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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.
Belmopan, Belize; August 26, 2016 –
According to Belize policy targets, the country aims at increasing its share of renewable energy. Till now Bioenergy, especially Biogas, is not utilized on industrial scales in Belize. To help achieve this goal and build capacity in this sector, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in cooperation with GIZ REETA had offered a free of charge BIOENERGY Course at its training Centre in the country’s capital, Belmopan and at the Bio Energy Laboratory which is housed at the University of Belize.
Bioenergy as a renewable energy resource offers many advantages: It can be converted into various forms of secondary and final energy. Biomass, the primary energy source, can be transformed into solid, liquid and gaseous energy carriers. The combustion of these energy carriers can produce heat, cold, electricity, mechanical power or a combination of these. Even better than this, bioenergy is storable, so it can be converted right at the time when energy is needed to balance the differences between energy supply and demand.
Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Director of the CCCCC and Dr. Ulric Trotz , Deputy Director of the CCCCC both welcomed the participants and thanked GIZ for their contribution. They also thanked Henrik Personn, the integrated expert from CIM/GIZ, for his efforts especially in the Capacity Building and Waste to Energy Sector in Belize. The course was directed by Tobias Sengfelder of GoGreen Ltd.
Participation came from the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority, BELTRAIDE, Belmopan Comprehensive High School, the University of Belize, ITVET and the Spanish Lookout Power Plant. Participants successfully completed the course and received a certificate that demonstrated their ability to plan, prepare and conduct Bioenergy training seminars and implement bioenergy projects to high standards. These seminars provided an excellent opportunity for professional development in the renewable energy field, while ensuring the sustainable use of knowledge.
Alton Daly, an intern at the CCCCC said “The course was very informative. We learned to make use of different biomass resources such as sugar cane and corn. I think it is something we can use throughout the Caribbean and not only here in Belize. It seems to be very useful. It is something we should continue to look into.”
The head of the Belmopan Comprehensive High School Science Department, Jeneva Jones, felt that “It was very informative about how to create electricity from different biomass that is readily available to us. We need to put more people in the science field to ensure that the use of bioenergy becomes viable.”
Ryan Zuniga, a lecturer at the University of Belize also had high hopes after completing the course. He said “Seeing the output of such a system will garner far more support for science and research. It will assist us in developing ways to curb our energy cost and mitigate against climate change. I think it is something that would be very useful at UB and at the lower levels of the education system.”
These seminars provided an excellent opportunity for professional development in the renewable energy field, while also ensuring the sustainable use of knowledge. Participants who successfully completed the course, in addition to receiving a certificate, are now able to plan, prepare and conduct Bioenergy training and implement bioenergy projects to high standards.
The successful participants included:
Ryan Zuniga, UB Lecturer
Jeneva Jones, Head of Science Dept., Belmopan Comprehensive High School
Ana Hernandez, Agricultural Science Teacher, Belmopan Comprehensive School
Jorge Chuck, ITVET Manager, Belize City
Gilroy Lewis General Manager, Belize Solid Waste Management Authority
Jomo Myles, Student and Sugar Industry Stakeholder
Jake Letkeman, General Manager, Farmers’ Light Plant Corporation, Spanish Lookout
Shahera Mckoy, Manager, Beltraide
Nicole Zetina, Project Manager, Beltraide
Photos of the seminar can be downloaded at the Centre’s Flickr page.
Ambassador Manorma P. Soeknandan, PhD., Deputy Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), is in Belize for a three day working visit. Ambassador Soeknandan is meeting with officials of the Government of Belize, as well as representatives of the various CARICOM institutions headquartered in Belize.
On Tuesday May 24th, 2016, Dr. Soeknandan accompanied by Craig Beresford, Director of Strategic Management at the CARICOM Secretariat, visited the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) which is headquartered in Belmopan, the Capital of Belize. She met with the staff and the Executive Director, Dr. Kenrick Leslie. Dr. Leslie outlined the progression of the institution to a Centre of Excellence and as the first regional entity, accredited to the Green Climate Fund which will invest in low-emission and climate-resilient development projects in the Caribbean. Soeknandan spoke about the importance of collaboration and a partnership was further strengthened as the CCCCC agreed to share its human resources in regards to highlighting best financial and procurement practices which serve to help adaptation and mitigation projects in the region.
Ambassador Soeknandan told the staff of the 5C’s, “I would like to say on behalf of the CARICOM Secretariat thank you for your input and your support to the organization and the region.”
5Cs Concludes Annual Board of Governors Meeting: Expanded partnerships with CARPHA, Deeper Private Sector Partnerships, New Member and Heightened Outreach Announced
Placencia, Belize; June 29, 2015― The Board of Governors of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre concluded its annual meeting (June 25 -28) in Placencia, Belize yesterday. The Board agreed that the Centre will deepen engagement with the private sector to ensure broad utilisation of the seminal Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation Tool (CCORAL), pursue closer collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA, which includes the former CEHI ), expand its youth focused public education work and welcome at least one new beneficiary country.
Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) are essential to advance the Centre’s multipronged approach to building climate resilience in the region. The Centre successfully used this approach to implement projects, such as the installation of reverse osmosis desalination facilities in Bequia, Petite Martinique and Carriacou, to improve access to potable water. Leveraging this approach to improve the uptake of CCORAL will be a key feature of the Centre’s work in the coming year. CCORAL , which was launched by the Centre in July 2013, is an online support tool developed to strengthen climate resilient decision-making processes across various sectors in the Caribbean by embedding a risk ethic. It has been endorsed by regional and international partners, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Centre has been working with the Caribbean Development Bank, its long-standing partner and a permanent member of the 11 member Board of Governors, and other development partners to mobilise private sector support for the tool. The Board also notes that the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) is a natural partner for the success of the tool at the regional level.
Following a special presentation to the Board of Governors in 2014 by Dr C.J Hospedales, CARPHA’s Executive Director, the Centre is moving to deepen collaboration with the region’s premier health agency. The two entities are expected to collaborate to develop joint proposals aimed at reducing the region’s vulnerability and building resilience to the likely effects of climate change across a myriad of areas of mutual interest.
The success of the Centre’s new engagements will also offer an opportunity to advance its public education work. The Centre successfully piloted a network of school-based environmental clubs in Belmopan, Belize this year. This initiative includes 60 to 90 minute weekly meetings, experiential learning, highly interactive group exercises and discussions. This comprehensive youth focused outreach initiative, which also included the first Belize – Mexico Student Exchange on Climate Change, will be a key element of the Centre’s public engagement moving forward. The network of clubs will be rolled out across Belize and in three other CARICOM countries over the next 12 months.
To meet the emerging challenges and demonstrate its commitment towards a low carbon development pathway, the Board also reinforced its support for the construction of facilities to carry out the Centre’s operations. The Centre is currently housed in rented facilities provided by the Government of Belize. The Government of Belize has allocated 10 acres of land to the Centre, on which a custom-designed, ‘green’ facility will be constructed. The Centre is in the process of seeking financing to undertake this initiative. This development comes as the Centre prepares to celebrate its 10th Anniversary. The Board greatly appreciates the goodwill of the Centre’s host government in areas including and beyond the provision of property for the future facility and also welcomes similar offers from the University of Belize.
As the Centre expands and matures it is looking to welcome a new member. The Centre expects Martinique to become an Associate Member in the medium term, which would bring the total beneficiary countries to 15. The Board of Governors is aware that all countries in the region, whether English-, French- or Dutch-speaking are highly vulnerable to the risks posed by global climate change, as they are exposed to the same threats such as rising air and sea surface temperatures, changing rainfall patterns sea-level rise and changes in the behaviour of extreme weather and climate-related extreme events. It is against this background that the Board welcomed the application of Martinique for Associate Membership.
The Centre has expanded rapidly since it commenced operations in 2005, having developed the capacity to successfully execute a suite of regional climate change related programmes worth between US$40 and US$50 million over the last five years. The Centre continued the execution of eight medium to large projects/programmes over the last twelve months. The Centre’s most recent programme is a €12.8 million initiative to address ecosystems-based adaptation under an agreement with the German Development Bank (KfW). The KfW supported engagement seeks to protect the region’s extensive coastal resources through a combination of ecosystems-based adaptation and environmental engineering approaches that will also embed livelihood considerations as a core element of the programme. The comprehensive investment under the initiative developed by the Centre, in conjunction with the KfW, will focus on enhancing the resilience of the region’s coastal resources to the impacts of climate change and climate variability.
VIDEO: Climate Change Projects in the Caribbean:
Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie says the Centre, under a directive from CARICOM Heads, has been “working with national governments to put together programmes that would help them develop bankable projects that can be funded under the various mechanisms under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Centre is putting maximum effort to ensure CARICOM Member States get their fair share of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Adaptation Fund (AF) and other funds to help them in their adaptation efforts. That is our primary thrust— to meet the mandate given to us by the regional Heads.”
Accordingly, the Centre has applied to be a regional implementing entity for the Adaptation Fund, and is strengthening its capacity by establishing a Monitoring and Evaluation Unit to better prepare it to function as an implementing agency with the requisite technical capacity to institute projects on par with international organizations operating in the region. The new Unit will also advance the Centre’s capacity to advise and help governments develop, monitor and evaluate programmes in accordance with its mandate as the region’s key node of information and action on climate change. Following decisions taken at last year’s Board of Governors meeting, the Board has strengthened its fiduciary oversight through a Finance and Audit Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors, annual internal audits, and increased focus on data and plant security.
Chairman of the Board of Governors, Dr. Leonard Nurse, says these changes are necessary given the Centre’s shift from a project-based orientation to more programmatic activities in a bid to ensure its long-term sustainability. He notes that the Centre, which is primarily funded through grants and not government subventions, is swiftly advancing efforts to set up a Trust Fund. The Fund, which has been seeded with US$1M from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, will be an independent arrangement administrated by the CDB that would allow the Centre to co-finance projects and fund project priorities over the long-term.
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 Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) welcomed a group of 25 students from the Belmopan Comprehensive High School today for an interactive climate change exchange. The visit forms part of a broader engagement with young people in an effort to create a network of school-based environmental clubs with a strong climate change focus across the region. The initiative is being piloted by the Centre in five (5) schools in Belmopan, Belize with support from the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (MFFSD) under the “Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change” project which is funded by the European Union.
The participating schools are:
Belmopan Comprehensive High School
Belize Christian Academy
Belmopan Baptist High School
Our Lady of Guadalupe High School
Belmopan Methodist High School
Through this means of youth engagement, we are using a mixture of specially designed games, discussions, music and other tools to:
Increase sensitisation and awareness of climate change impacts and community vulnerability;
Heighten ability to link personal actions to the broader climate change discussion;
Increase capacity to conduct vulnerability assessments of communities; and
Identify practical adaptation measures to reduce vulnerability.
This initiative will include 60 to 90 minute weekly meetings, experiential learning including presentations, highly interactive group exercises, discussions and outreach efforts. These clubs are intended to be student-led entities with the support of a designated staff member.