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March 20, 2019; Belmopan, Belize. – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) hosted a meeting on March 18, at its office in Belmopan, Belize; with the Cuban Ambassador to Belize, Her Excellency Mrs. Lissette Pérez; and representatives from the Government of Belize’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Sustainable Development, the Environment, Climate Change and Solid Waste Management Authority, to discuss the Coastal Erosion Assessment conducted by two Cuban Coastal Erosion Specialists.
“We want to formalize and solidify the relationship between Belize and Cuba. Belize acknowledges that Cuba has the know-how and technical capacity to best guide and advise Belize on these issues as we aim to build our national capacity for the sustainability of these initiatives”
Dr. Lennox Gladden, Chief Climate Change Officer of the National Climate Change Office.
On March 13 and 14, 2019, the specialists, Dr. José Luis Juanes and MSc. Miguel Izquierdo from Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA) also visited the coastal town of Dangriga and Hopkins, a community within its environs to identify the various natural and human factors affecting coastal erosion there.
Beach scarp, dead trees, exposed roots, waves reaching building foundations and some inefficiency coastal protection structures, demonstrate the extent of erosion in Dangriga-Hopkins. Locals estimate that the shoreline has receded by 20 to 25 feet in the last 5 years.
In an effort to stabilize the coastline, the experts discussed possible measures and solutions. Dr. Juanes and Mr. Izquierdo recommended three areas of focus, namely: research, legal direction to define and regulate the coastal zone and the deployment of adequate engineering.
Dr. Percival Cho, Chief Executive Officer noteded: “It is important to structure Belize’s regulatory framework to better govern the development of our beaches.”Her Excellency Mrs. Pérez expressed interest in the actions, best practices and sustainable adaptation initiatives that Belize could undertake to mitigate the damages.
The meeting concluded on the promise of further collaboration between Cuba and Belize to address the issues of coastal erosion and vulnerability as well as other related areas.
Dr Leonard Nurse, Chairman of the Board and Mr Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) attended the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in their personal capacities. Other participants from the Caribbean at the meeting held in Phoenix, Arizona, USA from 6 to 10 January 2019 included Dr David Farrell, Principal of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), Mr Glendell de Souza, Deputy Coordinating Director of the Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) and representatives of the national Meteorological Services of the Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana and Suriname.
There were several presentations by scientists from the CIMH. Shawn Boyce presented on “Impact-Based Forecasting and Assessment in the Caribbean”. Lawrence Pologne delivered a presentation on “The Potential, Viability and Co-benefits of Developing Wind Energy to Mitigate Climate Change in the Caribbean” based on his University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill doctoral thesis. Branden Spooner, an Intern at CIMH, presented on “Using Virtual Reality Technology as a Tool in Disaster Risk Reduction”.
There were several presentations of interest to the region. Kristie Ebi delivered on “Building Resilience of Health Systems in Pacific Island Least Developed Countries”. She also worked with Cory Morin of the University of Washington who delivered a presentation on, “Use of Seasonal Climate Forecasts to Develop an Early-Warning System for Dengue Fever Risk in Central America and the Caribbean”. They expressed an interest with collaborating with the CCCCC in developing this warning system.
The CIMH, and the national Meteorological Services of Belize and Jamaica were used in Catherine Vaughan’s, “Evaluation of Regional Climate Services: Learning from Seasonal Scale Examples across the Americas”. She is working out of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Colombia University.
Belize may find the presentation by Jorge Tamayo of the State Meteorological Agency, Spain, on “New Projects on Iberoamerican Meteorological Cooperation” of special interest. One project is on the development of a lightening detection network for Central America. They are also collaborating with the Regional Committee of Hydrological Services (CRRH) and the Central American Integration System (SICA) on a meeting in 2019 on the delivery of climate services.
In an interesting session on Communicating Climate Change, Mike Nelson of KMGH-TV in Denver Colorado, presented on “Communicating Climate Change – Be the Expert in the Living Room”, and Hank Jenkins-Smith of the University of Oklahoma delivered a presentation on “Stability and Instability in Individual Beliefs about Climate Change”. Jenkins-Smith noted that based on polling trends, conservatives were more likely to change their beliefs on climate change while liberals were more likely to retain their opinions on climate change.
In a session on Climate Extremes in the Tropical Americas: Past, Present and Future, Derek Thompson of Louisiana State University (LSU) presented on “Spatiotemporal Patterns and Recurrence Intervals of Tropical Cyclone Strikes for the Caribbean Islands from 1901 to 2017”, and Prashant Sardeshmukh, CIRES presented on “Can We Trust Model Projections of Changes in Climate Extremes over the Tropical Americas?”. He noted that dynamics played a more important role than atmospheric temperature in explaining extreme weather events. Current climate models were not capturing this aspect accurately and more work was required in this area. Kristine DeLong of LSU presented her work on “Last Interglacial Sea Surface Temperature Variability in the Tropical Atlantic Warm Pool: A Comparison of Model and Coral-Based Reconstructions”, which focused mainly on paleoclimatic reconstructions based on coral samples in the Caribbean. She noted the importance of collaboration with Caribbean institutions.
The 100th AMS Meeting will be held in Boson, Massachusetts from 12 to 16 January 2020. Caribbean meteorologists, hydrologists and climate change experts are encouraged to attend these meetings to be appraised of the most recent research on these subjects.∞
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.
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 email@example.com.
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
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:
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.
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.
Caribbean Weather Impacts Group (CARIWIG) Tools and Portal
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
“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.
- 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
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Marianne Karlsson shares research on climate change adaptation efforts of two fisher communities
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.
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.