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In 1996 the Belize Barrier Reef was designated as World Heritage Site. However, concessions for offshore exploration and navigational errors that cause grounding on the reef had resulted in it being added UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) list of World Heritage Sites in danger in 2009.
But earlier this week, the Government of Belize has approved a policy that will legally apply a ban on offshore exploration in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System, and within the seven (7) World Heritage Sites in Belize. During a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, the ministers agreed to specifically ban offshore exploration in all 7 World Heritage Sites:
- Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park
- Caye Caulker Marine Reserve and National Park
- Lighthouse Reef Natural Monument
- South Water Caye Marine Reserve
- Laughing Bird Caye National Park
- Glovers Reef Marine Reserve
- Sapodilla Caye Marine Reserve
This effectively results in a total of 448 square miles being banned. In addition, Cabinet agreed to a ban offshore exploration within one kilometer on either side of the Belizean Barrier Reef System, resulting in an additional 868 square miles falling under the offshore exploration ban. The total area covered by the ban is 842,714 acres or 1,316 square miles.
Former programme Specialist, Special Projects Unit at UNESCO World Heritage Centre Marc Patry told the Communications Specialist at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) “I was very happy to read that the Government of Belize has decided to ban all oil exploration activities within the World Heritage site, and even extending out 1km beyond the boundaries. This is a testament to the strength of the World Heritage Convention.”
Patry who is currently the principal consultant for World Heritage Solutions also says “It’s worth noting that major mining and oil companies are ahead of game on this one – having officially recognized World Heritage sites as “no-go” areas. It surprises me when the private sector is more visionary than some governments on conservation matters! Still, I applaud the tireless efforts of Belizeans who I know have been making a lot of noise over this issue and congratulate the government of Belize for doing something for which Belizeans a hundred years from now will thank them for.”
Cabinet further agreed that areas that fall outside of the large acreages banned, would not automatically allow for seismic activities and exploration drilling without conducting the existing stringent environmental studies to determine critical habitats and sensitive zones. The required environmental studies would then further give guidance to areas outside the ban, to scientifically determine the type and nature of exploration that can occur in these explorable areas. This decision by the Cabinet demonstrates the government’s resolve in ensuring the continued protection of Belize’s Barrier Reef System and its seven World Heritage Sites.
5Cs Wins Energy Globe Award for Renewable Energy and Potable Water Project in Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) received the 2015 Energy Globe Award for its renewable energy and potable water work in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Energy Globe, an internationally recognized trademark for sustainability, is one of the most important environmental prizes today with 177 participating countries. The award, which is made from a cross-section of over 1, 500 entries annually, is given in recognition of outstanding performance in terms of energy efficiency, renewable energy and resource conservation.
The CCCCC won the 2015 Energy Globe National Award for the project “Special Programme for Adaptation to Climate Change”. The project was executed on the island of Bequia in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and focuses on the production and provision of clean drinking water for more than 1,000 people. This is being done through the acquisition and installation of a reverse osmosis desalination plant. The project is deemed highly sustainable as the water input is inexhaustible sea water and the energy used is solar, a renewable, carbon-free source.
The landmark project was also presented by Energy Globe as part of a global online campaign (www.energyglobe.info) on World Environment Day. The campaign ran under the patronage of UNESCO and in cooperation with UNEP and received significant recognition.
“To be honoured with this award is a great recognition of our work for a better environment and motivates us to continue our endeavours in the future,” – Henrik Personn, Renewable Energy Expert, CCCCC
Since completing this key project, we have applied the lessons learned in Belize and on the Grenadian islands of Petite Martinique and Carriacou. Review the poster below to learn more about the progress we are making in Grenada:
Do you have an excellent project? Submit it for the Energy Globe Award 2016. Review the details on www.energyglobe.info.
Caribbean climate change tool recognised at major risk management awards
Developed by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and climate risk consultancy Acclimatise (www.acclimatise.uk.com)
CCORAL developed with funding from the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)
CIR magazine Risk Management Awards 2013 recognise creative thinking and innovation to risk management.
The Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation tooL (CCORAL) has been recognised at a major international risk management awards. CCORAL, a web-based tool designed to help decision makers in the Caribbean integrate climate resilience into their decision making and planning processes, was developed by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre with technical support from climate risk consultancy Acclimatise and funding from the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN).
The seminal risk management tool helped the consulting outfit to cop the prestigious ‘Consultancy of the Year’ award at the CIR magazine Risk Management Awards 2013.
The award recognised ‘consultants that deliver real creative thinking and innovation to risk management’, and Acclimatise CEO and CO-Founder John Firth was especially pleased that the hard work that was put into CCORAL had been recognised saying “This award is really an honour that we share with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. It is fantastic that CCORAL has been recognised in this way and further underlines what a powerful tool it is for climate risk management in the Caribbean region.”
The award follows a series of successes for CCORAL, which was referred to recently in the Jamaican parliament, with the Minister for Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill, saying that the tool will be used “to assess the risk of community and national projects against specific climate change scenarios”.
The Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), Dr Rajendra Pachauri has also praised CCORAL saying “The development of the… tool [is] an extremely important asset in assessing the risk from the impacts of climate change in the Caribbean region”.
Deputy Director and Science Advisor at the CCCCC Dr Ulric Trotz says CCORAL, which allows for the integration of climate change and a risk ethic into national development planning across sectors, comes as part of a continued effort by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government to strengthen climate adaptation. Last year they approved the 2011-2021 Implementation Plan to operationalise the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change.
The Implementation Plan was also designed by the CCCCC with technical support from Acclimatise and funding from CDKN and DFID Caribbean. One priority challenge identified in the plan was the need to develop a risk management ethic in decision making in the Caribbean, ensuring the use of risk management processes and tools, management of uncertainties and integration of climate change into national development planning and decision making. CCORAL has been developed in response to this need.
To view the Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation TooL (CCORAL) please click here.
The Belize Red Cross (BRC) gave a wide-ranging presentation about“Building Resilience in Communities and Disaster Risk Reduction with a focus on Climate Change” to staff members of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s (CCCCC) this week (November 6, 2013).
Implementing a Climate Change/ Disaster Risk Reduction (CC/DRR) programme
Training in the 3CA methodology
Communicating climate change
Pre-designed tools to collect data at the community level
Linking secondary sources of information for validation of data/information collected from community members using other Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) tools-analytical tools
presenting information quickly, while ensuring that relevant data is collected, and in a manner that is easily understood by community members which will reduce the time it takes to analyze data
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) supported the region’s first National Consultation on a Framework for Climate Services in Belize last week (October 30- November 1, 2013). The consultation, organized in association with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the National Meteorological Service of Belize, and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), sought to advance the priorities under the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) by focusing on:
Assessing climate services needs in the agriculture and food security sector based on generated climate information in the country;
Recommending effective mechanisms and practices to improve interfacing and interactionsbetween climate service providers and users;
Articulating the capacity building needs in terms of mandates, infrastructure and human resources for all the components of GFCS;
Recommending actions to improve productions, sustainable operations and accessibility for climate predictions and services to aid the flow of climate information from global and regional scale to national and local scales;
Charting a roadmap for the effective development and application of climate services in support of agriculture and food security and other climate sensitive sectors in Belize,particularly water, which is of strategic import to the Agricultural Sector of theCaribbean Region.
The consultation brought together key decision-makers and users from the initial four priority areas under the GFCS: agriculture and food security, water, health and disaster risk reduction. It identified suitable mechanisms for improving and sustaining the flow of climate information to users with particular focus on agriculture and food security. The exercise also sought to enhance understanding of the need for climate services on sectors most impacted by climate change that can be implemented at the national level across the Caribbean.
The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) was established in 2009 at the World Climate Conference-3, which was organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in collaboration with other United Nations (UN) agencies, governments and partners to steer the development of climate services worldwide.
The vision of the GFCS is to enable society to better manage the risks and opportunities arising from climate variability and change, especially for those who are most vulnerable to such risks.
The GFCS, which was launched in the Caribbean in May 2013, use five components for the production, delivery and application of climate information and services in the four priority areas outlined:
User Interface Platform
Climate Services Information System
Observations and Monitoring
Research, Modelling and Prediction
The next National Consultation on a Framework for Climate Services will be held in Barbados.
The Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation tooL or CCORAL, launched last month by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), will be used to integrate climate change considerations into decision making across the region. The tool was referred to recently in the Jamaican parliament, with the Minister for Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill, saying that the tool will be used “to assess the risk of community and national projects against specific climate change scenarios”.
Importantly, the Minister went on to state that “before the end of the year, we will be commencing with the training of all Ministers and Heads of Agencies in using [CCORAL]”. The Jamaican parliaments intention to ensure that key decision makers are trained in the use of CCORAL, is a promising signal that the tool will become an important tool in increasing the climate resilience of Jamaica and other nations in the Caribbean region.
The CCORAL tool will be an important addition to the Jamaican government’s arsenal for fighting climate change. The nation is facing some considerable challenges to adapt to climate impacts such as sea level rise which has seen some parts of the island submerged, threatening the livelihoods of coastal communities.
Speaking to IPS news recently, Conrad Douglas, a Jamaican environmental scientist said that “People speak about the likelihood of Barbuda disappearing in 40 years, but this is a reality in Jamaica at the present time”.
Douglas said that sea level rise is affecting people’s livelihoods, incomes and lifestyles, “exposing us to all sort of other problems that could threaten the security of the country and of the region”.
CCORAL is a web-based tool designed to help decision makers in the Caribbean integrate climate resilience into their decision making and planning processes.
Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said of CCORAL “The development of the… tool [is] an extremely important asset in assessing the risk from the impacts of climate change in the Caribbean region. I would like to compliment the CCCCC for having taken this initiative”.
Access the tool by clicking here.
In keeping with its thrust to promote a culture of risk management across the region, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre launched a seminal online support tool in Saint Lucia today. The launch event, which was attended by permanent secretaries from ministries of finance and planning, development partners, Saint Lucia’s Deputy Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre (among other St. Lucian officials), a broad cross-section of regional stakeholders and journalists, officially introduced the Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation TooL (CCORAL).
In his keynote address Dr. James Fletcher, Saint Lucia’s Minister of Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, urged the region to ensure broad use and adaptability of CCORAL. He added that CCORAL, which has been endorsed by Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, will promote climate-smart development by helping to embed a risk management ethic in decision-making processes across the region.
“The development of the risk assessment tool [is] an extremely important asset in assessing the risk from the impacts of climate change in the Caribbean region,” according to Dr. Pachauri. The two dozen island nations of the Caribbean, and the 40 million people who live there, are in a state of increased vulnerability to climate change. Higher temperatures, sea level rise, and increased hurricane intensity threaten lives, property and livelihoods throughout the region. Against this background, CCORAL will help to boost the capacity of these countries to assess their risk amidst a variable and changing climate, while creating pathways for the identification and implementation of adaptation and mitigation options.
“CCORAL is a practical approach to cost-effective climate-resilient investment projects,” says Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. “CCORAL will aid the region in defining approaches and solutions that will provide benefits now and in the future by adopting ‘no-regret’ actions and flexible measures.”
It is intended to be used primarily by agencies at the regional and national level with responsibility for development, planning and finance, the private sector and non-governmental organisations. Ministries of Finance and/or Planning are central to the initial efforts to anchor this tool in climate resilience-building decisions. Notwithstanding, civil society organisations, universities, financial services and development partners, local communities can also use CCORAL to inform actions that must embed climate considerations. The tool is available to all member countries through an open source online platform at ccoral.caribbeanclimate.bz.
According to Keith Nichols, Programme Development Specialist at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, “the development of the risk assessment tool emerged after an extensive consultation process with regional stakeholders to ensure authenticity, relevance and ownership”. It is a direct response to the requirement of the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change (the “Regional Framework”) and the landmark Implementation Plan (IP) that were endorsed by CARICOM Heads in 2009 and 2012, respectively. The IP acknowledges that a transformational change in mindset, institutional arrangements, operating systems, collaborative approaches and integrated planning mechanisms are essential to deliver the strategic elements and goals of the Regional Framework and to enable climate smart development by embedding a risk management ethic in decision-making.
The Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation Tool (CCORAL), has been developed by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Climate Development and Knowledge Network (CDKN).
Updated July 12, 2013 at 12:07pm post-lauch