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NCCO announces Youth Video Competition

The National Climate Change Office (NCCO) invites interested young people (“Entrants”) to tell the country how they are shaping a more sustainable future by entering its second National Climate Change Youth Video Competition.

The National Climate Change Youth Video Competition highlights climate action by youth through videos, giving them a platform to share their successes and inspire other youths and policy-makers. The 2018 competition is stemming from the Global Youth Climate Video Competition which is co-organized by UN Climate Change, GEF-UNDP SGP and Connect4Climate, with support from BNP Paribas Foundation and the constituency of youth non-governmental organizations (YOUNGO).

This video competition offers an opportunity for Entrants to showcase their positive climate actions in order to inspire their community leaders and policy makers in Belize to address Climate Change.

Peruse the following: Entry guidelinesEntry form and the Official Rules for Youth Video Competition

Coral reef early warning system deployed in Soufriere

(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), University of Florida, and the government of St Lucia (Department of fisheries) formed an alliance to undertake a Caribbean Climate Change Adaptation Project.

According to Albert Jones, CCCCC Representative, “The project encompasses adaptation measures in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean.”

The installation of a Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) Network took place in the Soufriere Marine Reserve on Monday, May 14th, 2018. The CREWS network will provide information to Caribbean scientists and researchers to monitor reef health, sea temperature changes, winds (speed and gusts), barometric pressure and much needed data.

“The CREWS Network will include five new countries in the Eastern Caribbean- Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, and Grenada” Jones further added.

The Department of fisheries is thankful for the initiative. Fisheries Extension Officer, Rita Straughn stated “The installation of the CREWS will help improve the monitoring of the various parameters which affect the coral reefs.”

With an increase in climate change, the CREWS network will be even more beneficial to the island with the impending start of the hurricane season as of June 1st.

Credit: St. Lucia News Online

CCCCC, Governments of Italy and St Lucia plan Early Warning System

Photo shows participants in a series of meetings to discuss the development of an early warning system for St Lucia. The project is being funded by the Government of Italy through the Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea – Contributed photo

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and representatives from the Governments of Italy and Saint Lucia held a series of meetings this week, to discuss the development of an early warning system (EWS) for the island.

The Project is being funded by the Government of Italy through its Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea. Using geographic information, the system is expected to forecast the potential effects of national disasters, provide flood mapping and other sector- relevant and necessary information to aid decision-making during events. As the primary stakeholder, the Government of Saint Lucia would be responsible for the operation and management of the system, thereby allowing the country to adequately prepare for major events and conduct comprehensive post-disaster assessments.

Speaking at the meeting Minister of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development the Hon Dr. Gail Rigobert, emphasised the Government’s commitment to the initiative and reiterated the necessity of the system for development planning within the challenges presented by climate change.

Ms. Emmanuela Vignola represented the Ministry’s Director General, Francesco de la Camera.  Representatives from the National Emergency Management Office, Meteorology Department, Water and Hydrology and the Ministry of Budget and Planning represented the Government of Saint Lucia. The Centre was represented by its Executive Director, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Ms. Sharon Lindo, Policy Adviser and Mr. Albert Jones, Instrumentation Specialist.


The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) 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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Addressing Vulnerability Through Adaptation Measures in Belize

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Technical experts along with representatives from NCCO, CCCCC, UNDP, INSMET and NOAA

Belmopan, May 10, 2018 – A three-day National Capacity Building on Climate Change Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) workshop aimed at enhancing Belize’s ability to measure climate risks, ended today. It was held at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan.

The objectives of the workshop are intended to enhance Belize’s national capacity for climate change vulnerability assessments, identify and utilize relevant national, regional and international data resources, tools and models that will provide guidance and information for the VCA. Organisers hoped that the workshop would also help participants to get practical experience in conducting VCAs, identify realistic adaptation activities and actions to address the country’s vulnerabilities and support the national development processes, establish a national network and build communication linkages between practitioners and stakeholders to promote public awareness about climate variability and change, sustainable and economic development, and resilience.

The workshop was organsied by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) with funding from The National Climate Change Office (NCCO) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration (MAFFESDI) in collaboration with the Global Environmental Facility(GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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Dr. Roger Pulwarty, NOAA

Experts from the Cuban Meteorological Institute (INSMET Cuba) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) presented on concepts and tools used in developing vulnerability and adaptation assessments as well as the various aspects of the Vulnerability Capacity and Adaptation Measures process. Twenty technical experts from various ministries across the government of Belize participated in the various discussions and presented on their conclusions.

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Arnoldo Bezanilla, INSMET Cuba

In his opening speech on May 8, 2018, Dr. Percival Cho, Chief Executive Officer of Ministry of AFFESDI, noted: “In order to address and reduce vulnerabilities we face as a nation and develop appropriate adaptation strategies, these assessments need to be updated periodically. Therefore, it is critical that our national technical experts build their capacity.”

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Dr. Percival Cho, Chief Executive Officer of Ministry of AFFESDI

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Technical experts participating in group discussions

CARPHA Urges Region to Gear Up for the Possibility of a Severe Outbreak of Dengue Fever


Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  9 May 2018.  While chikungunya and zika, which swept the region in 2014 and 2016 are not expected back anytime soon, CARPHA is warning, “gear-up for the possibility of a major outbreak of dengue fever in 2018.” This because as before, the pre-conditions of abundant mosquito vector levels still exist, and increased levels of dengue are being reported in Latin America and elsewhere.

It is imperative as rainy season begins in many countries that efforts to stop mosquitoes breeding and biting be stepped up, especially for pregnant women and vulnerable populations.

These mosquitoes borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and zika threaten health, tourism, social and economic development, so everyone needs to work together. Dengue remains a global health problem and like zika and chikungunya, there is no specific treatment for the disease.

“Although dengue is not new to the Region, we need to gear up for the possibility of a severe outbreak. This virus has been increasing in frequency over the past 30 years. Reports from Latin America elsewhere show markedly increased dengue in recent months, so we in the Caribbean can expect it will soon be here,” CARPHA Executive Director, Dr C. James Hospedales said in observance of Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week 2018.

It is interesting to note that prior to chikungunya and zika arriving on our shores, that large epidemics of these conditions were reported the preceding years, 2013 and 2015 in the Pacific and La Reunion, and that dengue epidemics are being reported 2017/18 from the Pacific and La Reunion.

Under the slogan “Fight the bite, destroy mosquito breeding sites”, Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week, 7-13 May, focuses on mosquito borne diseases and risks associated with them.

The measures used for controlling the spread of dengue are the same as those for zika and chikungunya as these diseases are transmitted by the same mosquito, Aedes aegypti.  As the rainy season approaches mosquito control and awareness activities need to be intensified.

The most effective way to avoid getting sick from viruses spread by mosquitoes is to prevent mosquito bites.  Research of CARPHA and PAHO/WHO show that drums and tires are the main mosquito breeding sources in our countries.

“We need to clean up our surroundings.  The two most important things to manage mosquito populations in our Caribbean countries are to manage water storage drums and tanks, and properly dispose of used vehicle tires to prevent mosquitoes breeding,” stated Dr Hospedales.

Actions that can be taken include covering drums and tanks, checking the guttering, removing stagnant water sources and individuals protecting themselves and their family from bites.

Infants, young children, older adults and women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites and enlist the help of family, friends and neighbours to destroy breeding sites.

Dengue is a flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults, but can be severe and cause death.  Symptoms typically begin four to ten days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.  This illness can evolve to severe dengue, characterized by potentially deadly complication due to intense and continuous abdominal pain or tenderness, persistent vomiting.

Caribbean Mosquito Awareness week was declared at the 17th Special Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in November 2014 on Public Health Threats, and is an important reminder to the general public to take action to reduce their risk of diseases spread by mosquitoes.

More information about Caribbean Mosquito Awareness can be found here: http://caribbeanmosquitoweek.carpha.org

Chastanet issues climate change challenge

Chastanet issues climate change challenge

Hon. Allen Chastenet, Prime Minister of St. Lucia

Press Release:–  The Government of Saint Lucia and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations (UNECLAC), hosted the fifth meeting of the Caribbean Development Round Table, under the theme “Promoting Climate Resilience and Sustainable Economic Growth in the Caribbean,” and the twenty-seventh session of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee on April 26 and 27.

In frank and pointed remarks, Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastenet, also the Chairperson of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee called for deliberate action in dealing with climate change, questioning the preparedness of the region for the hurricane season, which is exactly one month away.

“Climate change doesn’t discriminate,” he said. “It does not have any empathy for you because you are a poor country. It does not have any empathy because more people are unemployed. It does not have any empathy because people in your country are older. It does not have any empathy that you are not prepared. There is no pause button that you can press to get your house in order—it is coming. The sad reality for us in the Caribbean and the most frustrating part of what we are having to face is that we can’t control it. Therefore, the only thing we can do is build resilience.

“At the end of every session, I pull out a pen, for the IMF and other financial institutions to be able to classify the depth of this region to build resilience, is a pen. So once more, the hard evidence that the world is not listening and are not emphatic towards the smallest partners, is evidence. So I am appealing to ECLAC to make sure they become the great generation of implementers.”

Financing green investment for resilience building and structural transformation in the Caribbean, the vulnerability of Caribbean economies caused by de risking and challenges to the offshore financial sector, and implementing the ECLAC debt swap initiative, were among a number of topical areas discussed at last week’s meeting.

Meanwhile, the 37th session of ECLAC will be held from May 7-11 2018 in Havana.

Global Resilience and Crisis Management Centre to be established at UWI

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, makes a point during his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 8. At left is Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck. Photo Credit: Donald De La Haye

The Global Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, which will deal with climate-related issues, will be established at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

Making the disclosure in his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 8), Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the Centre is being designed to help vulnerable states to recover quickly from natural disasters.

He said establishment of the facility, which will provide information, expertise, technical advice and guidance, resulted from the World Tourism Conference, which was held in Jamaica last November.

Mr. Bartlett pointed out that the Centre has received support from the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Tourism Organization, along with several overseas universities.

The Tourism Minister said the ultimate goal of the Global Resilience Centre will be to assist destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that threaten economies and livelihoods globally with real time data and effective communication.

Mr. Bartlett said that while the tourism sector has traditionally been very resilient, the industry is also one of the most vulnerable to climate change, cybercrime/cyber-terrorism, terrorism and pandemics.

He noted that several powerful hurricanes and storms caused catastrophic damage to the region last year.

“Disruptions within the sector have wider implications for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Ensuring the resilience of the sector is critical to protecting and promoting the well-being of millions of citizens around the world,” Minister Bartlett said.

Credit: Jamaica Information Service (JIS)

Caribbean #1point5toStayAlive Explainer: Leon Charles and Spencer Thomas, on 2018 and the Road to COP24

2018 is another crucial year for global climate change negotiations, as Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) develop a work programme for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and as efforts are being made to ensure that the 1.5°C target is eventually reached.

In all the negotiation processes leading to and during the next meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP24) in December, the Caribbean needs to remain actively involved and to make its voice heard.

In this video, regional experts Leon Charles and Spencer Thomas present the agenda for the coming weeks and months, and outline the challenges and the opportunities that the Caribbean must consider in order to secure a satisfactory outcome from forthcoming global negotiations.

Announcement for Fellowship programmes

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat has issued nine announcements for various fellowship opportunities, particularly targeted to develop capacity of fellows from SIDs and LDCs.

The application deadline is June 4, 2018.

The link to the announcements is:  http://unfccc.int/secretariat/employment/recruitment

Empowering Women as Managers in the Renewable Energy Sector – Request for Applications

The Renewables Academy AG (RENAC) together with SD Strategies and Nedworc Foundation (NWF) have been commissioned by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to execute a comprehensive capacity building and mentoring programme for women from APEC countries. This project aims to support career advancement of women working in the field of renewable energy in APEC economies. The programme specifically seeks to support women’s career development by:

  • Increasing skills and knowledge on renewable energy technologies;
  • Improving skills on developing sound business plans for the advancement of renewable energy in home economies;
  • Facilitating professional exchanges and peer-to-peer mentoring.

Women interested in joining the programme are requested to apply here.

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