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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.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) provides climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States through the CARICOM Secretariat. The staff and management of the CCCCC wish you a happy CARICOM Day. CARICOM Day is observed annually on 4 July, the anniversary of the signing, by the founding Member States, of the original Treaty of Chaguaramas.
Reduce your carbon footprint by employing solar energy. You can add value to your home and reduce your electricity usage by installing solar panels.
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Climate change is expected to increase the intensity and frequency of droughts in the Caribbean, so countries in the region must enhance their capabilities to deal with this and other extreme weather-related challenges to ensure food security and hunger eradication, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said in a new report.
The report, Drought Characteristics and Management in the Caribbean, found that the Caribbean region faces significant challenges in terms of drought, FAO said.
“Drought ranks as the single most common cause of severe food shortages in developing countries, so this is a key issue for Caribbean food security,” said Deep Ford, FAO Regional Coordinator in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean region already experiences drought-like events every year, with low water availability often impacting on agriculture and water resources, and a significant number of bush fires, FAO noted.
The region also experiences intense dry seasons, particularly in years when El Niño climate events are present. FAO said that the impacts of this are usually offset by the next wet season, but wet seasons often end early and dry seasons last longer, with the result that annual rainfall is less than expected.
The Caribbean region accounts for seven of the world’s top 36 water-stressed countries, while one of them – Barbados – is in the top 10, according to FAO.
Impacts of drought on agriculture and food security
With droughts becoming more seasonal in nature in the Caribbean region, agriculture is the most likely sector to be impacted, with serious economic and social consequences, FAO emphasized.
his is particularly important because most of Caribbean agriculture is rainfed. With irrigation use becoming more widespread in the region, countries’ fresh-water supply will become an increasingly important resource, FAO said.
Small-scale, family farmers, are particularly vulnerable to drought – low rainfall threatens rainfed crops and low water levels result in increased production costs due to increased irrigation.
Extensive droughts also cause increased vulnerability in livestock as grazing areas change in nutritional value, with more low quality, drought tolerant species dominating during such dry spells. In addition, the potential for livestock disease outbreaks also increases, FAO said.
Drought also often results in food price increases. Expensive, desalinated water resources are becoming more important in the Caribbean, accounting for as much as 70 per cent in Antigua and Barbuda, and this can impact significantly on the ability of poor households to afford food.
Rural communities can also face a greater scarcity of drinking water during droughts. In such cases, children are at the highest risk from inadequate water supplies during drought.
New challenges posed by climate change
The most frequently occurring natural hazards in the Caribbean are climate-related, and their impacts may increase due to climate change, FAO said. The region’s vulnerability to climate related hazards is manifested in loss of life and annual economic and financial losses that result from strong winds, flooding and drought.
Between 1970 and 2000, the Caribbean region suffered direct and indirect losses estimated at between $700 million and $3.3 billion due to natural disasters associated with weather and climate events.
So far, the region has focused mainly on floods and storms, and it currently lacks effective governance, expertise, and financial resources to deal effectively with drought issues, FAO stressed.
It also has poor national coordination, policy-making, and planning in place. While many regional and national programmes have developed responses to build resilience against the impacts of drought, the report found that too many of these are still only in a drafting phase, or are poorly implemented and in need of review.
Regional frameworks provide a necessary first step
The FAO report noted that the severity of the 2009-2010 drought – the worst in more than 40 years – served as an alarm bell for the Caribbean region.
The event forced the region to consider, particularly in light of climate change projections, the need to introduce more strategic planning and management measures to avert the potential disaster that would result by end of the century from a drier Caribbean region, according to the report.
FAO stressed, however, that the most pressing need is for countries to develop strong national initiatives. According to the report, policy-making and planning related to drought is hindered by weak governance, lack of finance and poorly coordinated land management.
“These can be overcome by strong political will that encourages participation in policy and planning processes by all actors in the social strata, enabling the sustainable development of water supplies to face the upcoming challenges,” Mr. Ford said.
According to Belize’s policy targets, the country intends to increase its share of renewable energy. Bioenergy, especially Biogas, is not being utilized on industrial levels. To help achieve this goal and build capacity in this sector, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in cooperation with GIZ REETA is offering a free of charge BIOENERGY Course at its training Centre in the country’s capital, Belmopan on the 15 – 25 August, 2016.
Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate that demonstrates their ability to plan, prepare and conduct Bioenergy training seminars and implement bioenergy projects to high standards. These seminars provide an excellent opportunity for professional development in the renewable energy field, while ensuring the sustainable use of the knowledge.
The course at the Centre will be held for 15 persons, so early application/registration is vital for participation please send a curriculum vitae (CV) and note explaining why the bioenergy course is significant to your development. Email your CV to Henrik Personn at email@example.com. Please review the schedule for details.
With more than 170 participating countries and over 1500 project submissions annually, the Energy Globe Award is a prestigious environmental prize worldwide. It distinguishes projects regionally, nationally and globally that conserve resources such as energy or utilize renewable or emission-free sources. The 2016 National Winner of the Energy Globe Award in Belize installed a mobile biogas laboratory at the University of Belize’s Belmopan Campus in order to build capacity in the biogas sector. The submission for the Project “Biogas Laboratory at UB” was made by Henrik Personn, the Renewable Energy Expert at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). The CCCCC is awarded the Energy Globe for Belize (for the project).
In its efforts, the CCCCC has been granted the support within the GIZ – REETA program to introduce a mobile biogas Laboratory at the University of Belize (UB) for use within CARICOM Members states and also by the private sector. The vision of the project meant that the CCCCC would purchase a facility to convert biomass into biogas by using locally supplied feedstock, consisting mostly of easy to harvest biomass, manure and organic waste. The laboratory was installed on November 27, 2015 and the CCCCC and GIZ REETA recognized UB for being a strong partner with the best capacity in Belize to utilize the Laboratory.
Since its installation, UB’s Faculty of Science and Technology has made strides in incorporating the Biogas Laboratory into educational activities through research and teaching. Currently, a collaborative effort to assess the biogas potential of several waste biomass including banana and citrus is being executed. A student in the University’s Bachelors of Biology Program recently conducted thesis work in the lab and presented his findings at the UB Biology and Chemistry Symposium held in May 2016. The University is also actively engaging stakeholders to determine how the biogas lab can contribute to solving some environmental concerns. As an example, the lab has received interest from Belize Aquaculture Limited to evaluate shrimp waste in its potential to produce biogas as an option for adding value to organic shrimp waste. Ultimately, UB intends to expand the lab’s capacity to provide scientific data that can contribute to the climate change agenda. This ranges in areas from guiding management decisions to reducing pollution due to organic waste to generating a renewable source of energy that can contribute to meeting cooking needs of rural communities. To achieve those goals, the University is seeking partnerships that can help support the initiatives of the Lab. Therefore, the Laboratory is exploring the possibility of expanding its research capacity through participation in the Red Mesoamericana de Investigacion y Desarrollo de Biocombustibles (RMIDB) and will be submitting a proposal for funding consideration from the network.
The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) is a four year Project funded by the Government of Germany through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The REETA Project collaborates with the CARICOM Energy Programme in rendering support in the areas of Capacity-Building, Private Sector Cooperation and Regional Institutional Support.
For further information on the UB Biogas Laboratory research activities contact Karen Link or Mark O’Brien (501-822 -1000) at UB. For further information on the CCCCC’s involvement in the project contact Henrik Personn at (501-822-1104) or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Countries are now in their second week of negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) presently taking place in Bonn, Germany. Draft conclusions have already been adopted for some items under two of the subsidiary bodies of the Convention, the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). Under the SBSTA, countries concluded their consideration under the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) on adaptation, the Technology framework, metrics to calculate the carbon dioxide equivalence of greenhouse gases, emissions from international aviation and shipping, the training programme for review experts, forests in exhaustion, market and non-market mechanisms under the Convention and the Paris Agreement, modalities for accounting of financial resources mobilized for climate change, and the next review of the long term goal until 2018.
CARICOM negotiators are facilitating the consultations on several of the agenda items under the SBI and SBSTA. They include: Ann Gordon of Belize on Research and Systematic Observations, Hugh Sealy of Grenada market and non-market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement, Gerald Lindo of Jamaica on joint implementation, Kishan Kumarsingh of Trinidad and Tobago on Technology, Crispin d’Auvergne of Saint Lucia on capacity building, and Leon Charles of Grenada on the long term review of the global goal. Carlos Fuller, the Liaison Officer of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, is the Chair of the SBSTA.
H.E. Ms. Ségolène Royal, Minister of Environment, Energy and the Sea of France and President of COP 21/CMP 11 opened the climate change talks in Bonn on Monday May 16th, 2016. That morning was the first occasion for the climate change negotiators to meet following the successful climate change talks in Paris last year which resulted in the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Last month 175 countries signed the Agreement at the UN Headquarters in New York, eclipsing the previous record for the signing an agreement on the opening day. In addition 5 CARICOM Member States were among the 15 States which also presented their instruments of ratification. The Paris Agreement will come into force when 55 Parties representing 55% of the global greenhouse gas emissions ratify the Agreement.
Two of the subsidiary bodies of the Climate Change Convention, the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) also launched their work . The SBSTA is being chaired by Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). These bodies will elaborate the mechanisms established in the Agreement. The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) is expected to launch its work tomorrow. It is charged to prepare for the entry into force of th Agreement and prepare for the first meeting its governing body.
The CCIC programme aims to assist Caribbean island states to adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change by empowering each territory to create clean technologies and businesses, and strengthening several critical areas.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Everton Hanson, tells JIS News that the Centre is taking an entrepreneurship approach to addressing the issues.
“The purpose of this project is to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem that will foster growth-oriented entrepreneurs and profitable businesses that address climate change mitigation and adaptation,” he says.
The CCIC, which was established as a Consortium, is jointly managed by two of the Caribbean’s foremost scientific institutions – the Scientific Research Council (SRC), based in Jamaica, and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) situated in Trinidad and Tobago.
Both islands have active CCIC programmes and function as the project’s primary ‘country hubs’. These hubs are responsible for administering financing, management, and support service delivery regionally.
Locally, the CCIC project is housed at the offices of the SRC located at Hope Gardens in Kingston.
The programme, which emphasizes the need for a unified response to developing climate change solutions, has 12 established country hubs in several other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.
The CCIC model was developed in collaboration with local stakeholders and addresses the gaps across five priority areas: solar energy, water management, sustainable agribusiness, resource use and efficiency, and energy efficiency.
The CCIC also offers services that assist entrepreneurs in developing business models for their products and services. Among these are technology commercialization; market development; mentoring and training; networking, as well as business incubation support, and identifying and developing local, regional and international market opportunities.
A key feature of the programme is that it facilitates the testing and prototyping of proposed innovations, and provides technical support and information on contemporary green technology.
So far the bold initiative has met with success, instituting innovative activities in its goal of supporting companies from the nascent stage to an advanced stage of development. This has been accomplished through the staging of boot camps and accelerator programmes, among other activities.
One of its more notable programmes, the Proof of Concept (PoC) competition held in 2015, invites innovators to present designs and concepts for products which can be transformed into viable businesses.
Over 300 innovators from 13 Caribbean countries applied for grant funding through the competition, with 11 winners were selected from the pool of applicants.
The successful participants, who were awarded grants ranging from US$10,000 to $50,000, came from Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, and Belize.
Additionally, the PoC winners benefitted from several capacity building exercises facilitated by CCIC and CARIRI, including mentorship, training and technical assistance in business incubator activities.
The CCIC in Jamaica recently hosted the Caribbean Green Tech Start up Boot camp, which ran from February 26 to 28. Over 70 innovators and entrepreneurs from across the Caribbean participated in the interactive three-day workshop, which challenged them to refine their concepts, transforming them into viable, sustainable businesses.
Executive Director of the SRC, Dr. Cliff Riley, points out that with the project is an important initiative as it directly addresses problems associated with climate change while stimulating economic development.
“It is a project for the entire region to build capacity and to ensure that innovative ideas and products can be translated into viable businesses,” he notes.
The programme was developed under the World Bank’s global partnership development programme, InfoDev, and is being implemented under its Climate Technology Program (CTP).
The Caribbean component of the Climate Innovation Centre (CIC) is one of seven CICs established across the world. Other Countries with CICs are Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Vietnam, Morocco, and Ghana.
The CCIC programme is one of three components of the World Bank/InfoDev Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) and is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Credit: Jamaica Information Service
On December 12 in Paris, France’s Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, brought to a close the UN climate change conference, COP 21.“I now invite the COP to adopt the decision entitled Paris Agreement outlined in the document,” he said, and then seconds later: “Looking out to the room I see that the reaction is positive, I see no objections. The Paris agreement is adopted.”
It was, according to some reports, an act of brinkmanship, as unresolved last minute concerns had been expressed by Nicaragua and there was, in a part of the final draft text, a difficulty surrounding US concerns about the use of the word ‘shall’ rather than the more discretionary word ‘should’; but with mysteriously, a typographical error being declared, the deal was done.
Apart from it demonstrating Mr Fabius’ outstanding ability to bring to a conclusion a multi-dimensional meeting in which unanimity was required if the world was ever to be able to address climate change; US concerns, driven by domestic politics, demonstrated how hard it may be for nations most at risk to obtain a viable outcome.
Caricom was ready for Paris. A task force had been set up two years ago and the region had a well-prepared position, a short-list of critical issues, and simple but memorable branding. In addition to a delegation led St Lucia’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Dr James Fisher, and the Caricom Secretary General, Irwin LaRoque, seven Caribbean Heads of Government travelled to Paris to express, at the opening, the region’s concerns, and to mobilise third-party support among the huge numbers of NGO’s, business interests, environmentalists and other present in Paris.
It was an outstanding example of where, in the pursuit of a common cause that touches everyone in the region, the regional institution can add real value and be an organisation to be proud of. It demonstrated in relation to important cross-cutting roles, a future for the secretariat.
For the Caribbean and other low lying small nations, for which sea level change and global warming are quite literally existential issues, what now is at stake is whether what has been agreed is deliverable; what the text means in practical terms; and how the region and other Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) intend ensuring that the many commitments made are delivered within the agreed time frame.
In outline, the thirty one page text agreed by 193 nations proposes that a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and the sinks for ameliorating them is achieved in the second half of this century. It emphasizes the need to hold the increase in the global average temperature well below 2C (36F) above pre-industrial levels, proposes ‘pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C (35F)’, and that a peak in global greenhouse gas emissions be achieved as soon as possible. It accepts an asymmetrical approach enabling all developing countries – including large industrialised carbon emitters like China, India and Brazil – to have more time to adapt.
In a section that addresses loss and damage, it agrees a US$100bn annual minimum up to 2030 to enable support for mitigation and adaptation in developing nations, but does not accept there is any basis for compensation for loss and damage by carbon emitters. It also does not set a time scale for reaching greenhouse gas emission neutrality, or say anything about the shipping or aviation industries.
The problem for the Caribbean and all AOSIS’ 39 member states is whether what was agreed in Paris is prescriptive enough, or is so hedged round by the potential for opt-outs, delays, and unenforceability as to make it meaningless.
What it suggests that Caricom must now follow through, as the agreement as it stands is little more than an aspirational framework. Together with other AOSIS states it needs to determine how at the UN and in other fora it is going to hold the world to account for what has been agreed, then obtain, and successfully apply some of the money that will be available for both adaptation and mitigation.
This will not just be a test of the Caribbean’s staying power and the willingness of its governments to fund and support a continuing focus, but will also require that the region hold to account those countries that it supported during the negotiations. They will need to prove, when it comes to the Caribbean that their expressed concerns reflected more than just a need to obtain a satisfactory agreement. It is a position that will have to be deployed as much with China and Brazil as with the US and Europe.
In this, both Caricom and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) will continue to have a critical role in coordinating the regional effort. But it will also be up to governments to maintain the political momentum, demonstrate a unity of purpose, and to be determined to pay attention to the Caribbean’s implementation deficit.
Climate change is an issue on which the Caribbean has had every reason to have its voice heard and be taken very seriously. Fifty per cent of its population and the majority of the region’s productive enterprise and infrastructure lie within 1.2 miles of the sea. Its low lying nature, its fragile eco-systems, and extreme weather events demonstrate that it is a prime candidate to benefit from what has been agreed.
While countries in the region are often accused of allowing mendacity to drive their foreign policy, here is an example where the Caribbean deserves a transfer of resources if it, quite literally, is not to disappear beneath the sea.
Climate change also has a strategic importance. It enables the Caribbean to demonstrate an approach that owes more to the future than to the past; it is an issue on which it has a better chance to exert leverage; and one that can deliver national and regional development objectives. It is also an issue on which the region occupies the moral high ground and has popular international support.
Sea levels and water temperatures are rising and it will be some of the world’s smallest nations that will suffer first. Logic would therefore suggest that the Caribbean – a region of vulnerable, low or zero carbon emitting states – should be a significant early beneficiary of any resource transfer for adaptation. It is now up to Caricom to make this a public cause.
Credit: Dominican Today