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Consultancy for the Development of a Grievance and Redress Mechanism (GRM) for REDD+ Implementation in Belize

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 and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD) 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. In submitting its Expression of Interest, Firms should provide information demonstrating that it has the required and relevant experience to perform the Services.

Peruse the Request for Expression of Interest for Consultancy Services

 

Deadline for submission is Tuesday 19th June 2018 by 2:00 p.m.

 

 

The positives of preparing for disaster

A guide to GCF’s support for climate change early warning systems

Knowledge is power. In terms of climate change, this translates into using a growing understanding of how rising global temperatures lead to localised weather disasters. This improved knowledge can help reduce the physical and social devastation of climate change by providing early warning.

Countries are increasingly using climate information systems, which consist of data collection points that are mapped and analysed, to provide communities with scientific estimations of future climate impacts. These systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated through ongoing improvements in meteorological monitoring and information sharing. This is timely as studies indicate extreme weather events are expected to occur more frequently – even assuming the Paris Agreement’s central goal of limiting global temperature rises to well under 2°C is met.

While we may not be able to turn off the climate change-fuelled wild weather, we can take steps to ameliorate its damaging impacts on life, national economies, and the stability of societies and ecosystems. Climate effects manifest in a variety of forms – ranging from the abnormally powerful hurricanes that smashed into the Caribbean in September last year to the insidious, and equally disruptive onset of drought in Africa, most recently in South Africa.

While climate impacts may differ, they share a common trait in that their destructive effects often resonate long after the event. This has certainly been the case with Cyclone Haiyan which killed more than 6,000 people in the Philippines in November 2013. The county is still dealing with the aftermath of the super storm, also known as Yolanda in the Philippines, which reportedly dealt the biggest blow to the agricultural sector in the country’s history.

Destruction left by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Photo by Russell Watkins/Department for International Development. Destruction left by Cyclone Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013. Photo by Russell Watkins/Department for International Development.

As weather disasters become more severe, the case for building early warning systems to deal with them is becoming stronger. Developing countries – particularly Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – are inordinately susceptible to climate disasters because of the unreliability or sometimes lack of robust climate information and early warning services.

That is why GCF has been stepping up its support to countries to use climate early warning systems to reduce the impacts of extreme weather. These systems are designed to improve weather forecasting and, just as importantly, to disseminate climate information to ensure communities are informed and prepared.

Climate change early warning systems generally contain a number of elements. These include:

  • Assessing risks to physical and social infrastructure
  • Monitoring and warning – meteorological offices provide forecasting services
  • Communication – which focuses on how to disseminate information to targeted communities
  • Response capacity – how to mobilise government and communities to respond in time.

GCF’s support for early warning systems is part of its central mandate to respond to the needs of developing countries as they drive paradigm shifts to enhance low-carbon climate resilience. A number of countries have identified an improvement of their ability to predict the onset of extreme weather-related disasters as a climate finance priority. This is intended to make their societies more resilient and to climate proof hard-won progress in national development.

Early warning systems don’t just track weather patterns. They provide planning assistance as well as systems, processes and operational infrastructure to avoid the destructive impacts of climate change across a broad social spectrum. For instance, a GCF-funded project now being implemented in Vanuatu is expanding the use of climate information services in five targeted sectors: tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, water management and fisheries. This is based on a professed need by the Government of Vanuatu to undertake systematic efforts to inform and prepare its public to manage the projected impacts of climate change.

This project is building on technical capacities in Vanuatu to harness and manage climate data by developing climate information services, while also fostering further research and development. It will also provide an ability to expand outreach and communications to ensure communities benefits from improved actionable forecasts. The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), a GCF Accredited Entity, is carrying out this five-year, USD 21.8 million initiative.

Simon Wilson, the manager of SPREP’s project coordination unit, emphasises the broad benefits climate information services can provide, right down to the grassroots level. “Tailored meteorological and climate services can have significant multiplier benefits for decision making on a daily basis,” he says. “This can also address long-term sea level rise, and mitigate flooding impacts through infrastructure and land-use planning. Ultimately, this will help save lives and reduce economic costs.”Simon Wilson

The ability to provide early warning of impending climate disasters is particularly important for Vanuatu. For the past four years, this Pacific SIDS has been ranked the world’s most disaster-prone country. With more than 90 percent of Vanuatu’s infrastructure located no more than 500m from the coastline, it is highly exposed to destructive climate effects. This includes Cyclone Pam, which hit the island in March 2015.

That experience shows the value of future preparation in dealing with climate disasters. The way Vanuatu was able to weather Cyclone Pam has been cited as a good example of effective community-focused early warning. Reports indicate warning mobile texts at the time helped keep the number of deaths to 11, seen as relatively low considering aid agencies described Pam as one of the worst disasters to hit the Pacific region. The GCF-SPREP project is capitalising on lessons learnt at that time to ensure communities are well informed and prepared for future disasters.

Similarly, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) found accurate forecasts and warnings about wind, storm surge and flooding hazards and coordination between meteorological services and disaster management helped prevent the casualty toll from the Caribbean hurricanes last year from being much higher. Caribbean governments’ response to the effects of super-charged weather shows climate disasters can help galvanise calls to climate action. In the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, Caribbean nations established what they termed to be the world’s first climate-smart zone. This is designed to tap public and private support in carrying out a USD 8 billion investment plan to bring greater energy and infrastructure resilience to 3.2 million Caribbean households.

While initially focusing on individual projects, GCF support for early warning systems is designed to create broad benefits in this growing field. This includes supporting the global modelling of climate effects with better data, improving the standards of information gathering and sharing, and driving down the cost of IT systems – which can then be replicated across a variety of different sites.

Joseph Intsiful, a GCF senior climate information and early warning systems specialist, says while prompt responses to climate disasters are essential, early warning systems are far more than just storm alerts as they can also act as useful planning guides to boost long-term resilience. “While freak weather events grab the news headlines, we also need to think how early warning systems can help address slow-moving climate effects such as drought,” he says. “This is particularly important in Africa. Climate systems in the region show precipitation patterns are becoming increasingly erratic, while 95 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s agriculture relies on rainfall.”

Joseph Intsiful

More accurate predictions of rainfall in the long term can also help to avoid the manifestation of human-induced disasters in the form of intercommunal conflict, adds Mr Intsiful. “One of the biggest security challenges in West Africa is climate related, as cattle herders move into farming lands because pasturelands they have been using become untenable with changing rain patterns,’” he says. “With climate information and conflict early warning systems, it is possible to head off conflict before it occurs, for instance by advising that water reservoirs are installed in areas where rainfall is predicted to decline.”

Mr Intsiful also points to the negative, kick-on effects where climate change can sabotage countries’ major economic drivers. Drought was seen to be the major cause in knocking out  Malawi’s electricity supply at the end of last year. Malawi relies on hydroelectricity for nearly all of its energy needs. In April 2016, the southeast African nation declared a state of emergency after severe drought, including a 12 percent decline in maize productions, forced 20 percent of the population to face food insecurity.

While the landlocked nation of Malawi is highly susceptible to droughts, it also provides an example of how flooding can pose a problem for a number of African countries – even those located far from coastlines. Lake Malawi, one of the largest lakes in the world, is a central geographical and economic feature of the country. A GCF project in Malawi being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a GCF Accredited Entity, is installing automatic weather stations and lake-based weather buoys to increase the capacity to identify and forecast flood risks.

A major component of this USD 16.3 million early warning project is ensuring that climate information is transmitted to vulnerable farming and fishing communities around the lake. The sharing of climate information to the right people is a key part of all effective early warning systems. In the case of the Malawi project, this will include making sure affected communities know what to do with enhanced weather information. The capacity of local communities, district councils, and national agencies to respond to emergencies will be strengthened through training and improved emergency services.

SPREP’s Simon Wilson points out that early warning systems represent good value for money.
“Various studies show that early warning systems have a very high rate of return on investment,” he says.
“They help to avoid the drastic costs to societies if no preparatory measures are taken. And when designed to meet local needs, they have a high degree of sustainability through ongoing local ownership and management of the early warning systems long after the life of the project itself.”

The importance of early warning systems is expected to grow, along with the increasing manifestations of climate change. While extreme weather events hit localised areas, the World Economic Forum has identified their increasing prevalence and cumulative effect as a major risk to global stability and economic growth. Ways of minimising the destructive effects of climate change then are likely to become more popular, not just with aid agencies but with businesses seeking to protect their investments.

Reinsurance group Swiss Re has found that insured losses from natural and man-made disasters worldwide in 2017 were the highest ever recorded in a single year at USD 144 billion. The main cause was the series of record-breaking hurricanes that smashed Caribbean and U.S. coasts. German reinsurer Munich RE also found that natural disasters caused more damage in 2017 than in the previous five years, with much of the damage caused by extreme weather events being linked to climate change, above all severe hurricanes, flooding and fires.

Some see climate considerations as an increasingly essential element in making major business investments. This could lead then to enhanced funding by businesses to support climate early warning systems as part of a country’s suite of adaptation measures. This aspect alone is likely to increase private sector investment in climate resilience – which currently lags far behind private sector investment in clean energy. If an increasing need for business to invest in early warning systems leads to increased private sector funding for climate change adaptation, this might be a silver lining in the gathering clouds of future extreme weather.

You can find out more about GCF’s support for projects reducing climate risks through early warning here:
Project FP03 in Vanuatu, including building technical capacity to harness and manage climate data and disseminate tailored climate information (Accredited Entity SPREP)
Project FP002 in Malawi, installing water stations together with weather buoys and lightning detection sensors to provide better early warning systems for fishing and farming communities  (Accredited Entity UNDP)
Project FP013 in Viet Nam, improving data analysis techniques examining coastal inundation risks (Accredited Entity UNDP)
Project FP018 in Pakistan, installing 50 automatic weather stations and 408 river gauges to measure the risk of flash-floods caused by Himalayan glacier melt as global temperatures rise (Accredited Entity UNDP)
Project FP021 in Senegal, helping boost the government’s flood management strategy through better flood risk mapping (Accredited Entity AFD).

Request for Expressions of Interest – Finance Expert, Government of Jamaica

The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGIC)’s Climate Change Division in Jamaica is searching for a Consultancy Firm “Consultants” to undertake a regional scoping study to identify the barriers to private investment and capital mobilization for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and put forward recommendations to improve access to the GCF’s Private Sector Facility.

The specific objectives of the assignment are as follows:

(a) Convene a consultation with MSMEs in Jamaica to understand barriers at the local level

(b) Conduct a regional scoping study on barriers;

(c) Convene a GCF-Caribbean Private Sector Engagement Workshop

(d) Develop a Regional Action Plan based on recommendations from the study, along with readiness support request for a potential regional private sector accredited entity;

e) Increase awareness of the GCF Private Sector Facility

Expressions of interest (EOI) must be written in English and submitted via email in PDF format, by 3:00 p.m. (UTC-5) on Monday, June 11, 2018.

Attention: UnaMay Gordon – Principal Director
Climate Change Division
Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation
16A Half Way Tree Road
Kingston 5
Jamaica
West Indies.
Tel: (876) 633-7532
Email: unamay.gordon@megjc.gov.jm

Peruse the official: Expression of Interest_Finance Expert  and Terms of Reference_Finance Expert

DFID Caribbean seeks a Climate and Disaster Resilience Adviser

The key function of the role will be to provide technical co-leadership for the implementation of the existing Smart Health Facilities in the Caribbean programme.

The programme aims to provide safer, greener health facilities in 8 Caribbean countries to deliver care in disasters, generate operational savings and reduce disaster losses; and for the design of the new Resilience and Reconstruction Programme to improve the climate and disaster resilience of Caribbean countries.

It will also involve technical oversight for the Caribbean components of centrally managed programmes under the Participatory Programme on Climate Resilience and the Global Climate Fund. In addition the post-holder will have joint responsibility for leading DFID Caribbean’s support to disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction and climate and disaster resilience building across the region.

Closing date of applications is midnight on 12 June, 2018.

For more information, contact DFID Caribbean.

Request for Expressions of Interest – Consultant to revise the Barbados Water Authority Non-Revenue Water strategy

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

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) is inviting Individual Consultants to submit Expressions of Interest to review and revise the Barbados Water Authority’s current Non-Revenue Water (NRW) strategy
The Revised Strategy must be aligned with the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) and International Water Association’s (IWA) guidelines. 
Expressions of interest must be delivered electronically by 10:00 am Belize time (GMT-6) on Monday, June 11, 2018 to the email address: mnestor@caribbeanclimate.bz.
Peruse the following official documents:

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

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