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Climate Resilient Agriculture in Focus as Barbuda, Dominica Rebuild After Monster Hurricanes

HURRICANE MARIA CHOPPED THE TOPS OF TREES AND LEFT THEM BARE IN DOMINICA LAST MONTH. (PHOTO CREDIT: CARDI)

Executive Director of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) Barton Clarke is confident that the agriculture sectors that were destroyed with the passage of back to back Category 5 hurricanes will rebound with the collective effort at resilient rebuilding.

But more work needs to be done and a greater slice of resources must be pumped into the region’s agriculture sector to make it more resilient, he said.

Speaking on the eve of a Ministerial Agriculture Meeting at the Georgetown-based CARICOM Secretariat, Clarke was optimistic that with initial steps being taken to focus on the short-term, the two islands that were hardest hit, Barbuda and Dominica, will bounce back.

Barbuda

Barbuda had significantly advanced its peanut production and was recently getting CARDI support for the industry, but the hurricane impaired its seed supplies for the upcoming crop. CARDI will screen and store supplies at its seed storage facility in Antigua, Clarke said.

Antigua and Barbuda had presented its vision for agriculture at the COTED Meeting. Barbuda has adopted a ‘green island concept’ with alternative energy, particularly solar and wind; organic agriculture and compliance with food safety requirements as the main features. Protected agriculture and specially designed smart greenhouses are the pillars on which resilience, readiness and sustainability will be built.

The concept also utilizes appropriate innovations and production technologies such as rational mechanization, selected germplasm, efficient use of water resources and intensive systems for small ruminants. The concept will ensure that zoning and land use practices will not compromise the integrity of the environment.

Dominica

Replanting of short-term crops such as lettuce, Chinese cabbage and ochro, for example, has begun in Dominica. Root crops, which made up a sizeable part of Dominica’s sector, can rebound “relatively quickly” as opposed to tree crops, he said and there could be a fast turnaround in the poultry sector, for example.

“…Once you can access the baby chicks, in six months’ time you have eggs…Tree crops you would have to get the trees in the ground and they will take a few years before they begin bearing. But In two years’ time we will be back to being a major supplier of food to the Caribbean,” Clarke said.

The CARDI head pointed to the necessity for climate-resilient agriculture in the Community. Antigua and Barbuda has already incorporated some of those elements – such as protected agriculture – in its green island concept.

According to Clarke, CARDI is looking at protected structures for crop production and getting the best types for the Caribbean.

He pointed, as an example, to livestock production systems where animals were now housed in pens rather than “running around”. The pens, he said, were modified so that they can withstand the increases in temperature. He said CARDI is considering the work done in countries such as Israel, the Dominican Republic and Barbados where animals are fed in protected housing which limits their exposure to the temperatures and increases their productivity.

“You see where they have introduced wind tunnel technology for poultry where we have poultry operating in essentially air conditioned environments where the temperature is regulated,” he explained.

He added that the systems have been extended into the crop arena as well. He pointed out that there was solar cooling technology to bring down the heat in the protected structures. CARDI is also collaborating with the University of the West Indies to look at cooling the structures.

“Then we have to look at drug and heat-tolerant varieties of plants; we’ve done some work on pigeon peas, corn, sweet potato, dasheen. A lot more of that work needs to be done; a lot more of resources need to be invested,” he said.

Credit: Caribbean 360

Nicaragua signs the Paris Agreement while UN urges the world to upscale climate policies

A month after Nicaragua announced its intention to join the Paris Agreement, the country officially committed to the landmark climate accord, – one day after UNFCCC published a new report urging policymakers to upscale existing and new climate policies in order for the Paris goals to be met.

President Daniel Ortega had announced his plans to sign the Paris Agreement last month, during a meeting with a delegation of Senior Executives from the World Bank.

Nicaragua’s Nationally Determined Contributions haven’t been submitted yet, but the country is already considered a renewable energy paradise, as it currently produces more than 50 percent of its power needs from clean energy and aims to increase this to 90 percent by 2020.

Rosario Murillo, Nicaragua’s Vice President and First Lady commented that the Paris Agreement “is the only instrument we have in the world that allows the unity of intentions and efforts to face up to climate change and natural disasters”.

Nicaragua constitutes a developing country, which is however threated disproportionally from the impacts of climate change like extreme weather events and it is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes.

In 2015, it refused to sign the Paris accord as it claimed the Agreement was too weak and it did not protect developing countries from climate change.

However, President Daniel Ortega decided that Nicaragua’s decision to join the Agreement will be done in support of these nations.

He had said: “We have to be in solidarity with this large number of countries that are the first victims, who are already the victims and are the ones who will continue to suffer the impact of these disasters and that are countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, of the Caribbean, which are in highly vulnerable areas”.

To date, 169 countries have ratified the agreement and 165 countries have submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

On Monday, UNFCCC published its “Climate Action Now: Summary for Policymakers 2017” based on recommendations from the Technical Expert Meetings on climate change mitigation and adaptation held in May 2017 in Bonn, and as part of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action that is working to support INDCs and National Climate Action Plans.

The report shed light on the importance of coordination and coherence of all three global agendas related to climate change, i.e. the Paris Agreement, the UN SDGs, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

For example, climate change mitigation action can bring co-benefits for adaptation and sustainable development; renewables can increase access to electricity as well as reduce emissions and more efficient and sustainable agriculture and forestry can contribute to adaptation too.

In addition, it stressed the importance of data and information availability, as a lot of data about the impacts of climate change and the associated risks are not available for many countries.

The report also mentions the complexity of measuring and verifying emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use, stressing that this needs to be addressed soon.

You can read the full “Climate Action Now: Summary for Policymakers 2017” report here.

Credit: Climate Action Programme

Request for Proposals – Transitioning to National Energy Security: Bartica, a Model Green Town

Credit: Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. Not for use without written permission.

The  Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has received funds  from the Italian Government for the purpose of implementing the project  “Transitioning to National Energy Security: Bartica, a Model Green Town”  and intends to apply a part of the proceeds towards payments for the  following Consulting Contracts:

(1) Household Baseline Survey, Bartica, Guyana, Contract # 29/2017/Italian Government/CCCCC

Peruse the official Request for Proposal and Terms of Reference below:

(2) Transportation Sector Energy Audit, Bartica, Guyana, Contract # 30/2017/Italian Government/CCCCC

Peruse the official Request for Proposal and Terms of Reference below:

(3) Production of Concept Manual and Implementation of Public  Awareness  and Education Campaigns, Bartica, Guyana, Contract #  31/2017/Italian  Government/CCCCC

Peruse the official Request for Proposal and Terms of Reference below:

(4) Energy Audit of Public Institutions,  Facilities and Street Lighting, Bartica, Guyana Contract #  32/2017/Italian Government/CCCCC

Peruse the official Request for Proposal and Terms of Reference below:

Interested and eligible consultants may obtain further information at awilliams@caribbeanclimate.bz between 08:00 and 17:00 hours (Belize Time) Monday to Friday.

The deadline for the submission of proposals is: on or before 2:00 pm (GMT-6), Tuesday 21stNovember 2017.

 

LAC Carbon Forum Stresses Cooperation Among non-State Actors for Success of Paris Agreement

Participants at the eleventh Latin American and Caribbean Carbon Forum (LACCF) have underlined the importance of commitments by “new actors,” such as cities and local, tribal or state governments in achieving the objective of the Paris Agreement on climate change to keep global average temperature rise well below 2 °C and as close as possible to 1.5 °C.

In his closing remarks, former Mexican President Philippe Calderón said the participation of sub-national and non-state actors could fill the gap between between current climate mitigation pledges by national governments and efforts required to achieve the objective of the Paris Agreement. He told participants that the shift towards new actors creates a “new vision in a politically adverse world,” noting the example of pledges by cities and businesses that are part of ‘We Are Still In,’ a network of more than 2,500 mayors, tribal leaders, CEOs and university presidents in the US committed to continued action in the face of the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

Other speakers highlighted the need for continued efforts to decarbonize Latin American economies, noting that such endeavors cannot be achieved through isolated actions but require cooperation among many actors and mutual transparency. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa underlined the role of private and public sectors working together to mobilize necessary investments.

Attended by more than 480 participants from 38 countries, LACCF 11 served as venue to inspire greater climate action in the LAC region. While its primary focus is on market mechanisms, carbon pricing, climate finance and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the event also provided an opportunity to discuss other forms of climate action and policies.

Co-organized by the Mexican Secretariat of Environment and Natural resources, UNFCCC, UNDP, the World Bank Group and many other partners, LACCF 11 was held 18-20 October 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Credit: IISD SDG Knowledge Hub

Women’s Leadership is Driving Climate Action – Speech by Patricia Espinosa

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

On the margins of ministerial meeting in Fiji, designed to the prepare the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn in November (COP23), the UN’s top climate change official Patricia Espinosa gave a speech on women’s leadership in climate action and sustainable development. The Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change said that COP23 provided an important opportunity to move forward on gender-related issues and gave an update on the Gender Action Plan of UN Climate Change. Read her address here:

Thank you for being here for an event that highlights women’s leadership in driving solutions to climate change.

And a special thank you to prime minister Bainimarama for extending his warm invitation to this event.

Together with support from Australia under the Women Delegates Fund your Government has been advancing the ability of women to play an ever increasing and important role in multilateral negotiations.

We also acknowledge Ambassador Khan of Fiji as an International Gender Champion and we look forward to welcoming more women negotiators into this family of expertise at COP 23 in Bonn.

Ladies and Gentlemen, here in Fiji, delegates are working to prepare for COP 23, where the attention of the world will be on Bonn, Germany and the next round of climate change negotiations.

While Paris represented one of those moments where the best of humanity achieved an agreement so important to our collective futures, Bonn represents how we will move forward to fulfill its promise.

Bonn also represents an important opportunity to move forward on gender-related issues.

Today I want to discuss three very specific items related to those issues.

First, I want to provide you with an update about the Gender Action Plan.

Second, I’ll highlight some of the work we’re doing—and what I’m specifically doing—at UN Climate Change to advance female representation in the negotiations process and beyond.

Finally, I’ll provide some interesting examples of how UN Climate Change is working to advance women’s leadership in driving solutions to climate change.

Before I do, however, I want to talk to you about the urgency of our task to address climate change.

Never has our work been more necessary. We see this with respect to the extreme weather events affecting almost every continent throughout the world.

Whether it’s hurricanes in the Caribbean, drought in the Sahel, or wildfires in western North America, it’s observably clear to many that the impacts of climate change are happening right now.

We feel compassion for those who have lost everything, including homes, jobs, and, in some cases, friends and family.

But it also emphasizes that we are running out of time to turn things around. To do so, we must significantly increase our efforts to reduce emissions and our carbon footprints.

Not tomorrow. Not five years from now—today. As we can plainly see, the weather won’t wait for us to act.

As Secretary-General Guterres was last week when he was in Barbuda to see the impact of Hurricane Irma:

“The link between climate change and the devastation we are witnessing is clear, and there is a collective responsibility of the international community to stop this suicidal development.”

If we are to get off that development path, if we are to make the changes needed, we must have unprecedented cooperation, coordination and confidence.

And women must be at the forefront.

It’s not opinion. It’s not aspiration. It’s a fact.

And it’s what signatories agreed to under the Paris Agreement.

The Agreement is clear. It states that when Parties take action to address climate change, they should respect, promote and consider gender equality and the empowerment of women.

It’s also stated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

We all know that promises without action, however, are empty.

That’s why we’ve been working hard on a number of fronts, beginning with the Gender Action Plan.

This was a plan requested by the COP in Marrakech last year, in order to support the implementation of gender-related decisions and mandates under the UN Climate Change Process.

This was a significant decision.

After all, we know that gender equality and empowerment of women and girls is key to the successful implementation of the three big agreements I just mentioned.

And there is compelling evidence that links the inclusion of women in climate policy and solutions with better results, economic growth and more sustainable outcomes.

I’m happy to report that we’ve had a number of workshops and informal meetings that has moved the Gender Action Plan forward recently, including a very successful meeting last month in Ottawa.

This built on previous informal consultations in the Hague, hosted by the governments of the Netherlands and Costa Rica.

At the meeting in Ottawa, participants—including UN Climate Change—worked through 75 activities identified during previous workshops.

The purpose was to try and make each as actionable as possible.

I’m pleased by the work that has been accomplished and, as a result, we fully expect that an action plan will be adopted at COP 23 in Bonn.

This, however, does not mean our work related to gender ends. Just like the Paris Agreement, the next step will be implementation—a step where we must define exactly what activities we’ll undertake and exactly how we’ll work together to achieve them.

In the meantime, we at UN Climate Change continue to call upon Parties to address gender imbalance within their delegations.

We continue to encourage them to increase the number of women being nominated and elected to constituted bodies. This is especially true of developed countries.

The fact remains that the only nationally-determined contributions that include references to gender or women are from developing countries.

Frankly, this isn’t good enough and must change.

We at the UNFCCC stand ready to work with all Parties to help them take action to increase the participation of women.

The good news is that, to date, more than 50 gender-related decisions have been adopted within the UNFCCC processes.

I have also personally been working on the gender front.

For example, I am very pleased to be a global mentor with the C40’s Women for Climate initiative—a group that conducts research on the links between gender, cities and climate change.

In June of this year, I was also fortunate to be offered the opportunity to join the International Gender Champions network and help empower more women leaders.

I am doing everything I can to create more space that gives women a voice.

As one of my commitments, I signed the panel parity pledge, meaning that I will request organizers of any event at which I am speaking to aim for gender balance among speakers in panel discussions. I plan to hold all organizations to account.

I want to ensure that when we talk about a topic as significant as climate change, women who are working in this field are provided an equal opportunity to share their knowledge and perspectives.

UN Climate Change’s own Momentum for Change initiative is also raising the visibility of women acting on climate change.

For those who don’t know it, Momentum for Change shines a light on some of the most innovative, scalable and practical examples of what people across the globe are doing to combat climate change.

We organize the projects under pillars, one of which is called Women For Results.

This year, for the first time, we have two separate focus areas under that pillar: one on women’s empowerment and one on women’s leadership. Let me share a few examples.

One project is called Waste to Wow, based in Italy.

It’s a woman-led, eco fashion business that addresses climate change while also providing jobs for disadvantaged female workers.

It does this by recycling high-quality fabric waste from fashion companies to produce women’s clothing collections.

More than 200,000 meters of fabric was recovered in 2016, reducing CO2 emissions by around 18,000 tonnes.

Another project from Belize is equally innovative.

A woman named Lisa Carne was Belize’s first female diving instructor in a male-dominated industry.

She decided to start a company called Fragments of Hope.

Through this company, she offers women subsidized training programs on marine tourism and lagoon ecology so that they can help restore coral reef habitats.

So far, 90,000 corals have been transferred from nurseries into nature in three different national parks and marine reserves.

There are two final projects under the Women For Results pillar: one project out of Ecuador that increases sustainable production of organic food through urban agriculture — the participants are mainly women…

…and an agricultural program for women farmers in Sudan that recognizes their crucial role as agents of change in improving food security.

The project, among other things, helps train women in conservation techniques and helps them access finance and markets.

These are all fantastic projects and shine a light on the leadership role women are playing with respect to building a cleaner and greener future.

They’re also examples of practical, hands-on solutions to climate change that are being implemented right now—solutions that will help not only women, but all people.

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your dedication, support and leadership with respect to advancing gender as part of the climate change process.

As I’ve discussed today, while we still have much to accomplish, we have made real progress. We need to continue that momentum.

Because these are days when we need the voices of women more than ever.

When it comes to climate change, we need women at the negotiating tables, in boardrooms and as the heads of businesses, in the streets and in the fields…

…not only having their voices heard about climate change, but making the key decisions that will lead to a better tomorrow for all.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Bonn and working with you in the future.

Thank you.

Credit: UNFCCC Newsroom

Role of renewables in focus as Community observes Energy Month in November

FLASHBACK: Participants on the Energy Walk in 2015

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) citizens will focus attention on the role of renewables and the importance of efficient energy use when they observe CARICOM Energy Month (CEM) next month.

CEM is a collaborative initiative to address the key energy issues and promoting cooperation based on the needs and common interest within the Community. It is a celebration of the significant strides that have been made within the Region in its transition to a sustainable energy pathway towards achieving long-term behavioural changes. This year marks the second time that the CEM will be observed.

The Month will be launched at the Quisqueya University, Port au Prince, Haiti, on 30 October, under the theme ‘Re-thinking Energy – Shaping a Resilient Community’.  The launch will take the form of a mini symposium and exhibition.

This year’s CEM will address, in a deliberate way, some of the critical energy issues that continue to limit sustainable energy use and the concomitant economic development of the Region through a number of specific education and outreach activities at the regional and national level.

The CARICOM Secretariat’s Energy Programme will host a series of regional competitions and activities which will include an Energy Personality Award, Young Artist Competition, Youth Essay Competition and the regional energy ‘Kilo-walk’ to complement national activities and events of Member States.

Member States through their energy agencies and other entities, and the CARICOM Secretariat, will promote awareness and build an understanding on five focus areas which have linkages to sustainable energy use. The areas are Economic and Social Advancement; Climate Change; Energy Poverty and Access; Gender Mainstreaming; and Disaster Risk Management.

Citizens are encouraged to join the conversations on our sustainable energy transition on social media at: Facebook (CARICOM.Energy), Twitter (@CARICOMEnergy), Instagram (CARICOM Energy).

Credit: CARICOM Today 

In Defense of the 1.5°C Climate Change Threshold

Steam and exhaust pipes

According to a recent paper in the journal Nature, the world’s remaining “carbon budget” – the amount of carbon-dioxide equivalents that can be emitted before breaching the 1.5°C warming threshold – is somewhat larger than was previously thought. But this is no reason for complacency.

The Earth today is more than 1°C hotter than it was in pre-industrial times, and the terrible symptoms of its fever are already showing. This year alone, back-to-back hurricanes have devastated Caribbean islands, monsoon flooding has displaced tens of millions in South Asia, and fires have raged on nearly every continent. Pulling the planet back from the brink could not be more urgent.

Those of us who live on the front lines of climate change – on archipelagos, small islands, coastal lowlands, and rapidly desertifying plains – can’t afford to wait and see what another degree of warming will bring. Already, far too many lives and livelihoods are being lost. People are being uprooted, and vital resources are becoming increasingly scarce, while those suffering the most severe consequences of climate change are also among those who have done the least to cause it.

That is why the Philippines used its chairmanship of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) – an alliance of the 48 countries that stand to bear the brunt of climate change – to fight to ensure that the 2015 Paris climate agreement aimed explicitly to cap global warming at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. For us, 1.5°C isn’t merely a symbolic or “aspirational” number to be plugged into international agreements; it is an existential limit. If global temperatures rise above that level, the places we call home – and many other homes on this planet – will become uninhabitable or even disappear completely.

When we first introduced the 1.5°C target back in 2009, we met substantial resistance. Climate-change deniers – those who refuse to believe the science of human-induced global warming – continue to dismiss any such effort to stem the rise in the planet’s temperature as futile and unnecessary. But even well-meaning climate advocates and policymakers often opposed the 1.5°C target, arguing that, according to the science, humans had already emitted enough greenhouse gases to make meeting that goal virtually impossible.

Yet, on this front, the science is not as clear-cut as it might have seemed. According to a recent paper published in Nature, the world’s remaining “carbon budget” – the amount of carbon-dioxide equivalents we can emit before breaching the 1.5°C threshold – is somewhat larger than was previously thought.

This finding is no reason for complacency, as some commentators (not scientists) seem to think. It does not mean that previous climate models were excessively alarmist, or that we can take a more relaxed approach to reining in global warming. Instead, the paper should inspire – and, indeed, calls for – more immediate, deliberate, and aggressive action to ensure that greenhouse-gas emissions peak within a few years and net-zero emissions are achieved by mid-century.

What would such action look like? Global emissions would need to be reduced by 4-6% every year, until they reached zero. Meanwhile, forest and agricultural lands would have to be restored, so that they could capture and sequester greater amounts of carbon dioxide. Fully decarbonizing our energy and transportation systems in four decades will require a herculean effort, but it is not impossible.

Beyond their environmental consequences, such efforts would generate major economic gains, boosting the middle class in developed countries and pulling hundreds of millions out of poverty in the developing world, including by fueling job creation. The energy transition will lead to massive efficiency savings, while improving the resilience of infrastructure, supply chains, and urban services in developing countries, particularly those in vulnerable regions.

According to a report published last year by the United Nations Development Programme, maintaining the 1.5°C threshold and creating a low-carbon economy would add as much as $12 trillion to global GDP, compared to a scenario in which the world sticks to current policies and emissions-reduction pledges.

The paper asserting that the 1.5°C target is achievable was written by well-respected climate experts and published in a top-ranking journal after extensive peer review. But it is just one paper; there is still a lot more to learn about our capacity to limit global warming. That is why top scientists are already discussing and debating its findings; their responses will also be published in top journals. That is how scientific research works, and it is why we can trust climate science – and its urgent warnings.

Next year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will publish its own meta-analysis of all of the science related to the 1.5°C target, in what promises to be the most comprehensive summary of such research. But we cannot afford to wait for that analysis before taking action.

The members of the CVF have already committed to doing our part, pledging at last year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech to complete the transition to 100% renewable energy as soon as possible. Our emissions are already among the world’s smallest, but our climate targets are the world’s most ambitious.

But whether the world manages to curb climate change ultimately will depend on the willingness of the largest current and historical emitters of greenhouse gases to fulfill their moral and ethical responsibility to take strong action. Keeping global temperatures below 1.5°C may not yet be a geophysical impossibility. But, to meet the target, we must ensure that it is not treated as a political and economic impossibility, either.

Loren LegardaLoren Legarda, Chair of the Finance and Climate Change committees, is a member of the Senate of the Philippines.

Credit: Project Syndicate

‘Climate change is real,’ says Premier Cartwright Robinson

Image result for coastal erosion turks and caicos

Rugged coastline of the north shore of Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. © SF photo/Shutterstock.com

“Climate change is real and we’re not a Government that is going to deny it.”

These sentiments were expressed by Premier Sharlene Cartwright Robinson in response to a question posed by reporters on the Government’s position on climate change.

Climate change refers to a broad range of global phenomena created predominantly by burning fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to the Earth’s atmosphere.

These phenomena include the increased temperature trends described by global warming, but also encompass changes such as sea level rise, ice mass loss in Greenland, Antarctica, the Arctic and mountain glaciers worldwide, shifts in plant blooming, and extreme weather events.

This global trend has been blamed for intensifying hurricane Irma which wreaked havoc on many Caribbean countries and territories including the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Speaking at a recent press conference, the country’s leader maintained that the Government is keen on formulating strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change locally.

She said: “Our position is: it is real, something is changing something is happening, and while we can’t duck and dodge or ignore it we have to build a resiliency towards it.

Cartwright Robinson added that over the last few months, staff of the Ministry of Public Works attended training sessions on climate resilience hosted by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) which has its headquarters in Barbados.

“At those seminars they would’ve done some training in building roads in resilience to climate change.

“Also in our last meeting in the House of Assembly we passed what was a motion for a loan from CDB to look at restoring and rebuilding seawalls to be resilient to climate change.

“So we have already taken action showing that we believe that climate change is real unlike some heads of government.”

She emphasised that in order to protect the socioeconomic gains and make development efforts in the territory sustainable, efforts to build climate and disaster resilience are essential.

“We believe that it is real and we will have a firm policy where critical departments which serve on that committee, headed by Mr Ronlee James of my office, will play a role in how we build our resiliency.”

Several economists from the CDB have argued that rising disaster and climate risk, in addition to high vulnerability to seismic events, is threatening to undo much of the territory’s impressive development over the last few years.

Protecting the TCI’s coastline

A feasibility study and designs for coastal protection works in Grand Turk, North, Providenciales and Salt Cay are expected to be carried out soon.

A shoreline management plan will also be created to protect the Islands’ coastlines using climate-resilient approaches.

This project will be supported by a $440,000 loan, a $50,000 grant allocated from resources provided by the European Investment Bank under the Grant Facility for Climate Action Support to CDB, and counterpart funding of $289,000 from the TCI Government.

The provision of the loans and grant come directly on the heels of the CDB’s 47th annual flagship event held in the Turks and Caicos Islands in May this year.

According to O’Reilly Lewis, the chief of economic in the infrastructure division of the CDB, coastal defence is important in sustaining the TCI’s tourism industry.

He said: “Tourism is the main pillar of TCI’s economy, with its coastal and marine resources as the basis of the sector.

“The loss of critical beach assets due to coastal erosion, as well as the other anticipated changes resulting from climate change, would potentially have significant negative implications for settlements, tourism sites and livelihoods resulting from the reduction in coastal and marine economic activity.”

Lewis pointed out that the feasibility study and designs derived from the technical assistance project will provide the TCI Government with viable designs for climate-resilient infrastructure solutions to safeguard social and economic development, economic growth and livelihood security.

The shoreline management plan will strengthen the TCI’s capacity to sustainably monitor and manage the country’s beaches and related coastal assets.

It will also assist the Government with the development of a more comprehensive integrated coastal zone management plan.

The intervention is consistent with the CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive growth and sustainable development within its borrowing member countries.

It also aligns with the bank’s corporate priorities of promoting disaster risk management and climate change mitigation and adaptation, and improved protection and sustainable management of natural resources.

Credit: Turks and Caicos Weekly News

CARICOM-UN Will Raise Funds to Help Rebuild Hurricane-Hit Caribbean Nations

Limited resources and lack of funding, many hurricane-torn regions in the Caribbean are finding it hard to recoup

With limited resources and lack of funding, many hurricane-torn regions in the Caribbean are finding it hard to recoup.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) along with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will host a conference to assist the hurricane-torn Caribbean nations to help them become more “resilient” in future climate-related calamities.

The conference to be held in New York on Nov. 22 will raise funds to provide “technical and financial assistance to meet that goal,” Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM, said during a press conference.

With limited resources and lack of funding, many hurricane-torn regions in the Caribbean are finding it hard to recoup.

“The currents of successive category 5 hurricanes signals a dangerous change in the intensity and frequency of climate change-related storms, heralds the advent of the new normal,” LaRocque said.

“All these disasters” offer an opportunity for the affected countries to “become the first climate change resilient countries in the world,” the CARICOM general secretary added.

Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, also urged for concessionary funding needed for the hurricane-hit regions. Using “artificial impediments” such as “per capita income” are “an act of aggression against small island developing states,” Browne said.

Browne called out the hypocrisy of naming Caribbean countries as “wealthy” when a vast majority of the countries in the region are “the poorest in the world, maybe second only to Africa,” he said.

Further adding, in order to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change, the countries responsible for climate change should pay the price.

“The money should come from the heavy polluters, those who are contributing to the warming of the planet,” and those who continue to use fossil fuels, he further added.

A Caribbean peace conference held in Barbados, during the first week of October also discussed the perils of climate change and how developing nations are paying a heavy price for the capitalistic ventures of nearby developed nations which “increases the risk of natural disasters that can wipe out Caribbean economies by wreaking havoc on infrastructure and by causing significant loss of life.”

Attended by the representatives of Barbados, Cuba, Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela and the U.S. Peace Council, the conference members noted that how they are being subjected ” to private sector dominance and the reversal of the social gains in health, education, public housing and transportation, adversely impacting the quality of life of the Caribbean working people.”

Credit: Carib Flame

Caribbean leaders to attend CARICOM-Mexico Summit

Leaders from across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will participate in the IV CARICOM-Mexico Summit that is scheduled to begin on Wednesday in Belize.

The main theme of the summit will be cooperation for the prevention of and treatment of natural disasters.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, Dennis Moses.

The one day summit will be co-chaired by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow.

The summit aims to consolidate the progress of the III CARICOM-Mexico Summit, held in 2014.

The scheduled talks further endorses the importance Mexico places on cooperation with the Caribbean in matters of security, migration, climate change mitigation and the prevention of natural disasters.

The Government of Mexico will provide air transport for the Trinidad and Tobago Delegation and other CARICOM Delegations, to and from Belize, City.

Credit: Jamaica Observer
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