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Belize accepts the chairmanship of AOSIS

In the Photo: H.E. Ambassador Lois Young, Permanent Representative of Belize to the UN in New York; H.E. Mr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan Minister of Environment Ministry of Environment; Mr. Amjad Abdulla Director-General / Chief Negotiator for AOSIS Climate Change Department Ministry of Environment and Energy

The following statement by Belize was delivered at a Ministerial Meeting of AOSIS during a short ceremony on the occasion of the 24th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to mark Belize’s acceptance of the chairmanship of AOSIS from the Maldives in January 2019. Belize will hold the chairmanship for two years to be followed by Antigua and Barbuda in 2021.

“Good evening distinguishing delegates, colleagues.   I am delivering this statement on behalf of the Vice Minister of Belize who had to leave early because of another pressing engagement.

On this occasion I wish to extend sincere thanks to the Maldives for steering our group over the course of their Chairmanship, for their leadership and support.  I extend congratulations from my Ministry and from the Government of Belize.

Colleagues of AOSIS, Belize accepts the first half of the incoming Chairmanship of AOSIS with a profound recognition of the challenges ahead.  Acknowledging and building on the work put in by the Maldives over the past four years and that of the Republic of Nauru before that, and supported by all member nations, and relying on the sound expertise and innovative ideas of our collective body of experts. Belize intends to advance the work of AOSIS over the next two years, with a renewed focus on structure and support for member parties.  Advancing the work to achieve the sustainable development goals will be a major focus over the next two years.  Also of paramount importance is the unity of AOSIS which must be preserved.

Ahead of us lies a great challenge, predicated by the distraction of parties backing out of the Paris Agreement and others unwilling to accept the latest science of a world at 1.5 degrees.  The best science of the latest IPCC report is sound and yes it is alarming, but all parties must respect and accept it, and seek common ground to come to terms with the implications of it.

As those among the most vulnerable and those already suffering the impacts, Belize and the Caribbean region stands ready to push ahead the work of AOSIS.  We look forward to your continued support.

Thank you.”

Request for Expression of Interest for Consultancy Services: Technical Indigenous Coordinator for the REDD+ Readiness Project, PACT 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, 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 consultants to indicate their interest in providing the services. In submitting Expression of Interest, consultants should provide information demonstrating that he/she has the required and relevant experience to perform the services.

Interested consultants can request the Terms of Reference by email at redd.procurement.officer@pactbelize.org.

Expressions of Interest must be delivered in a written form to the address below (in person, mail, fax or e-mail) by 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday 20th November 2018 to:

REDD+ Procurement Officer
Protected Areas Conservation Trust
3 Mango Street
Belmopan, Cayo District
Tel: 822-3637
redd.procurement.officer@pactbelize.org

The sealed envelope containing the Expression of Interest must include the name and address of the applicant and should be clearly marked:

TECHNICAL INDIGENOUS COORDINATOR FOR THE REDD+ READINESS PROJECT IN BELIZE

Peruse full advert below:

Request for Expression of Interest for Consultancy Services

National Training Workshop on Climate Change Impacts Tools

PRESS RELEASE – Belmopan, Belize; November 24, 2017 – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC/5Cs) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development and Immigration through the National Climate Change Office (NCCO) is hosting a national training on the Caribbean Weather Impacts Group (CARIWIG) Portal and Climate Change Impacts Tools. This training workshop is being funded by the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) project. The training will be held over a period of 9 days; the first segment of the training is scheduled for the week of November 27th to December 1st, 2017, while the second segment will be held from January 15th to 18th, 2018 at the George Price Center, Belmopan City, Belize.

Participants of the National Training Workshop, Belize.

The Weather Generator (WG), the Tropical Storm Model / Simple Model for the Advection of Storms and Hurricanes (TSM/SMASH), the Caribbean Drought Assessment Tool (CARiDRO) and accompanying web portal and data sets are specific climate change impacts tools aimed at assisting in the generation of scientific information and analysis to help in making informed decisions along with policy formulation and implementation.

The tools are open source online resources to provide locally relevant and unbiased climate change information that is specific to the Caribbean and relevant to the region’s development. Case studies focused on areas such as drought, agriculture, water resources, coastal zone structures, health (dengue fever), and urban development and flooding were also done to test these tools and information related to these case studies will be shared during the Training along with many other interactive sessions. The integration of the tools into national policy agendas across the region is being spearheaded through regional and country workshops, which are crucial to ensuring effective decision-making and improving climate knowledge and action.

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Caribbean Weather Impacts Group (CARIWIG) Tools and Portal

Brief Description

  1.       A weather generator has been developed and tested on present day meteorological station observations in the region and found to produce reasonable simulations of both average and extreme weather properties. This tool provides the basis for weather generator based downscaling, required to generate locally relevant bias corrected weather scenarios for impact studies.
  2.      A new tropical storm model has been developed to provide spatial 15-minute scenarios of rainfall and wind speed over Caribbean islands under various scenarios of track, category, movement speed and historic notable storm. Managers may consider such scenarios as part of hazard management. Case study results suggest that hurricane speed, an under-reported metric, is actually of key importance, and that near-misses may be more hazardous than previously supposed.
  3.     The CARiDRO tool has been developed to assist the evaluation of meteorological and hydrological drought for the Caribbean and Central American regions, for both present day and future climate projections. This tool greatly simplifies standard but complex analyses and automatically generates a number of graphical outputs (e.g. time series plots and maps). This tool will support the agriculture and water resource sectors in their assessment and adaptation to drought hazard. A case study verified the CARiDRO tool identification of a region-wide historic drought, and found that future projections indicated increasing regional drought frequency.

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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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Energy Awareness Fair 2017 – RE-Thinking Energy: Shaping a Resilient Community

The Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities announces the hosting of Belize’s Energy Week 2017 during the week of November 19 -25 under the observance of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)’s Energy Month 2017. The Energy Unit within the Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities is hosting its 2017 Energy Awareness Fair today, November 23, at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has been invited to participate in the Energy Awareness Fair being celebrated under the theme “RE-Thinking Energy: Shaping a Resilient Community“.

Belize’s Energy Awareness Fair aims to foster stakeholder engagement and the exchange of ideas for appropriate energy related issues in Belize and sensitize the public about Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and access to clean and alternative modern forms of energy.

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Launch of the first Caribbean Regional Energy Efficiency Pilot Financing Facility

 

“Belize to launch the Caribbean’s first Energy Efficiency Financing Facility under the Energy for Sustainable Development in Caribbean Buildings (ESD) Project”

PRESS RELEASE – Belmopan, Belize; October 17, 2017 – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC/5Cs) and the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) are scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Agreement launching the first Caribbean Regional Energy Efficiency Pilot Financing Facility for investments in Energy Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy (RE). The event is scheduled for Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at 10:00 a.m., at the CCCCC Training Room, Lawrence Nicholas Building, Ring Road, Belmopan, Belize.

The new EE Financing Facility was made possible with a grant of USD 200,000 under the Global Environment Facility-United Nations Environment Programme (GEF-UNEP) Energy for Sustainable Development in Caribbean Buildings (ESD) Project, with co-financing of USD 800,000 from the DFC. The pilot financing facility is intended to provide the foundation for the development of a self-sustaining financing window within the DFC to facilitate increased investments in EE and RE.  The work was jointly spearheaded by the DFC, the CCCCC/5Cs and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), with assistance from the GEF and UNEP, in developing innovative sustainable energy solutions that benefit the country and people of Belize.

It is recognized that globally, buildings account for over a third of total energy use and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; typically, 10 to 20 percent (depending on building type) of the total life‑cycle energy consumed is used for the manufacturing and assembly of building materials, construction, maintenance, refurbishment and demolition. Some 80 to 90 percent is used over the life of the building for heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation, house appliances, etc. In Belize, for example, the buildings sector (commercial, domestic, and institutional) is the largest consumer of electricity and accounts for more than 90 percent of total electricity consumption. It is therefore, the largest source of GHG emission after the transportation sector.  The Project aims to achieve a minimum reduction of 20 percent in electricity use in the pilot activities that are to take place during 2014 – 2018.

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 MEDIA ADVISORY 

WHO:

  • Hon. Frank Mena, Minister of State, Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, Public Service, Energy & Public Utilities
  • Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE, Executive Director, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
  • Ms. Natalie Goff, General Manager, Development Finance Corporation

WHAT:          OFFICIAL SIGNING CEREMONY: GEF-UNEP ESD PROJECT “BELIZE ENERGY EFFICIENCY PILOT FINANCING FACILITY”

 WHEN:          Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 10:00 a.m.

 WHERE:   Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Lawrence Nicholas Building, Ring Road, Belmopan, Belize

BACKGROUND:

The Energy for Sustainable Development in Caribbean Buildings (ESD) Project represents the first regional project that is piloting energy efficiency improvements in the economy of member states in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Buildings are identified to be the major consumers of electricity across the region, as a result, the Project focuses on the building sector for improving the efficiency of energy use.

Peruse the official Background Note – Blended Grant Loan Finance Mechanism – ESD Project (2013)

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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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SKN To Receive CDB Grant For Climate Change Project

Image result for CDB WINN FM

St Kitts and Nevis is getting a climate-related Caribbean Development Bank grant of $538,000 euros.

The CDB says the funds will facilitate the conducting of a climate risk and vulnerability assessment of the federation’s coastal road infrastructure.

The CDB grant will also be used to prepare designs for the rehabilitation of two high-priority sites, according to a release from the regional Bank.

The bank’s board of directors has approved millions in loans and grants for ten borrowing member countries, including the grant to St Kitts and Nevis.

In the case of Dominica the CDB has approved a US$12 million line of credit to support education and housing.

The loan to the Dominica Agricultural Industrial and Development Bank is intended to assist in providing finance for student loans, and low and lower-middle income housing that, combined, is expected to benefit 400 people.

Haiti is being given a significant CDB grant to improve climate resilience, and disaster risk management.

The CDB says the grant of US$5.5 million to the Government of Haiti is to improve climate resilience and disaster risk management on an island off the country’s southern peninsula.

St Vincent and the Grenadines is meanwhile being allocated five million US dollars in loans and grants in additional support for the transformation of the country’s energy sector.

Other projects have been approved in The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Credit: WinnFM

In Belize, local stewardship key to marine conservation

Local communities are at the forefront of marine resources management and their engagement in conservation and shared governance is crucial to ensuring sustainable use of ocean resources. Photo: Avelino Franco/Fragments of Hope

The reef was in plain sight, a majestic view with sandy white beaches surrounding cayes with magnificent frigate birds and booby birds flying overhead at Halfmoon Caye Natural Monument. I was eager to put on my diving gear and see the wonders of the 186-mile-long Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Colorful coral reefs, whale sharks, turtles, and hundreds of cubera snappers aggregating three days before full moon at the Gladden Spit Spawning Aggregation Site in Belize.  It was May 2002, and I was participating along with a research team to collect data on Nassau Grouper abundance and distribution which would inform the declaration of eleven Nassau Grouper Spawning Aggregation Sites.

Our ocean is rich in biodiversity and is a crucial carbon sink. Coastal wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs support a diverse array of marine life. According to a recent economic study of the Belize Barrier Reef, the estimated services derived for tourism and livelihoods is US$559 million per year with a population of 380,010 people. A healthy reef ensures healthy people and a resilient country.

Two decades ago, fisherfolk were adamantly opposed to the designation of marine protected areas. However, the tide is shifting to a more inclusive and participatory co-management approach where communities are empowered to protect, conserve and utilize the seascape resources in a sustainable manner in partnership with regulatory government agencies (Forest and Fisheries Departments).

The protected landscape and seascape in Belize continue to evolve with 103 legally established and recognized protected areas. Local communities and indigenous peoples have protected important forests and marine ecosystems which are not fully recognized and supported. Through the new Global Support Initiative, biodiversity conservation, livelihoods and recognition for community-driven stewardship of resources will be supported. Local communities are at the forefront of marine resources management and as such, an innovative model for community engagement in conservation and shared governance of world heritage, was documented with support from UNDP.

A ridge to reef strategy and strategic financing is necessary to ameliorate anthropogenic threats emanating from the ridges and their impacts on the fragile reef ecosystems.  Sustainable Development Goal 14 calls for the sustainable use of ocean resources. Civil Society Organizations are experimenting and innovating by employing restorative actions as demonstrated by Fragments of Hope, a community based organization located on the Placencia Peninsula and whose focus is the restoration of coral reef habitats and advocacy for the sustainable management of associated habitats.

The voice of the resource users is crucial at all levels. The ocean provides more than environmental and economic benefits; it is our local, national and global heritage which we are entrusted as guardians and community stewards.

It is crucial to supporting the replication, upscaling and mainstreaming of sustainable fishing approaches such as: managed access, empowering a robust civil society network, and supporting seascape level collaboration and partnerships. A recent declaration of Belize’s largest and most biodiverse marine protected area, is a testament of strategic stewardship. These innovative actions are some of nature`s best kept secret contributing to sustainable development outcomes.

The ocean conference in June 2017 is a unique platform to challenge actors globally to address issues of sustainable fisheries, unsustainable tourism, acidification, pollution of our ocean, climate related impacts, and provide financing for ocean protection efforts towards shifting the tides.

How do you think we can continue safeguarding of vital ocean resources? Register for Voluntary Commitment for Implementation of Goal 14.

There is a shift to a more inclusive and participatory co-management between communities in partnership with regulatory government agencies. Photo: Douglas David Seifert

The ocean provides more than environmental and economic benefits; it is our local, national and global heritage which we are entrusted as guardians and community stewards. Photo: Avelino Franco/Fragments of Hope

Civil Society Organizations are experimenting and innovating by employing restorative actions which focus on the restoration of coral reef habitats and advocacy for the sustainable management of associated habitats. Photo: Lisa Carne

There is need to support biodiversity conservation, livelihoods and recognition for community-driven stewardship of resources for the communities to feel fully appreciated. Photo: Douglas David Seifert

In the run up to the Ocean Conference in June, this blog series explores issues related to oceans, seas, marine resources and the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life below water.
Credit: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Dr. Marianne Karlsson shares research on climate change adaptation efforts of two fisher communities

Dr. Marianne Karlsson, Senior Researcher, Nordland Research Institute

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus in Belize hosted a presentation by Dr. Marianne Karlsson on the results of her PhD thesis “Changing seascapes: local adaptation processes in Belizean fishing communities”, yesterday, March 30.

Belize’s wider vulnerability to climate change constitutes the context for the thesis as adaptation to climate change is considered to be urgent. More specifically, Dr. Karlsson’s research has studied how the coastal communities of Sarteneja and Monkey River perceive and respond to observed environmental changes. Through collaboration with the CCCCC, she visited Belize three times from 2010 to 2012 and stayed for eight months in total. Dr. Karlsson gathered data from interviews, spent time in the villages, participated on two conch fishing trips (one to South Water Caye and one to Glovers Reef) and literature studies.

Photo Credit: Repeating Islands

The thesis analyses what factors have influenced livelihood changes in a historical perspective in Sarteneja and Monkey River, what social consequence coastal erosion has had in Monkey River and how Sartenejan fishermen respond to climatic and non-climatic stressors. The results highlight the role of history and politics, local values and agency in shaping responses to environmental changes such as hurricanes and coastal erosion. Local attachment to the villages and the wish to safeguard or enhance what is seen as a good way of life in these places are central motivations to why people adapt to change. The thesis argues that it is important to consider current strategies to deal with change, local wishes for development and to enable local groups to have a greater say in decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods when considering future climate change adaptation.

The PhD thesis was successfully defended at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in September 2015. Dr. Karlsson now works as a researcher at a regional institute in Northern Norway, Nordland Research Institute.

Peruse Marianne Karlsson PhD thesis

Dr. Karlsson has also written four additional papers that can be viewed here.

CDB provides funds for poverty reduction in 8 Caribbean countries

The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says it is providing US$40 million in funding for poverty reduction in eight Caribbean through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).

It said the resources will support improved access to quality education; water and sanitation; basic community access and drainage; livelihoods enhancement and human resource development services in low-income and vulnerable communities under the ninth phase of BNTF (BNTF 9).

The countries that will benefit from the initiative are Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

“The participating countries share many common characteristics and face a number of challenges inherent to small, open economies. BNTF 9 will respond to the development needs of these countries, which face challenges associated with limited diversity in production and extreme vulnerability to natural hazards, which is  now exacerbated by climate change and other external shocks,” said Daniel Best, director of projects at the CDB.

Initiatives under BNTF 9 will be implemented during the period March 2017 to December 2020.

The CDB said that the governments of the eight participating countries will provide total counterpart funding of US$6.4 million.

BNTF has implemented more than 2,750 sub-projects over the past 37 years, directly impacting the lives of more than three million beneficiaries in poor communities,” the CDB said, adding that the programme is its main vehicle for tackling poverty in the region, through the provision of basic infrastructure and skills training towards improving the livelihoods of beneficiaries in participating countries.

Credit: Jamaica Observer

CARICOM prepares positions on imminent UN oceans agreement

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Senior environment officials from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) met recently in Belize as CARICOM rationalises its position on the United Nations (UN) process to establish an international legally binding agreement on sustainable use of marine resources.

The two-day workshop held 20-22 February 2017, in Belize City, Belize, was titled, ‘CARICOM Regional Workshop on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction’.

Foreign Minister of Belize, the Hon. Wilfred Elrington, addressing the opening, said that CARICOM Member States had championed the negotiation and adoption of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), which was opened for signature in Jamaica. He also reminded that when the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea was constituted, two CARICOM citizens – Edward Laing of Belize and Dolliver Nelson of Grenada, joined the ranks of the first 21 Members of the Tribunal.

“Judge Laing and Judge Nelson are no longer with us, but they, together with other key jurists from our Region, including the sitting Judge Anthony Amos Lucky of Trinidad and Tobago, have left a legacy on the international stage that is definitive of our Region’s commitment to uphold the law of the sea.

“We have now been called upon to address an area of the law of the sea that has not been adequately provided for in the UNCLOS, whether for want of scientific knowledge, implementation, or as a result of governance and legal gaps,” he said.

For CARICOM, he noted, the implementation of this agreement was the only feasible option to ensure that developing countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in particular, benefited equitably from the conservation, sustainable use and exploitation of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Critically, he said, the agreement presented an opportunity to strengthen the Convention and to help States with the implementation of provisions of UNCLOS relating to resources which would not have been contemplated to be the exclusive domain of any State, however large and industrialised.

Minister Elrington told the gathering of regional experts in the legal field, in fisheries, environment and international relations that it was critical for the meeting to identify the essential elements for a new implementing agreement, taking into account regional interests, the Community’s contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources and potential benefits to be secured in such an agreement.

The Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, also addressed the meeting noting that the wide range of expertise gathered at the meeting reflected the complexity of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

This multi-sectoral approach was necessary, he said, to address the complexities of the issue. He urged the participants to use the platform for knowledge-building, sharing and networking, and to establish a solid foundation upon which the CARICOM could formulate well-informed positions.

The meeting engaged in technical discussions on the proposed Implementing Agreement under the United Nations Law of the Sea on Biodiversity beyond National Jurisdiction. It identified areas for further study and research for the Region to enhance its participation in the preparatory process. It also identified key actions to be taken at the national and regional level ahead of the next Preparatory meeting of the United Nations scheduled for March 27th to 7th April 2017.

Credit: CARICOM Today
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