The Caribbean Community Climate Change (CCCCC), with support from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITR), has been working to boost the Caribbean’s capacity to cope with agricultural risks amidst climate variability and climate change.
Changing weather patterns, more frequent occurrences of weather extremes (floods and droughts ) , increased intensity of hurricanes, rising temperatures and projected sea level rise are predicted to have devastating impacts on the regional agricultural sector and the region’s food security. The region is already experiencing some of the projected negative impacts on the sector.
Training of regional meteorological officers in statistics in Applied Climatology.
Building the climate monitoring capacity of the regional research network.
As such, the Centre leveraged UNITR’s support to build the capacity of the region’s premier institutions: the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) and the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI), as well as regional meteorological organizations, to provide timely and user friendly climate information to the farming community in the region.
Under the UNITR-funded CCCCC executed project, regional meteorological officers were trained to carry out statistical analyses on regional weather data and to use these outputs to be in a better position to warn the farming community of oncoming conditions for their operations. This allows the farming community to make the necessary operational adjustments and avoid the usual experience of loss of investment and livelihoods.
To ensure the training delivered was effectively utilized, eleven automatic Agrio-Meterological Stations (weather stations) were installed at CARDI’s premises in ten Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries:
Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica and Belize.
This network of weather stations has tremendously boosted the organization’s research capability, which is highly dependent on its ability to constantly measure and monitor critical weather parameters.
Previous UNITAR support to CARDI has resulted in improved capacity to carry out impact studies on the sector using biophysical models coupled with climate change scenarios generated from the regional climate modeling exercises in the region. This places the region in a position to take proactive action to avoid deleterious consequences which are projected to be experienced in the agriculture sector as a result of climate change.