The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s International and Regional Liaison Officer, Mr. Carlos Fuller, was the guest speaker at a National Consultation on Agriculture and Climate Change in Barbados last week (June 7, 2013). The event was convened by the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI).
Mr Fuller discussed the science of climate change, the impacts on agriculture in the Caribbean and the Centre’s efforts to reduce the negative impacts of climate change. He noted that studies show that a two degree increase in temperature and a change in rainfall of +/- 20% could result in a decline of beans in Belize by 14 and 19%, rice by 10 and 14 % and corn by 22 and 17 %. In sugarcane and citrus, an increase in temperature of one degree by 2028 and 2.5 degrees by 2050, sugar cane would decline by 112 and 17% and citrus by 3 and 5%.
Mr Fuller’s wide-ranging presentation included a look at the landmark Implementation Plan, which was approved by the CARICOM Heads of Government in 2012, and a review of the work being done by the Centre: namely conducting training workshops for CARICOM agriculture officials in Guyana in 2008, and for CARDI officials in Trinidad in 2009. Following the keynote presentation, Mr Fuller and Dr. Cyril Roberts, CARDI Country Representative, facilitated dialogue among the representatives, which included officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and private sector consultants.
The Barbados national consultation is the first of a series being organized by CARDI to raise the awareness of the agricultural communities in CARICOM Member States about the impact of climate change on the sector. The initiative is being funded by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), which was established in 1983 under the Lome Convention between the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the European Union (EU).