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Webinar: Flooding and Climate Change in Jamaica, risk to Vulnerable Communities.

CDKN

Join CDKN for a webinar on Aug 19, 2015 at 10:00 AM COT.

Register now! 

Flooding from extreme rainfall events is one of the major natural hazards affecting Jamaica and other small island states in the Caribbean. Jamaica has already experienced several major floods and climate-related hazards in the last decade; the social and economic cost of which has been estimated at US$18.6 billion. Clearly, increased in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events associated with climate change are a major risk to national infrastructure, development progress and the welfare of vulnerable communities.

Despite this very real threat, current flood maps in Jamaica are out of date, education on flood safety is poor and adaptive capacity in flood-prone communities is low. A new project, implemented by the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, is attempting to tackle these deficiencies.

In this webinar, hosted by CDKN, Dr. Arpita Mandal of UWI will present the results from this research project which focuses on the vulnerable communities along the the Yallahs river, as well as communities around the Orange River watershed in Negril. The project aims to create improved flood-preparedness models for these two watersheds, using information from past extreme rainfall events to create maps to plan for future flood risk. The ultimate goal was to model extreme events and create five, ten and twenty-five-year flood risk maps for both present and future climate projections. In the webinar Dr Mandal will also discuss about the importance of working with communities and adapt the results of models to their daily lives and the challenges that they are facing as a result of climate change. These map-based decision-making tool are designed to assist policy-makers in creating or revising effective flood mitigation measures, evacuation strategies and national disaster risk management plans. This will also help determine the adaptation measures that can be adopted by communities to respond to increasing flood risk, and protect those most vulnerable.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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The Flooding Project in Jamaica was funded by CDKN and managed by CARIBSAVE. It was a collaborative research between Arpita Mandal of Dept of Geography and Geology, UWI Mona, Dr Matthew Wilson of Dept of Geograny, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, Climate Studies Group, UWI MONA Jamaica, David Smith of Institute of Sustainable Development, UWI MONA, Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust and Dr Arpita Nandi of East Tennessee State University, USA.

CCORAL Gets International Recognition: CIR Magazine Risk Management Awards 2013

  • 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.
Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation TooL (CCORAL) Infographic

Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation TooL (CCORAL) Infographic

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 download a copy of the CCORAL brochure, please click here. To download a copy of the CCORAL infographic please click here. To download a copy of the CCORAL factsheet please click here.

To view the Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation TooL (CCORAL) please click here.

Caribbean water sector managers to benefit from CCORAL

Credit: CGIAR

Credit: CGIAR

A new initiative by the Caribbean Climate Change Centre (5Cs), the UK-based Climate Development and Knowledge Network (CDKN) and the Global Water Partnership – Caribbean is focusing minds on climate risk in the water sector.

In July, the 5Cs launched an innovative online tool to help governments and businesses to assess the climate-related risks of different investment options. The Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation tool (CCORAL) is a decision support tool that aims to encourage climate resilient choices.  In this region of small island states that are vulnerable to sea level rise, droughts and increasingly frequent, intense storms, the tool couldn’t have come at a better time.

Also read CCORAL Is Here! Endorsed by the IPCC Chair

CCORAL is intended to embed a risk management ethic in decision-making processes across the Caribbean region. When it was launched, it received a rare endorsement by the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri. Now, a new project will fine-tune CCORAL’s online support system for the specific use of managers in the water sector

Most Caribbean countries are vulnerable to water scarcity and drought.  One of the contributing factors to vulnerability is climate change, which will trigger significant changes in temperature and precipitation.  Average rainfall is expected to decrease by 7% in 2050, and salt water intrusion will arise as a result of increased sea levels. This water scarcity will impact agriculture, tourism and public health.

The Centre, together with the Global Water Partnership Caribbean are working with government agencies and businesses in the water sector to understand how the CCORAL tool could help them. They are currently consulting with a range of regional organisations (such as international financial institutions, NGOs and universities), national agencies (government departments, water utilities) and businesses (water utilities, consultants, major industrial and commercial water users). They are exploring the following key questions:

  • What are the priority water services which would benefit from more climate resilient decision making? (for example; water resources allocation, water supply, agricultural / industrial / commercial / tourism / energy)
  • What water information, planning, operational or legal and regulatory activities would benefit from increased consideration of climate variability and risk? (for example; water supply planning, hydrological modelling, risk assessment, water system regulation, operational procedures)
  • Which organisations and specific capacities would benefit from being involved in the development and application of the CCORAL-Water tools? (for example; strategic water planners in governmental departments, consultants engaged in technical services for water planners, investment planners in water utilities, regulatory agencies for water)

If this project is successful, it will lead to improved climate risk management in water sector planning and management activities, which in turn will lead to improved levels of service for water users in the Caribbean.

The CCORAL-Water project is being developed in consultation with water managers in five countries: Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Suriname. The CCORAL-Water tool itself will be applicable and available to all Caribbean countries through the CCORAL online system, hosted by the 5Cs, from March 2014.  Watch this space for progress with CCORAL – Water!

This article was written by CDKN’s Pati Leon and was first posted at CDKN Global.

CCORAL Is Here! Endorsed by the IPCC Chair

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.”

(L-R) Dr. Trotz, Deputy Director, CCCCC; Sylvester Clauzel, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Saint Lucia;  Keith Nichols, Project Development Specialist, CCCCC; Dr. Bynoe, Sr. Environmental  & Resource Economist, CCCCC;  Dr. Fletcher, Minister of the Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Saint Lucia; and Deputy Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Philip J. Pierre

(L-R) Dr. Trotz, Deputy Director, CCCCC; Sylvester Clauzel, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Saint Lucia; Keith Nichols, Project Development Specialist, CCCCC; Dr. Bynoe, Sr. Environmental & Resource Economist, CCCCC; Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE, Executive Director, CCCCC; Dr. Fletcher, Minister of the Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Saint Lucia; and Deputy Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Philip J. Pierre

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).

Learn more about CCORAL by viewing the CCORAL Fact Sheet and Brochure.

Updated July 12, 2013 at 12:07pm post-lauch

Post-2015 development goals should include resilience

ClaudiaDewald_iStockphoto-365x365As the UN launches its first report on the post-2015 MDG consultations, CDKN’s Amy Kirbyshire reflects on what the 5th Africa Drought Adaptation Forum taught us about how resilience can be measured and incorporated into the post-2015 development framework.

Disaster resilience in the post-2015 development framework

The failure of the Millennium Development Goals to take disaster risk into account is considered a major gap in the current development framework around the globe. This is one message to emerge from the report The Global Conversation Begins, presented by the UN last week, which documents initial findings from consultations around the world on the post-2015 Development Agenda.

While disaster resilience is much more difficult to measure than, say, disaster mortality, the consultations to date have clearly shown a preference for this more positive framing by the global Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) community. In addition, the consultations devoted to DRR have recommended a standalone goal on DRR, as well as incorporating DRR into other development goals. The standalone goal will ensure visibility of disaster resilience, and will also provide an opportunity to better address the interface between global development frameworks and those for DRR, climate change adaptation and conflict.

This presents a challenge. To have a standalone development goal on disaster resilience, some degree of consensus is needed on what it really means to be resilient and how we can measure it, among other things.

Last month, more than 250 participants from governments, regional bodies, UN agencies, NGOs and academia attended the 5th Africa Drought Adaptation Forum (ADAF5) in Arusha, Tanzania. Their discussion of methodologies and indicators for measuring community-level resilience to drought in Africa highlighted just how complex developing a new goal for disaster resilience will be.

As Catherine Fitzgibbon from UNDP Drylands Development Centre put it, resilience is the flipside of vulnerability. Couched in positive language, it encourages thinking about where we want to be, rather than what is missing. It is multifaceted, dynamic and constantly changing. It means different things to different people, so identifying it and measuring it is a real challenge.

Working with communities in drought-prone regions of Africa, the UNDP Drylands Development Centre has provided some answers to what it means to be resilient. Under the Quantitative Impact Assessment for Community-based Drought Risk Reduction Initiative, it asks groups within communities to think about what factors help people cope in times of drought and the characteristics that define a resilient community. The top ranked factors are taken to be that community’s resilience indicators.

To measure their resilience, the community estimates the proportion of households that meet the resilience criteria during a ‘normal’ and ‘bad’ period. By grouping the indicators under the five categories of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (SLF: physical, natural, social, human and financial capital), and by mapping the ‘normal’ and ‘bad’ values against those categories on a spider diagram, the community’s level of resilience becomes clear. More resilient communities exhibit less difference between a normal period and a bad period. The use of the SLF also helps to facilitate comparison across different communities.

Using the findings of the research, the UNDP Drylands Development Centre has developed a list of common indicators for governments to routinely collect data on, to help map and measure changes in resilience over time. This model, known as the Community Based Resilience Assessment (CoBRA), is best suited to communities that experience systematic shocks or disasters, as these are likely to present a clear consensus on what constitutes a ‘bad’ period. Common indicators include year-round access to water, education, health care, access to credit, social safety nets, peace and stability, and large cattle herds, among many others.

Assessment data collected so far suggests that the long-term key to building resilience is education, particularly the completion of secondary and tertiary schooling. This leads to better jobs and support for families by providing money to invest in other livelihood activities. Therefore, scholarships might be a good long-term resilience-building intervention.

While such initiatives could contribute to shaping a resilience-based development goal by helping to define what resilience is and how it can be measured, other questions also need answering. For example, agreement is needed on ‘what should we be resilient to?’ and should we be focusing on disaster resilience (i.e. to natural hazards), or resilience to all shocks? Furthermore, a community’s resilience will be preconditioned by wider governance and structures; how can we build this in?

As was clear from break-out group discussions at the ADAF5, such consensus does not yet exist. Fundamentally, delegates disagreed over whether it is possible to have a globally applicable ‘meta-indicator’ for resilience generally, or whether resilience necessarily relates to specific hazards such as drought or to specific contexts.

The prevailing view among delegates was that there could be a meta-indicator for disaster resilience in the post-2015 development framework, but it would need to be a composite of sub-indicators, to reflect the wide variety of factors that influence the overall picture. We need a resilience index, they said, that includes a number of factors and can be tailored to specific contexts.

The group favoured a composite linked to physical, natural, social, human and financial capital, as in the SLF. This resonates with calls from the post-2015 DRR consultations for a resilience framework, the implementation of which would involve a multidimensional risk index reflecting different themes and integrated risk assessment models.

While the development agenda cannot address all DRR concerns, it is clear that DRR must be incorporated into the next iteration of the MDGs. Past experience has helped us recognise what is needed, and why. If resilience is to be the vehicle, as experts seem to broadly agree, discussions such as those held in Arusha have much to offer proponents on the ‘how’ that will be required to bring the new goal to fruition.

Published by CDKN Global | on: 8am, April 01st, 2013

5Cs to host ‘Caribbean Climate Risk Management Webinar’

Building picThe Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) will host a ‘Caribbean Climate Risk Management Webinar’ on April 11, 2013.

The webinar will be an opportunity to learn more about the region’s efforts to create a risk management framework, its intended applications across sectors and its contribution to building the region’s resilience to the impacts of climate change.  The webinar will also speak to the importance of embedding a risk ethic in decision-making in support of sustainable development in the CARICOM region.

The presenters will include Keith Nichols, Senior Project Development Specialist at the Centre and Mr. John Firth, CEO of the UK-based consulting firm Acclimatise. The two presentations will last a total of 15-20 minutes and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

The webinar, which is scheduled to start at 10:30am EST, is primarily geared towards decision-makers and technocrats drawn from government ministries and departments from across the region, as well as development partners. However, the discussion will be posted on our online platforms for delayed use. To join the meeting, click here:  Caribbean Climate Risk Management Webinar. For more information email: info@caribbeanclimate.com

Learn more about the Climate Development and Knowledge Network (CDKN)-funded Caribbean Climate Risk Management Project.

Climate Change Risk Management Consultations Underway in Belize

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre is leading the third leg of its four country high-level consultations on the Draft Caribbean Climate Change Risk Management Project in Belize today.

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) team, along with representatives from the UK based consulting group Acclimatise, 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 (Suriname, February 11, Barbados, February 13; Belize, February 18 and; Jamaica, February 20).

Workshop participants...

Workshop participants…

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 ministries with responsibility for finance, planning, the environment and disaster management and preparedness.

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 and Development Network (CDKN).

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).

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.

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