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The 5Cs to Develop Climate Adaptation Programme

(Front L-R) Dr. Kenrick Leslie and Dr. Josef Haider; (Back L-R) Donneil Cain, Keith Nichols, Sharon Lindo, Christina Rumke, Dr. Martin Lux and Dr. Mark Bynoe

(Front L-R) Dr. Kenrick Leslie and Dr. Josef Haider; (Back L-R) Donneil Cain, Keith Nichols, Sharon Lindo, Christina Rumke, Dr. Martin Lux and Dr. Mark Bynoe

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the German Financial Cooperation (KfW) signed a wide-ranging aidemémoire last Friday evening, paving the way for the development of a €12.27 million programme, which will seek to reduce the climate change induced risks facing the Caribbean’s coastal population.

The approximately six year Ecosystem-Based Approaches for Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Zones of Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean (EBACC) programme, which is slated to start later this year, will be implemented in Saint Lucia, Saint. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Jamaica.

The programme will have two main components: (i) Investments in sustainable improvements of coastal ecosystems relevant for climate change adaptation, and (ii) knowledge management, project support and monitoring. Under the first component, the programme aims to invest in measures related to protection and sustainable management, rehabilitation or substitution, and monitoring of coastal ecosystems in an effort to assist the participating countries to mitigate climate change induced risks to livelihoods and development prospects. Investments under this component will include, among others, the purchase of equipment directly related to marine protected areas (MPAs) management, reforestation, slope stabilization, coral reef restoration, construction of artificial reefs and break water.

(L-R) Dr. Josef Haider, Keith Nichols, Carlos Fuller, Sharon Lindo, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Dr. Mark Bynoe, Dr. Martin Lux and Christina Rumke.

(L-R) Dr. Josef Haider, Keith Nichols, Carlos Fuller, Sharon Lindo, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Dr. Mark Bynoe, Dr. Martin Lux and Christina Rumke.

Under Component 2 of the programme, assistance will be provided to the countries in the preparation and implementation of the local adaptation measures, monitoring of project goals and impacts, and the systematization and dissemination of project experiences. The Centre’s Resource Senior Economist and Head, Programme Development and Management Unit, Dr. Mark Bynoe, who along with Senior Programme Development Specialist Keith Nichols led the Centre’s engagement with KfW, notes that the “measures to be pursued under this component will include the harmonization of monitoring methods and the implementation of a monitoring system for the project that will complement the overall monitoring, evaluation and reporting system being developed for the IP”.

Dr. Bynoe notes that “these four participating countries were selected because the programme seeks to establish synergies with the Caribbean’s Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR). However, mainly because of the limited financing not all the participating Caribbean PPCR countries will be involved in EBACC. The KfW and CCCCC were advised by the consultants conducting the diagnostic studies for this programme, that the greatest net returns on investments are likely to be gained through investing in the countries selected.” Dr. Bynoe adds that the programme’s focus complements priority areas within the Implementation Plan of the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change that was approved by CARICOM Heads of Government in Match 2012 in Suriname.

Specifically, it will address Strategic Elements 2 and 4 in the IP that seeks to “promote the implementation of specific adaptation measures to address key vulnerabilities in the region” and “encouraging action to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems in CARICOM countries to the impacts of a changing climate” respectively.

Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE

Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE

Executive Director of the CCCCC, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, says “the EBACC programme is part of the implementing phase of the landmarkRegional Strategic Framework to address climate change”. The programme, which will be funded by the German government to the tune of €10.8 million and €1.47 million from the Centre and participating countries through a mix of in-kind and financial support, will operate under a facility approach. This arrangement will allow both governmental and non-governmental institutions in the four participating countries to seek funding for Local Adaptation Measures (LAM).

The agreement signed by the Centre’s Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE and KfW’s Sector Economist Dr. Josef Haider marks the successful conclusion of KfW’s appraisal mission (March 7-March 17, 2013), which included meetings in Jamaica and St. Lucia with government officials and non-governmental leaders who are directly engaged in climate change adaptation initiatives.

Risk Mitigation Training For Small Farmers

The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) recently launched  a set of risk training modules developed by the Caribbean Farmers Network (CaFAN) to enhance risk assessment and management in the agricultural sector. CARDI says the risk management training focuses on the threats, challenges and opportunities for managing Invasive Species and Climate Change. The “Risk Mitigation for Smallholder Agricultural Production in the Caribbean” training modules were developed with funding from the World Bank and are available to the public at no cost. You may peruse the modules here.

5Cs Leads Four Country Risk Management Talks, Round Two

A team from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs), along with representatives from the UK based consulting group Acclimatise, are leading a series of high-level workshops in Suriname, Barbados, Jamaica and Belize from February 11 to 20.

The team, which is now in Suriname for the first event, is conducting the second set of focal point country consultations to help inform the development of a regional approach to climate change risk management. The consultation process involves three countries with comprehensive development plans — Jamaica’s Vision 2030, Barbados’ Green Economy Strategy and Suriname’s Green Vision. Belize which is also committed to climate resilience has been added for the second round of discussions (Barbados, February 13; Belize, February 18; Jamaica, February 20).

The team from the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) includes Keith Nichols, programme development specialist and Joe McGann, programme manager, and they will be joined by Olivia Palin and John Firth of the consulting group Acclimatise. They are slated to meet with officials from the Ministry of Finance, Labour, Technological Development and Environment, Spatial Planning and representatives from the Climate Compatible Development Agency, the National Coordination Centre for Disaster Preparedness, among other decision makers in Suriname today.

The consultation process is expected to result in a regional Risk Management Framework and the creation of a risk ethic in decision making through the creation of a web-based risk management tool, which is slated to be launched in April 2013. This will boost climate resilience in the region amidst increasing threats from climate change. Those threats include rising sea levels and the associated predicted loss of coastal livelihoods; warmer temperatures and the likelihood of increased incidents of diseases such as dengue and increased frequency and/or intensity of hurricanes and droughts.

The initiative is being funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) through the Climate Development Network (CDKN).

Transformational Change Needed In Belize to Tackle Climate Change ~Dr. Kenrick Leslie

Official Dr. Leslie Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, gave a wide ranging address about the impact of climate change and climate variability on Belize at the University of Belize’s graduation ceremony last weekend. Dr. Leslie urged the graduates that by tackling climate change we can reduce or eliminate many of our current problems, including the threat of economic stagnation. He urged the graduates to think broadly and use their newly acquired training and knowledge to support and enhance sustainable development though cooperation and partnership with their community and country irrespective of their chosen field.

Dr. Leslie warned that Belize is experiencing the same types of Climate Change impacts as the rest of the world. However, the Central American country’s low population density make the impact of extreme conditions less pronounced, though more intense and frequent, compared to more densely populated areas.

He cited some noteworthy events that have occurred in unpopulated areas, namely:
1. The coastal community of Monkey River has been experiencing extreme coastal erosion for the last two decades. Residents have observed within their lifetimes the loss of the beachfront where they or their parents held functions such as weddings.
2. Similarly, we have seen serious degradation in our coral reef system due to warmer sea temperatures, mechanical damage from tropical cyclones, and sedimentation caused by more frequent and intense flooding.
3. Coastal aquifers are being compromised by over abstraction and sea level rise. Remedial measures such as the installation of reverse osmosis systems in San Pedro and Caye Caulker have been required. The same has occurred in Placencia where piping water under the lagoon from Big Creek is the method of supply.
4. Abnormally warmer conditions in 1999 and 2000 resulted in a pine bark beetle infestation which destroyed 75% of the pine forests in the country.
5. When the heavy rains returned a few years later the denuded soil was unable to absorb the excess water and led to one of the most devastating floods in the Stann Creek District claiming lives, destroying homes and washing away bridges. A permanent bridge was finally installed last year.

He says these conditions can be exacerbated by the further warming of the atmosphere and oceans, which makes adaptation an imperative for Belize and the Caribbean. Read Dr. Leslie’s January 2013 address at UB Commencement

CARIWIG Workshop A Success

The Caribbean Weather Impacts Group (CARIWIG) held its inaugural workshop and technical meeting at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica this week (February 4-8, 2013). The workshop is part of CARIWIG’s effort to initiate and sustain consultations to determine community needs for the generation of quantitative climate information for climate impact assessments and the broader decision-making process in the Caribbean.

CARIWIG Workshop Participants Photo #1The two day event brought together 44 participants from 10 Caribbean countries and the UK. The participants included managers, technical personnel and policy makers from 25 national, inter-governmental and regional entities. The stakeholder consultation focused on some of the region’s economic lifelines: the water, agriculture and coastal resource sectors.
The two days of focus group discussions will shape the course of the CARIWIG Project, which seeks to create tools that will enable the region to reliably access locally relevant unbiased climate change information in a manner that complements their planning cycle.
The CARIWIG project is funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN ) and will be carried out in partnership  with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (Belize), Newcastle University, University of East Anglia (UK), University of the West Indies (Jamaica) and the Institute of Meteorology (Cuba). Learn more about CARIWIG.

*This article was updated to reflect the conclusion of the event and actual participation.

Focus on early warning systems

Credit: The Barbados Advocate

Credit: The Barbados Advocate

Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, recently spoke at the joint sessions of the Second Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Climate Modelling Group and the Second Regional Workshop on Climate Change Modelling and Adaptation at the Roy Marshall Teaching Complex of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. The joint meeting focused significantly on boosting early warning systems across the region. See The Barbados Advocate for full coverage of the event. Read more…

WKU team tackles Caribbean climate change with international collaborators

At the beginning of January, a group of faculty from WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology visited Belize for a two-day meeting hosted by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), which included members of Cuba’s meteorological organization INSMET (Instituto de Meteorología) and the Belize National Meteorological Service. Read more…

Caribbean carbon neutral tourism programme ends

The Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) says the three year Caribbean Carbon Neutral Tourism Programme (CCNTP) that sought to aid the region in responding to climate change ends later this month. Read at Antigua Observer and Carib Daily

CARICOM Climate Change Centre launches Twitter page

The CARICOM Climate Change Centre launched its official Twitter page today. This is the Centre’s second foray into the social media world having launched a Linked-in page late last year. Read more…

Frolic Barefoot, But Don’t Leave a Carbon Footprint

As the world’s most tourism-dependent region, with the sector accounting for one in every eight jobs, the Caribbean has much to fear from climate change.

Three years ago, the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) signed a 1.8-million-dollar agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to enhance climate resilience in the tourism sector, and work towards designating the Caribbean a carbon neutral destination. Read more…

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