ncl_portal/#info

UN Secretary General lauds CARICOM leadership on global issues

Antonio Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations

The Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres has lauded the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for its leadership on pressing global issues.

Guterres made the statement at the opening of the 9th biennial CARICOM-UN General meeting in New York on Thursday.

“This year marks the 25th anniversary of the decision by the General Assembly to grant the Caribbean Community observer status. Since then, we have worked productively together and, today, our organisations are both undergoing processes of review and strategic planning to better face the challenges of a changing international reality. We are grateful to have benefited from your leadership on many pressing global issues.”

The UN Secretary General also highlighted CARICOM’s spearheading of the General Assembly’s discussion on non-communicable diseases.

“I am aware that, translating this vision into action, the CARICOM Heads of Government during their recent summit in Grenada, adopted a set of recommendations on measures to address the rise of NCDs in the region.”

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Port-of-Spain Declaration – ‘Uniting to Stop the Epidemic of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)’.

It was a launching pad for NCDs to become a feature on the United Nations (UN) Agenda, and in 2011 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a political resolution on the fight against the prevention of NCDs globally.

While the Heads of Government of CARICOM at their recently concluded 38th Regular Summit recognised that the Community had not sufficiently advanced the recommended actions with regard to the Declaration, they recommitted themselves to the promotion of healthy lifestyles to combat the epidemic of NCDs.

Guterres also described the Community as “pioneers” in elevating awareness on climate change, with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) serving as a symbol of CARICOM governments working together to address the specific vulnerability of Caribbean states.

“You have highlighted the need to protect the world’s oceans and the special circumstances of the Small Island Development States,” he said, adding that the ambitious outcomes produced from the UN Oceans Conference on SGD 14 needed concrete follow-up to ensure that all nations work together to meet their obligations.

The UN Secretary-General said he was hopeful that the meeting’s discussions would identify areas for stronger cooperation towards reaching the Community Strategic Plan’s 2019 goals of improving economic, social, environmental and technological resilience, as well as strengthening governance and coordinating foreign policy among member states.

Credit: Jamaica Observer

Flickr Photos

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