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National Training Workshop on Climate Change Impacts Tools

PRESS RELEASE – Belmopan, Belize; November 24, 2017 – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC/5Cs) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development and Immigration through the National Climate Change Office (NCCO) is hosting a national training on the Caribbean Weather Impacts Group (CARIWIG) Portal and Climate Change Impacts Tools. This training workshop is being funded by the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) project. The training will be held over a period of 9 days; the first segment of the training is scheduled for the week of November 27th to December 1st, 2017, while the second segment will be held from January 15th to 18th, 2018 at the George Price Center, Belmopan City, Belize.

Participants of the National Training Workshop, Belize.

The Weather Generator (WG), the Tropical Storm Model / Simple Model for the Advection of Storms and Hurricanes (TSM/SMASH), the Caribbean Drought Assessment Tool (CARiDRO) and accompanying web portal and data sets are specific climate change impacts tools aimed at assisting in the generation of scientific information and analysis to help in making informed decisions along with policy formulation and implementation.

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. Case studies focused on areas such as drought, agriculture, water resources, coastal zone structures, health (dengue fever), and urban development and flooding were also done to test these tools and information related to these case studies will be shared during the Training along with many other interactive sessions. 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.

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Caribbean Weather Impacts Group (CARIWIG) Tools and Portal

Brief Description

  1.       A weather generator has been developed and tested on present day meteorological station observations in the region and found to produce reasonable simulations of both average and extreme weather properties. This tool provides the basis for weather generator based downscaling, required to generate locally relevant bias corrected weather scenarios for impact studies.
  2.      A new tropical storm model has been developed to provide spatial 15-minute scenarios of rainfall and wind speed over Caribbean islands under various scenarios of track, category, movement speed and historic notable storm. Managers may consider such scenarios as part of hazard management. Case study results suggest that hurricane speed, an under-reported metric, is actually of key importance, and that near-misses may be more hazardous than previously supposed.
  3.     The CARiDRO tool has been developed to assist the evaluation of meteorological and hydrological drought for the Caribbean and Central American regions, for both present day and future climate projections. This tool greatly simplifies standard but complex analyses and automatically generates a number of graphical outputs (e.g. time series plots and maps). This tool will support the agriculture and water resource sectors in their assessment and adaptation to drought hazard. A case study verified the CARiDRO tool identification of a region-wide historic drought, and found that future projections indicated increasing regional drought frequency.

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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.

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Energy Awareness Fair 2017 – RE-Thinking Energy: Shaping a Resilient Community

The Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities announces the hosting of Belize’s Energy Week 2017 during the week of November 19 -25 under the observance of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)’s Energy Month 2017. The Energy Unit within the Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities is hosting its 2017 Energy Awareness Fair today, November 23, at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has been invited to participate in the Energy Awareness Fair being celebrated under the theme “RE-Thinking Energy: Shaping a Resilient Community“.

Belize’s Energy Awareness Fair aims to foster stakeholder engagement and the exchange of ideas for appropriate energy related issues in Belize and sensitize the public about Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and access to clean and alternative modern forms of energy.

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Request for Expression of Interest: Consultancy to conduct the Technical Feasibility Study for Transformation of the St. Kitts and Nevis’ Public Transport Sector to Electric Vehicles

The Department of the Environment (DOE) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources, Cooperatives, Environment and Human Settlements, has received grant funding from the Government of Italy under the Italy Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Partnership program to support implementation of the pilot project entitled: “Pilot Public School Bus Transportation System for St. Kitts Using Renewable Energy”. The project is being implemented by the DOE and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (the Centre). Other implementation partners include the Energy Department in the Ministry of Public Works, and the Ministry of Education in Saint Kitts & Nevis.

The DOE and the Centre intends to use part of the proceeds of the grant to contract an Individual Consultant to conduct a technical feasibility and assessment to determine the technical requirements for the setting up the pilot study and for its possible expansion into a full project. This consultancy is open only to nationals or residents of St. Kitts and Nevis and other Caribbean Community Member States.

Peruse the official Request for Expression of Interest: Consultancy to conduct the Technical Feasibility Study for Transformation of the St. Kitts and Nevis’ Public Transport Sector to Electric Vehicles

Expressions of interest must be delivered electronically by 10:00 am Belize time (GMT-6) on Monday December 11, 2017 to the email address  procurement@caribbeanclimate.bz. Please make the subject line of any email communication on this matter: “EOI – Technical Feasibility – Electric Vehicles – Saint Kitts & Nevis”.

The Centre is not bound to accept any Expression of Interest received and may cancel this process at any time prior to the award of contract without liability. Interested candidates that do not comply with the requirements set out in this Invitation may be disqualified.

Further information can be obtained at the address below during office hours 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (08:00 to 17:00 hours) Belize time.

Maxine Alexander Nestor (Ms.)
Procurement Officer 
Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
Lawrence Nicholas Building, Ring Road, P.O. Box 563
Belmopan, Belize
Tel: + (501) 822-1104/1094; Fax: + (501) 822-1365
Email: mnestor@caribbeanclimate.bz

First Meeting Between IAEA and Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre Takes Place

November 13, 2017 

Senior representatives of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, visiting the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, with staff from the IAEA Division for Latin America and the Caribbean. (Photo: IAEA)

Senior representatives of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) visited the IAEA and its laboratories to discuss areas for cooperation with the Agency. The Center, based in Belize, was established in 2002 by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government and officially opened in August 2005. The CCCCC plays an important role in coordinating the Caribbean region’s response to climate change, working on effective solutions to combat the environmental impacts of climate change and global warming through numerous projects and scientific research.  The visit of the CCCCC took place 30 October to 3 November.

The CCCCC delegation, led by CCCCC Executive Director, Kenrick Leslie, included Ulric Trotz, Deputy Executive Director and Science Adviser, Mark Bynoe, Assistant Executive Director and Head of the Programme Development and Management Unit, Donneil Cain, Project Development Specialist, Keith Nichols, Senior Project Manager and Sharon Lindo, Policy Adviser. The delegation first visited the IAEA Environment Laboratories in Monaco, where they learned about the IAEA’s work relating to the marine environment.

“The Caribbean region’s primary concern is adapting to climate change and events such as the recent hurricane. The IAEA has exposed us to new methods, techniques and tools developed by its laboratories in Monaco and Seibersdorf to address these issues with regards to sustainable development.”

Dr. Leslie, Executive Director, Caribbean Community Climate Change Center

David Osborn, Director of the laboratories, welcomed the delegates and provided an overview of how various nuclear and isotopic techniques can contribute to Member States’ efforts to protect the environment. Monitoring the presence of marine contaminants and understanding the impact of ocean acidification are among several potential areas for cooperation between the CCCCC and the IAEA which were subsequently discussed. The CCCCC delegation also highlighted the need to connect environmental challenges in the Caribbean with the socioeconomic issues of the region.

This was followed by a tour of the Monaco laboratories to see first-hand how scientists at the IAEA can assist Member States by providing the necessary information for more precise and effective environmental management, and by building Member State capacities in applying nuclear technology in this field.

Delegates from the CCCCC meet with scientists from the IAEA Environment Laboratories in Monaco. (Photo: IAEA)

The following day, the representatives travelled to the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna, to take part in a workshop with IAEA staff members from TCLAC, the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, as well as the Department of Nuclear Energy, on ‘Climate Change and Nuclear Techniques for the Caribbean Community’.

The workshop was held  to establish a base for discussion and partnership development between the CCCCC and the IAEA in the upcoming years, for the benefit of the Caribbean Community.

Mr. Luis Longoria, Director of TC Division for Latin America and the Caribbean, welcomes the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center delegation. (Photo: IAEA)

At the opening of the workshop, Mr. Longoria, Director of TCLAC, highlighted the importance of this meeting: “The IAEA looks forward to identifying areas for cooperation between our agencies to support Caribbean countries in their efforts to address immediate and long term vulnerabilities to climate change in the region, and to contribute towards strenghtening Caribbean countries’ resilience and sustainable development. It is the IAEA’s goal to support your work and find synergies for cooperation and exchange of information in order to support the region’s efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”.

The CCCCC delegation also visited the IAEA Isotope Hydrology Laboratory at IAEA Headquarters to learn more about the use of isotopes in measuring precipitation and in water resource management, and the IAEA Laboratories in Seibersdorf, where they were introduced to the role of nuclear technology in insect pest control, plant breeding and genetics, soil and water management and crop nutrition, as well as in food production and environmental protection.

The CCCC delegation watches as an IAEA expert demonstrates applications of nuclear technology in water resource management during a tour of the IAEA Isotope Hydrology Laboratory in Vienna. (Photo: IAEA)

Dr. Leslie said: “the tools developed by the IAEA in Seibersdorf are very useful for the Caribbean region, especially with regards to improving crop resilience to face ever increasing temperatures, salt water intrusion and drought”.

Aspects of plant breeding and genetics are explained during the visit to the IAEA laboratories in Seibersdorf. (Photo: IAEA)

At the end of the weeklong visit, Dr. Leslie remarked that “the workshop has been an eye-opener on the role of the IAEA in sustainable development”.

Upon returning to their headquarters in Belize, the CCCCC plans to share the information on the work of the IAEA acquired during the workshop with stakeholders and countries in the region, with a view to advising national and regional policy- and decision-makers.

The IAEA, through its technical cooperation programme, assists its Member States in combatting climate change and its effects. Furthermore, the TCP  also helps countries in the region manage water resources and combat vector borne diseases such as malaria, zika and dengue, through the use of nuclear techniques.

The number of IAEA Member States from the non-Spanish speaking part of the Caribbean has been increasing steadily, with a total today of nine countries[1]. Saint Lucia, Grenada, and  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are in the process of depositing their legal instruments for IAEA membership, and other countries from the region are expected to join in the near future.

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[1] Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago

Credit: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

GWP-C WACDEP Initiative on Climate-Proofing Water Investment in the Caribbean

The Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) has embarked on a new initiative under its Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) called “Climate-Proofing Water Investment in the Caribbean” which is being executed in partnership with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).

The initiative includes the development of a Caribbean Climate Resilience and Water Security Investment Framework and Financing Plan (CReWSIP) which aims to provide a coordinated and programmatic approach to identifying, prioritising and sourcing finance for actions to enhance the climate resilience of the Caribbean through improved water resources management. The project is being funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and falls within one of the key components of the GWP-C WACDEP which recognises the need to prioritise water investments which perform well under a full range of climate scenarios. Get more details on the initiative by downloading a Stakeholder Briefing Note here.

Also, we encourage you to share your feedback and comments with us at knowledgeplatform@gwp-caribbean.org.

The Caribbean Science Series, Volume 1: 1.5 degree – New Findings on Implications for the Caribbean

Today, Monday, November 13, 2017, in Bonn, Germany at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s 23rd Conference of the Party (COP23), Caribbean leaders present new findings from the 1.5-degree Research into the implications of the Caribbean. Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) moderates the region’s side event, 1.5 degree imperative for the Caribbean. Dr. Leslie is joined by Dr. William Warren Smith, President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB); Allen Chastanet, Prime Ministers of Saint Lucia; Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada; Professor Michael Taylor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona; and Dr. Abel Centilla of INSMET. The findings are presented here in the region’s newest publication: The Caribbean Science Series, Volume 1.

PRESS RELEASE – “1 point 5 to stay alive”, the Caribbean speaks to the world at global Climate Change Conference

PRESS RELEASE – Bonn, Germany. 13 November 2017.  “1 point 5 to stay alive”, the Caribbean speaks to the world at global Climate Change Conference

“1.5 is a matter of necessity,” said University of the West Indies’ Professor Michael Taylor, speaking at an event convened by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) as part of the Conference on Climate Change, COP23, taking place in Germany until the end of this week.

Prof. Taylor was at the time delivering the main results of a study funded by the CDB, a study that has brought together 45 Caribbean scientists from 11 regional institutions to examine and compare the implications of climate change for the region.

The facts speak for themselves. On average, the temperature on this planet has already increased by 1 degree Celsius over what it was before the world began to industrialise, and the impacts of that increase are there for all to see.

In the Caribbean, global warming has already resulted in more intense hurricanes with stronger winds and much more rain, but it is also responsible: for increases in both air and ocean temperature; for more very hot days and nights; for longer and more frequent periods of drought; for an increase in very heavy rainfall events; and for sea-level rise and coastal erosion.

Climate change is real, and things can only get worse, but the question is: how much worse? This is the question that was at the centre of the climate change negotiations in Paris two years ago, and this is why the Caribbean considered it a success that the Paris Agreement made a commitment to an increase of “not more than 2 degrees”, trying to achieve the target of 1.5 degrees.

“This 1.5 Caribbean project,” said Prof. Taylor, “is the region doing its own science, putting Caribbean science in the literature of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”

And the messages from that research are clear. With ‘business as usual’, temperatures will increase by at least 2.5 degrees by the end of the century, reaching 1.5 degrees in the late 2020s, and 2 degrees in the 2050s.

“At 2 degrees, we would have a significantly harsher climate. We would be moving into the realm of the unprecedented. It’s a matter of compromise,” said Prof. Taylor, “even a 1.5 degree temperature increase will be very problematic.”

The message that the Caribbean is giving at the UN Conference is therefore one of urgency, a message that was echoed by Saint Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, who spoke at the session and who is attending the Conference in his capacity as CARICOM Lead on Sustainable Development and Climate Change.

“The Caribbean and other small island developing states (SIDS) have been patiently waiting for the world to get its act together,” said PM Chastanet, “but we now need action; we don’t have the ability to wait any longer, we need investment to build our resilience. Financing is a major constraint, and we now need a dedicated source of funds to support resilience building, specifically for the SIDS”.

The need for accessible and appropriate financing was also stressed by Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada and current Chairman of CARICOM, who declared that “we need funding for adaptation but, with the projected impact of a 1.5 increase, adaptation is not enough, thus our call for a more comprehensive regime on Loss and Damage.”

“Since the Climate Change Conference of 2009 in Copenhagen, when the message of 1 point 5 to stay alive was first sent out, the Caribbean has been advocating that a target of 1.5 degrees is both necessary and feasible,” said Dr Kenrick Leslie, the Executive Director of the CCCCC.

At the Bonn Conference this year, thanks to the work of Prof. Taylor and other Caribbean scientists, and to the tireless work of Caribbean delegates in these critical negotiations, this message is coming across even louder and stronger, backed by the highly credible scientific work of the region’s scientific community.

For more information, contact climate.justice@panoscaribbean.org and visit www.1point5.info and https://www.facebook.com/savethecaribbean/

Confronting the 1.5 Degree Challenge and Accelerating NDC Implementation in the Caribbean

On Monday, November 13th at 1:15 pm, the region will host a side event on the 1.5 vs 2 degree paper prepared by Professor Michael Taylor of the University of West Indies, Mona Campus. Professor Taylor will be joined by high-level representatives, including members from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and regional Prime Ministers to present on the importance of 1.5 degree for the survival of the region. This 45 minute side event will be followed by a 45 minute event to present the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Financing Initiative.

 

Confronting the 1.5 Degree Challenge and Accelerating NDC Implementation in the Caribbean

Joint Side Event to highlight the high vulnerability of Caribbean Countries to the impacts of climate change, as well as their commitment and leadership in addressing climate change. In the context of this side event, the Caribbean NDC Financing Initiative will be introduced.

Monday, 13 Nov 2017
13:15—14:45
Meeting Room 9

Speakers:

  • Ministerial representation from Caribbean countries;
  • President of the Caribbean Development Bank;
  • University of the West Indies;
  • Organization of Eastern Caribbean States;
  • Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre;
  • GIZ Germany;
  • NDC Partnership;
  • the UNFCCC Secretariat.

The Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation (GCECA) launch and side events at COP23

The Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation (GCECA) launch and side events at COP23:

  • The adaptation side event “What is Excellence in Climate Adaptation?”, on Thursday 9 November at 3:00pm, (in COP23 Bonn Zone)

  • The Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation will launch on November 14th, at COP23 with an exclusive launch event.
Peruse ‘GCECA COP23 Communication’ zip file containing :
  • GCECA’s logo
  • Presentation of GCECA side event
  • GCECA Communication Plan for COP23 events (‘GCECA COMMUNICATION PLAN COP23 EVENTS’ doc)
  • 2 images illustrating GCECA events, shareable on social media

High-level Conference to mobilize resources for hurricane-ravaged CARICOM States coming in November

PRESS RELEASE – (CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will hold a High-level Donor Conference on  21 November at UN Headquarters in New York to mobilise international resources for its Members devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

This initiative is aimed at rebuilding the devastated Members as the first climate resilient countries in the world and helping the wider CARICOM Region improve its resilience.  International Development Partners, friendly countries, NGOs, prominent personalities, private sector entities and Foundations have been invited.  CARICOM Heads of Government and the Secretaries-General of CARICOM and the United Nations will also participate.

The powerful category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the Region in September causing a number of deaths and widespread devastation in CARICOM Member States and Associate Members.  Irma, with wind gusts of over 230 mph, damaged or destroyed more than 90 percent of the buildings on Barbuda – the sister island of Antigua – leading to the complete evacuation of the island; and between 60 and 90 percent in Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the southern family islands in The Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis were also affected.  Maria passed two weeks later, hitting Dominica with such fury, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit was prompted to declare that “Dominica is pure devastation”.

CARICOM, through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) has been at the forefront of the immediate relief effort. Member States, private sector companies and public spirited individuals have contributed significant quantities of relief supplies. Several countries have also contributed security personnel, health professionals and utility repair experts, among others. CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell of Grenada and Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque led assessment teams to badly affect islands.

Given the level of devastation and in anticipation that the frequency and intensity will become the new normal, the Region has recognised the need to build back better for improved resilience.

November’s Donor Conference also comes against the backdrop that the impacted countries are Caribbean Small Island and Low-lying Coastal Developing States (SIDS) with inherent vulnerabilities.  Most have also  been made ineligible for concessional financing from major donors which have categorised them as middle to high income countries.

Credit: CARICOM Secretariat - Press Release Announcing Conference

Flickr Photos

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