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CCCCC adds LiDAR to boost Caribbean’s Climate Change Fight

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

Belmopan, Belize; November 30, 2018 – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) through the USAID-funded Climate Change Adaptation Program (USAID CCAP) is about to launch its most recent initiative to significantly boost the Caribbean’s ability to limit the ravages of climate change by improving its capability to monitor and plan for physical changes to the land and marine environments.

On Monday, December 3, the Centre will launch a US$2million Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) System, acquired through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) three-year CCAP Project.

The acquisition of an Airborne LiDAR system by the Centre – also known as the 5Cs – is possibly the most significant achievement for data capture in the Caribbean. For decades, countries of the region have clamoured for LiDAR produced data the high cost all but prohibited its application; and the use of  LiDAR was made more difficult since such services had to be sourced from outside the region, adding to costs. At the same time, the requirement for more accurate data to provide evidence of climate change impacts has grown and is rapidly becoming the standard for climate financing.

The purchase of the LiDAR system was made possible through funds provided by the Barbados-based USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean Office through the 5Cs executed Climate Change Adaptation Program (USAID CCAP).  The use of an airborne LiDAR is the result of a collaboration with Maya Island Air (MIA), a locally-owned Belizean airline company. These critical developments also influenced the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Italy to provide financial support for the LiDAR system, which is soon to become operational in a region-wide exercise to map some 10,000 square miles of vulnerable coastal areas in the region.

Dr Kenrick Leslie, the Executive Director of the Centre welcomed the launch of the Centre’s latest tool in building climate resilience.  The system enhances the Centre’s capacity to provide the region with critical data essential for building climate resilient communities. He noted that with the LiDAR system, “Caribbean leaders will now have access to the data set necessary for the development of tools for use in vulnerability and capacity assessments and early warning systems, and tangible adaptation and disaster risk reduction initiatives.  The documentation of the state of the current coastal bathymetric and topographic environment will allow for the development and implementation of appropriate sustainability policies.”

The technology is capable of simultaneously gathering topographic and bathymetric (depth of the seafloor) data, which are to be used to provide detailed information of the region’s coastal areas, reefs and seafloor to produce flood and inundation maps and other products.

Christopher Cushing, Mission Director of the USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean is expected to formally hand over the equipment to the 5Cs at the launch. This is the Agency’s latest contribution to the regional data enhancement capability under the USAID CCAP. In addition to the LiDAR, five data buoys have been added to the regional Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) network, and 50 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) have been added to the regional climate and weather monitoring and data collection efforts in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean.

The project has also provided a computer server that will enhance the input, processing and sharing of the vast amount of data generated from the equipment acquired under the project. The information will ensure that the CCCCC, its partners and regional Universities are able to provide accurate and country-specific climate and climate change data to help countries improve their countries abilities to protect their citizens from the effects of climate change.

Dr Leslie has expressed gratitude to USAID,  the Caribbean Development Bank, the Government of Italy and his own staff for the commitment to the Centre and the region.  The Executive Director also commended Maya Island Air for collaborating with the Centre to outfit a plane with the LiDAR.

With a brand new Cessna aircraft fully customised to fly LiDAR missions, the partnership between the 5Cs and Maya Island Air also represents a new era of public-private partnerships and corporate social responsibility for the benefit of resilience building to the impacts of climate change in the Caribbean.

“Their support will help us to provide a system that was otherwise prohibitive.  It is the tangible demonstration of the Airline’s corporate contribution to the Region’s Climate Change initiative”, said Dr. Leslie.

The USAID CCAP Project is helping to build the capacities of regional, national, and local partners to generate and use climate data for decision-making in government and other sectors. The project is also working to strengthen the ability of beneficiary countries to develop successful proposals to access international climate financing.

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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.

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CCCCC, Govts of Belize and Italy break ground for Multi-Purpose Facility

L-R: Keith Nichols, Head of the Project Development and Management Unit, CCCCC; Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director, CCCCC; Minister Plenipotentiary Roberto Natali, Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy; Dr. Hon. Omar Figueroa, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development, Government of Belize; Hon. Hugo Patt, Minister of Natural Resources, Government of Belize; Mr. Joseph McGann, Senior Project Manager, CCCCC

Belmopan, Belize; November 28, 2018 – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), in collaboration with the Governments of Belize and Italy, held a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a Community Multi-purpose Emergency Centre (CMEC) at the Victor Galvez Stadium, in San Ignacio, Belize on Wednesday, November 28, 2018.

Breaking of the Ground – (L-R): Dr. Hon. Omar Figueroa, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development, Government of Belize; Minister Plenipotentiary Roberto Natali, Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy; Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director, CCCCC

The project “Reducing the Carbon Footprint of San Ignacio and Five Surrounding Villages in the Cayo District” is being implemented as a collaborative effort by the Government of Belize and the CCCCC with financial support from the Government of Italy. Approximately 25,000 residents in San Ignacio and surrounding villages are expected to benefit directly from the project at completion. The project include replacing existing street lighting in San Ignacio with more efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights and the building of a multi-purpose facility for use as a disaster shelter and a community centre.

Project Manager Mr Joseph McGann noted that the project aims to build the recipient communities’ resilience to climate change and climate variability, which has led to increased intensity of extreme meteorological events in the form of hurricanes, floods, and droughts. These events have had profound negative impacts on national economies of Small Islands and Coastal Developing States (SIDS), threatening the survival of the most vulnerable populations and communities in these States, including Belize. With the implementation of the project, the Government of Belize, aims to:

  1. Quantify the benefits to be derived from the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission, through the use of more efficient lighting systems; and
  2. Reduce the vulnerability of rural communities to the impacts of extreme weather and other disaster generating events.

Dr. Hon. Omar Figueroa, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development, Government of Belize

“We are extremely grateful for this collaboration with the Government and People of Italy. Belize, like so many Small Island Developing States, is disproportionately affected by the devastating impacts of climate change. Today, with this collaborative project with the Italians and the 5Cs, our community moves one step closer to adapt to what can be these devastating consequences of climate change.” said Dr. Hon. Omar Figueroa, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development, for the Government of Belize.

Minister Plenipotentiary Roberto Natali, Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy

Minister Plenipotentiary Roberto Natali, Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy told the gathering: “The great job of the Centre, directed by Dr. Leslie and his staff, the Government of Belize and the Government of Italy, made this miracle because this was something which was important for this region. And all (of us) together with collaboration and sincere decision, we have made this project and other things are already operative. I am proud that my country can contribute to this.”

Replacement of streetlights is expected to reduce energy consumption within the project area from 150W to 60W, per lamp, a 60% reduction in energy use; reduce emissions by 184 metric tons of CO2 per year; and result in some US$40,000 savings, which can be used for the benefit of the communities.

The Community Multi-purpose Emergency Centre (CMEC) will provide the residents of five rural communities and the town of San Ignacio with a central self-contained Centre that can be used both as a shelter in the event of a weather-related and other emergencies, and for other community social and sporting purposes and events. The five rural communities to be served by the Centre are Trenchtown, Kontiki, Boiton Area, Mosquitoville and Shawville.

The completed Community Centre will be equipped with an independently powered hybrid grid-connected PV renewable energy system, a rainwater storage system; an emergency communication system to ensure its continued operation during a major weather or other disaster event. Construction of the CMEC commenced November 22, 2018 and is expected to be completed by May 31, 2019 at an estimated cost of BZ$1.6 million. Funding is being provided by the Government of Italy and the Government of Belize.

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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 recognised 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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CARICOM Unified on COP24 Expectations

The twenty-fourth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate, known as COP24, will take place in Poland from December second to the fourteenth. The key objective of this year’s conference is to adopt the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement. It brings together world leaders and champions of the environment in a number of high-level events. Belize is part of the block of countries identified as Small Island Developing States. Last week, CARICOM member states of the grouping met in Barbados to prepare for the conference. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Center’s Carlos Fuller shares the region’s expectation of the event:

Carlos Fuller

Carlos Fuller, International & Regional Liaison Officer, CCCCC

“For us, COP24 is an important one because it is the most significant COP after the Paris Agreement, which will actually provide the rules of the Paris Agreement. So, when you read through the Paris Agreement, for example, it says many things. It establishes a transparency framework – well what is it? We have to say what that is. It establishes a compliance committee, so what will the compliance committee do? These are the things that will set the stage for the implementation of Paris Agreement.  These are the technical parts. However, there are two aspects of the Paris Agreement that will happen at the COP that are very important for the Small Island Developing States. The first of all is this IPCC Special Report on one point five degrees global warming. We know, for example, that report was actually commissioned by COP21 which adopted the Paris Agreement. It requested the IPCC to prepare this report at the request of Small Island Developing States, because we were concerned that within the Paris Agreement while it gives the goal of two point zero, it also says let us strive for one point five. So, this report feeds into aspects of it and there are parts of that report that are very alarming for small island developing states.”

Andrea Polanco

“With the IPCC Report, does it change the way you are going to go into COP24?”

Carlos Fuller

“Most definitely. It shows us the sense of urgency that it is much greater now. It also shows us that the kind of financing that we are asking for, it has changed the landscape totally. What was being provided will not be enough for countries to reduce their emissions to greenhouse gases, much less to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change which we in Belize are already experiencing.”

CREDIT: Channel 5 Belize

IPCC Report Front and Center of CARICOM’s Approach to COP24

And so if you’re wondering what exactly the IPCC Report means for the small island developing states; the news is grim.  For coral reefs and other vulnerable ecosystems it may mean a massive die out if we can’t keep global temperatures down to one point five degrees Celsius. Fuller said that the report has a big impact on the SIDS’ approach to COP24. But not all is doom and gloom, as there is roughly about twelve years for countries to cut emissions and bring down the global temperatures.

Carlos Fuller, International & Regional Liaison Officer, CCCCC

“First of all, it tells us that already the earth has warmed by one point one degrees Celsius, so we only have point four degrees Celsius more to go before we reach the one point five degrees Celsius above pre-industrial averages.  We are already feeling the effects of that one degree rise already. At one point five it is going to be worse, but at two degrees it is going to be alarming. Ecosystems that could potentially adapt at one point five will not be able to survive at two degrees Celsius. For us, at one point five, we will lose seventy-five to ninety percent of our coral reefs. At two degrees, it is totally dead. That, obviously, we cannot accept. The good part of the report says it is still achievable to reach the one point five degrees Celsius target. Current greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are not enough to lead us to one point five yet. So, if we do something now it can be achieved but we only have ten years to do it because after 2030 unless we address it, we have lost the one point five target. So, it can be done and we know that it will require a huge investment in transforming our economies from fossil fuel based to renewable energy where Belize is doing a great role. But it has to be all sectors, electricity, transport, agriculture, forestry – so all sectors must contribute to that. So, we want that to come out at the COP and we know that we might face some setbacks there.”

CREDIT: Channel 5 Belize

Panos Caribbean Launches New Climate Justice Campaign

On the eve of the next global climate change conference to be held in Poland in December, and following the release of a special report by the International Panel on Climate Change that highlights the urgent need for action by governments, industries and individuals to contain global warming, Panos Caribbean is launching a new regional campaign to support the Caribbean and other vulnerable countries in the fight against climate change.

The face of the campaign is a new, powerful painting by Saint Lucian – American artist Jonathan Gladding. It pictures a young girl with her body almost entirely submerged by sea-level rise, and with her fingers sending the desperate message that she needs #1point5tostayalive.

Saint Lucian poet and playwright Kendel Hippolyte, who played a lead role in the campaign to secure the historic Paris Agreement in 2015, has called on Caribbean artists to add their voice to the call for decisive global action against climate change.

Click on the image above to obtain and download large-resolution.

“We cannot look at our children and grandchildren and say we did nothing or we did not know what to do. Whatever artistic gift we have – and whatever rewards it brings or we hope it will bring – will not mean a thing if all we hand over to our descendants is a planet that is their funeral pyre even while they are alive,” says Hippolyte.

Hippolyte has also revealed that he is working on a new theme song, entitled “1.5 Is Still Alive”, in collaboration with musician and humanitarian Taj Weekes. As was done in 2015 with the theme song of the campaign leading to the Paris conference, this project will bring together a number of well-known Caribbean singers.

“In a campaign such as this,” says Panos Caribbean’s coordinator Yves Renard, “artists play a pivotal role, because their voices are known and credible, and because they are able to convey messages in ways that resonate with the culture, feelings and concerns of people and communities. We encourage all organisations,” Renard said, “to reproduce Jonathan Gladding’s beautiful painting and use it to convey the urgency of action.”

JonathanGladdingThe Paris Agreement signed at the historic climate conference in 2015 called on all countries “to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase … to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial average”. Climate change experts now confirm that global warming is on track to break the 1.5°C mark by around 2040.

PICTURED, LEFT: SAINT LUCIAN – AMERICAN ARTIST JONATHAN GLADDING

Experts agree that an increase of average global temperature above 1.5°C will have disastrous impacts on the Caribbean and other vulnerable regions of the world, but they also believe that it is possible to contain global warming, that we have the technology to reduce our impact on the climate. “It is still possible to contain the rise of global temperature, but that will not happen unless governments and businesses in the largest emitting countries are prepared to take radical measures and unless everybody, from the schoolchild to the government official, from the technician to the parent, from the wise elder to the young dreamer, contributes their pebble or their stone towards building a bulwark against climate change.”

This regional awareness campaign is supported by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat, the OECS Commission and other regional entities.

CREDIT: PANOS Caribbean

Request for Proposals: Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Preparation of an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP)

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has received funds from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for the purpose of implementing the project “Arundo Donax Renewable Bio-Mass Fuel for Belize” and intends to apply a part of the proceeds towards payments for the Contract “Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Preparation of an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) – Contract# 09/2018  /GCF /Belize/CCCCC”.

Peruse the following official documents:

The CCCCC now invites firms to submit proposals to provide services for the same.
Deadline for the submission of proposals on or before 2:00pm (GMT-6), Friday 14 December 2018.

Vacancies – PACT: Two Consultancies

The Government of Belize with the assistance of the World Bank is implementing the project entitled “Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) Readiness Project in Belize” with Grant funding from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility “FCPF” and has appointed the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration (MAFFESDI) for the overall implementation of the Project with the fiduciary support provided by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT).  The Government of Belize intends to apply part of the proceeds of the grant to payments under the contract for this Consultancy.

REDD+ and PACT now invites eligible Consulting Firms to indicate their interest in providing the services for available consultancies (Development of a Forest Reference Emission Level or Forest Reference Level of Belize and Project Officer for the REDD+ Readiness Project in Belize).

Peruse the official advertisements:

Deadline for submission is 4:00 p.m. (local Belize time) on Tuesday 27th November 2018.

Deadline for submission is 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday 4th December 2018.

For further information and clarification, please send email to redd.procurement.officer@pactbelize.org.

CCCCC begins handover of data collection devices

PRESS RELEASE – Belmopan, Belize; November 15 – On Wednesday November 14, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) began its handover of data collection devices purchased with funding from the USAID Climate Change Adaptation Program (USAID CCAP) to nine countries in the eastern Caribbean.

Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie and officials from USAID Eastern and Southern Office (USAID ESO) handed over the first of the 50 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) and the 5 Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) to the government St Vincent and the Grenadines at a ceremony held at the Argyle International Airport.

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Under the project, one AWS and one CREWS station were installed in SVG. St. Lucia and Grenada also received one each AWS and CREWS station; two AWS and one CREWS were installed in St Kitts, while four AWS and one CREWS station were installed in Antigua.

Automatic Weather Station installed in Antigua

Other beneficiaries are Guyana with 21 AWS, Suriname with 16 and the CIMH in Barbados with three. These data collection devices are to enhance the region’s ability to monitor Marine and Terrestrial Environmental parameters to provide more reliable climate and climate change data.

More than US$3 million dollars were spent under USAID CCAP to enhance the region’s data collection capabilities as the Centre and its partners seek to build the Caribbean’s resilience to climate variability and change.

The marine and land-based data gathering systems were installed with assistance from the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the governments of recipient countries. The CIMH has responsibility for maintenance under an agreement with the Centre.

The new CREWS data buoys provide Caribbean scientists and researchers with marine data that allow them to monitor reef health, sea temperature changes, winds (speed and gusts), barometric pressure, precipitation, photo-synthetically active/available radiation (PAR, light), air temperature, and salinity. Other instruments may be added through arrangement with the host countries. The AWS’ collection of critical data to support climate services and climate change modelling in the region by improving the monitoring and collection of environmental variables including temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, atmospheric pressure and rainfall.

The systems are critical tools for building resilience, providing data to support climate and climate change science and information to aid decision makers. USAID CCAP supports activities that are critical for the successful implementation of climate change adaptation strategies across the Caribbean.

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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.

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GCF signs off funding for Barbados water sector resilience project

PRESS RELEASE – Songdo,

On 1 November, GCF and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) signed the Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) for the project Water Sector Resilience Nexus for Sustainability in Barbados (WSRN S-Barbados).

The project aims to make the provision of potable water in Barbados less vulnerable to the impacts of hurricanes which have been increasing in intensity over the past decades. It involves installing a photovoltaic (PV) power generation field next to one of the main pumping stations, yielding a mitigation benefit from the reduced dependency on diesel-generated electricity. In addition, the installation of water storage tanks and rainwater harvesting systems in several strategic locations on the island will ensure that any disruptions in water supply do not lead to immediate loss of potable water to vulnerable populations.

Patrick Van Laake, Senior Ecosystems Management Specialist at GCF and Task Manager for the project, stated: “The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was the most destructive on record, with several island nations in the Caribbean being severely impacted. While Barbados was spared major damage in 2017, the destruction on other islands and the lasting economic impacts demonstrate that building resilience into public services like potable water supply is key to making vulnerable populations cope with this threat.”

The project has significant co-benefits for households, farmers and small businesses of Barbados. Cost savings by the Barbados Water Authority from the investment in the PV systems will be deposited into a locally managed adaptation fund. Consumers will be able to access the fund for financial support to reduce the cost of installing water saving devices in households, public buildings, hotels and in agriculture operations. This fund will continue to operate after the project completes, providing long-term sustainability for water users in Barbados.

The project is the first single-country investment by GCF in the Caribbean region to be signed. The project’s Accredited Entity (AE) is the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). It’s a direct-access AE based in Belize and serving the member countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), a regional cooperation body.

“The signing of the agreement is a major achievement for CCCCC. The Barbados water project, valued at USD 45 million, speaks well of the dedication and competence of the Centre’s project development personnel. Further, it is the first project being implemented by a Regional Accredited Entity from the Caribbean. For Barbados it is a major step in solving its critical water problem that is increasingly being impacted by climate change and other anthropogenic activities. For the Caribbean SIDS it indicates that GCF is supporting the adaptation agenda of the region,” said Dr Kenrick R. Leslie, Executive Director at CCCCC.

The signing of the legal agreement of the project between GCF and CCCCC comes at a very auspicious time. On 6 – 9 November, the GCF is hosting its second Structured Dialogue for the Caribbean in St. George’s, Grenada.

Credit: Green Climate Fund

Vacancy – Technical Officer, CBF Ecosystem – based Adaptation Facility

The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) seeks a Technical Officer with a proven record of success in addressing climate change and conservation challenges in order to provide the technical support to effectively implement the strategic agenda of the EbA Facility. The Technical Officer will work closely with, and report to, the EbA Program Manager, in providing this technical support.

Check all detail in the Terms of Reference that can be downloaded here.

To apply for the Technical Officer, CBF EbA Facility position, please submit the documents listed below to secretariat@caribbeanbiodiversityfund.org, jsingh@caribbeanbiodiversityfund.org, and karim.ould-chih@kfw.de. All applications must be received by December 7th, 2018.

Applications not received by the above deadline will be automatically disqualified. Expected start date for the position is April 1, 2019.

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