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.