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Study: Climate change will lead to annual coral bleaching in the Caribbean

 

Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. Photo Credit: Paul Marshall

A new study has predicted that if current trends continue and the world fails to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nearly all of the world’s coral reefs, including many in the Caribbean, will suffer severe bleaching — the gravest threat to one of the Earth’s most important ecosystems — on annual basis.

The finding is part of a study funded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners, which reviewed new climate change projections to predict which corals will be affected first and at what rate.

The report is published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. Researchers found that the reefs in Taiwan and the Turks and Caicos archipelago will be among the first to experience annual bleaching, followed by reefs off the coast of Bahrain, in Chile and in French Polynesia.

Calling the predictions “a treasure trove” for environmentalists, the head of the UN agency, Erik Solheim, said the projects allow conservationists and governments to prioritise reef protection.

“The projections show us where we still have time to act before it’s too late,” Solheim said.

On average, the reefs started undergoing annual bleaching from 2014, according to the study.

Without the required minimum of five years to regenerate, the annual occurrences will have a deadly effect on the corals and disrupt the ecosystems which they support, UNEP said.

However, it said that if governments act on emission reduction pledges made in the Paris Agreement, which calls on countries to combat climate change and limit global temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius, the corals would have another 11 years to adapt to the warming seas.

Between 2014 and 2016, UNEP said the world witnessed the longest global bleaching event recorded.

Among the casualties, it said, was the Great Barrier Reef, with 90 per cent of it bleached and 20 per cent of the reef’s coral killed.

Credit: Jamaica ObserverUnited Nations Environment Programme

Trinidad and Tobago civil society ready to tackle climate change in 2017

canari.jpg

Representatives from the five beneficiary CSOs, Conservation International and CANARI

 

Five civil society organisations (CSOs) in Trinidad and Tobago are starting 2017 ready to tackle climate change through raising awareness, advocating for strong policies and action, and implementing practical adaptation projects guided by assessments of what are the key vulnerabilities and priorities for resilience building.

The five CSOs – Caribbean Youth Environment Network Trinidad and Tobago Chapter (CYENTT), Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC), Environment Tobago, Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project (FACRP), and Turtle Village Trust (TVT) – have been participating in the “Climate ACTT: Action by Civil society in Trinidad and Tobago to build resilience to climate change” project, which aimed to build the capacity of five CSOs in Trinidad and Tobago to deliver programmes/projects related to climate change adaptation and resilience.

Over the last 16 months, the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) implemented and managed this project in collaboration with Conservation International and with support from BHP Billiton Trinidad and Tobago.

The Climate ACTT project wrapped up in December 2016, with a final evaluation workshop to assess results of the project, facilitate sharing of knowledge and experiences among the beneficiary CSOs and catalyse partnerships and new initiatives for climate change adaptation and resilience in Trinidad and Tobago.

Overall the Climate ACTT project was found to be a resounding success at enhancing the capacity of the five CSOs to undertake climate adaptation work.

One participant in the final evaluation workshop acknowledged “the sense of something starting as opposed to something ending”.

“This was the seed sown for the growth of the big tree,” added another participant.

All five CSOs felt energised and ready to expand their work on climate change to help to address the impacts that are already being felt in communities throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

Each CSO had participated in training and implemented a practical adaptation project that laid a foundation for exciting avenues of work moving forward. A few highlights were:

  • Caribbean Youth Environment Network Trinidad and Tobago Chapter (CYEN-TT) will build the capacity of youth so that they are aware of the impacts of climate change and have a stronger voice to call for urgent action.
  • Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC) will educate coastal residents in north-east Tobago about the impacts of climate change on their communities and what needs to be done to adapt.
  • Environment Tobago (ET) will conduct vulnerability assessments of coastal areas in south-east Tobago and collaborate with government, private sector and residents to identify what are the priority actions needed to build resilience to the impacts of climate change on these areas.
  • Fondes Amandes Reforestation Project (FACRP) will partner with universities to expand its research on what tree species are resilient to climate change and therefore best suited for ongoing reforestation in the western Northern Range in areas destroyed by annual fires.
  • Turtle Village Trust (TVT) will educate coastal communities in north-east Trinidad and Tobago about the impacts of climate change on sea turtles and coastal and marine ecosystems and what needs to be done to adapt.

At the evaluation workshop, the CSOs also engaged with invited partners from government, international agencies and private sector donors for a highly interactive round of group presentations and “speed dating” to discuss potential future areas of collaboration. Responses from the invited partners included “smitten” and “very proud”, and before leaving they urged the participating CSOs to be proactive in initiating their “second dates” to discuss specific opportunities for collaboration on climate adaptation initiatives moving forward.

Credit: Caribbean News Now!

A crucial year for the Reform Process – CARICOM SG

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

The Thirty-Ninth Meeting of the Community Council of Ministers opened on 9 January 2017, at the CARICOM headquarters, Guyana, under the chairmanship of Guyana’s Vice President and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Carl Greenidge.

In his remarks to the Official Opening, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, Amb. Irwin LaRocque told the gathering that 2017 was “a crucial year for the Community’s Reform Process, as it was the mid-point of the five-year (2015-2019) Strategic Plan for the Community, a foundational element of the process. He informed that the Operational Plan for achieving the goals of the Strategic Plan was designed and that a system to measure progress, based on the principles of Results-Based Management, was being established with financing from the Caribbean Development Bank. Amb. LaRocque said that the gender sensitive CARICOM Results-based Management System was a timely and necessary initiative which would bring significant changes to the way the Community works.

“It will assist in fostering a results-oriented culture throughout the Community and will help us to measure the pace of the regional integration process and its impact on the lives of the people…”, he said.

The Secretary General highlighted a number of issues that the Community was still grappling with. These included low growth, the challenges of correspondent banking, climate change, crime and security and restrictions on access to concessional development financing. Amb. LaRocque called for the strengthening and deepening of the Community’s integration process, noting that it was the “best option to ensure that the Community withstand the challenges before it.”

“It is our path to sustainable development and the continued improvement of the lives of the people of our Community”, he said.

Minister Greenidge will guide the two-day meeting of the Council, which comprises ministers responsible for CARICOM Affairs in Member States and is the second highest Organ of the Community. The Council has primary responsibility for strategic planning and coordination of the Community, in accordance with the policy directions established by the Conference of Heads of Government.

Peruse: Remarks at the Opening Ceremony

Credit: CARICOM Secretariat

Questions and Answers to Procurement Activity – Supply and Delivery of Fifty (50) Hydro-meteorological Stations

Peruse the Tender for the Supply and Delivery of Fifty (50) Hydro-meteorological Stations

Download: Q&A – Supply and Delivery of Fifty (50) Hydro-meteorological Stations

Interested and eligible bidders may obtain further information from Ms. Allison Williams, Procurement Officer, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Email: procurement@caribbeanclimate.bz, between the hours 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

Deadline for submission of bids has been extended to 2:00 pm Belize Time (GMT-6) on Friday, January 20, 2017. Any bids received after this deadline will not be considered.

Tender for the Supply and Delivery of Fifty (50) Hydro-meteorological Stations

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has received financing from the United States Agency for International Development/Eastern and Southern Caribbean (USAID/ESC) for the implementation of the project “Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP)” and intends to apply part of the proceeds towards payment under the contract for the Supply and Delivery of Fifty (50) Hydro-meteorological Stations, Contract #12/2016/USAID-ESC/CCCCC.

Peruse the official tender dossier.

Tenders must be submitted using the format and instructions included in the tender dossier, which must be strictly observed.

Interested and eligible bidders may obtain further information from Ms. Allison Williams, Procurement Officer, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Email: procurement@caribbeanclimate.bz, between the hours of 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

Deadline for submission of tenders is at 2:00 p.m. Belize time (GMT-6) on Monday, January 16, 2017. Any tender received after this deadline will not be considered.

Tender opening session is 2:15 p.m. on January 16, 2017 at the following location:

Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre,
Second Floor, Lawrence Nicholas Building,
Ring Road, Belmopan,Belize.

Bioenergy course modules available now!

BioEnergy Course

We are pleased to announce the publication of a collection of renewable energy resources is now available on the Centre’s website under the Education tab Online Bioenergy Course. The resources, including reference books, modules, exams and exercises, were crafted and used in our inaugural BIOENERGY course. The comprehensive course was offered in Belize by the Centre in cooperation with GIZ Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) in August 2016 at no cost to participants.

Background on Bioenergy Course

Since it was established in 2013, the REETA Project has been based in the CARICOM Energy Unit. The Project is being financed by the German technical agency, GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH). 

Macro level

The project aims to strengthen the Energy Unit's coordinating capacity, and support the improvement of the general regional and political framework for renewable energies and energy efficiency. 

Meso level

The programme supports the further development of technical institutes and promote their regional networking across the education sector, as well as, "sector-crossing" with industry. The iniative seeks to expand and provide trainings and continuing education in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency at universities and technical institutions across the Caribbean. At the micro level, the program promotes model projects, including bioenergy with high visibility and replicability. 

Overall project objective 

The initiative contributes to securing the Caribbean's energy supply and stabilize energy costs. 

Success

Bioenergy is one of the project’s main focuses and REETA has already financed a biogas laboratory in Belize, and further trainings ar eplanned to enable its sustainable usage and enhance knowledge about bioenergy.

See related article: Successful Implementation of Bioenergy Course

SAVE THE DATE-Caribbean Urban Forum 2017 (CUF7)- [GREEN] Energy, Economy and Space-May 17th-19th, 2017

For more information and update, visit: Belize Association of Planners.

B2B Waste to Energy and Renewable Energy Fair

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in Partnership with GIZ and United Nations Development Program (UNDP)’s Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) project hosted Belize’s First B2B Waste to Energy and Renewable Energy Fair at the Belize Biltmore Plaza, in Belize City on the 9th November, 2016. The presentation of the “Potential Study on Producible biogas and … Continue reading

Eastern and Southern Caribbean Countries to benefit from a new US$25.6 million Climate Change Adaptation Program

Welcome Address by Sharon Lindo, Policy Advisor, CCCCC

PRESS RELEASE – Belmopan, Belize; November 22, 2016 – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the United States Agency for International Development for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean (USAID)/ESC launched the Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP) today, November 22, 2016, at the CCCCC’s headquarters in Belmopan, Belize. The CCAP, which will be implemented by the CCCCC, commits US$25.6 million over four (4) years to boost climate resilient development and reduce climate change induced risks to human and natural assets in ten (10) countries. The beneficiary countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname.

USAID’s Chief of Mission, Christopher Cushing, the wide array of stakeholders in attendance at the program launch stated that, “this partnership seeks to reduce the risks to human and natural assets resulting from climate variability in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean. We will work together with the 5Cs to create an integrated system to sustainably adapt to climate change in the ECS.

The climate resilient development initiative contributes to a coherent regional effort to tackle climate change induced challenges in the Caribbean. It builds upon both USAID’s Eastern and Southern Caribbean Regional Development Cooperative Strategy, which is addressing development challenges in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, and the CCCCC’s Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to a Changing Climate and its associated Implementation Plan that were unanimously endorsed by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads.

“Our helping communities and government manage their water sources or sometimes, the lack thereof, is encouraging the private sector and others to adopt renewable energy approaches while working with governments so they can develop the right frameworks and policies to encourage the uptake of renewable,” states Cushing.

The Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, added that the Program shows the value of partnership for capacity building and realising tangible outcomes.

He noted that “donor countries stand with us side by side because they recognized the need for an institution that would help lead the way to address the issues of climate change and sea level rise. While CCAP is a program to help the Eastern and Southern Caribbean countries, it is helping the Centre to have the skills that will help us to propel the needs of our region in developing programmes to meet our obligations.”

Peruse the Climate Change Adaptation Program’s Project Brief

See photos from the signing ceremony here.

Hon. Omar Figueroa’s address in Marrakech urges, “COP22 must deliver.”

The following is a statement by Hon. Omar Figueroa, Belize’s Minister of State, Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 12th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto … Continue reading

Flickr Photos

Welcome Address by Sharon Lindo, Policy Advisor, CCCCC

Christopher Cushing, Chief of Mission, USAID

Dr. Kenrick Leslie's address

Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director, CCCCC

Signing of Agreement

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