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Tag Archives: Climate Variability
PRESS RELEASE – Belmopan, Belize; November 15 – On Wednesday November 14, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) began its handover of data collection devices purchased with funding from the USAID Climate Change Adaptation Program (USAID CCAP) to nine countries in the eastern Caribbean.
Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie and officials from USAID Eastern and Southern Office (USAID ESO) handed over the first of the 50 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) and the 5 Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) to the government St Vincent and the Grenadines at a ceremony held at the Argyle International Airport.
Under the project, one AWS and one CREWS station were installed in SVG. St. Lucia and Grenada also received one each AWS and CREWS station; two AWS and one CREWS were installed in St Kitts, while four AWS and one CREWS station were installed in Antigua.
Other beneficiaries are Guyana with 21 AWS, Suriname with 16 and the CIMH in Barbados with three. These data collection devices are to enhance the region’s ability to monitor Marine and Terrestrial Environmental parameters to provide more reliable climate and climate change data.
More than US$3 million dollars were spent under USAID CCAP to enhance the region’s data collection capabilities as the Centre and its partners seek to build the Caribbean’s resilience to climate variability and change.
The marine and land-based data gathering systems were installed with assistance from the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the governments of recipient countries. The CIMH has responsibility for maintenance under an agreement with the Centre.
The new CREWS data buoys provide Caribbean scientists and researchers with marine data that allow them to monitor reef health, sea temperature changes, winds (speed and gusts), barometric pressure, precipitation, photo-synthetically active/available radiation (PAR, light), air temperature, and salinity. Other instruments may be added through arrangement with the host countries. The AWS’ collection of critical data to support climate services and climate change modelling in the region by improving the monitoring and collection of environmental variables including temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, atmospheric pressure and rainfall.
The systems are critical tools for building resilience, providing data to support climate and climate change science and information to aid decision makers. USAID CCAP supports activities that are critical for the successful implementation of climate change adaptation strategies across the Caribbean.
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 Department of Environment recognizes climate variability and climate change to be two of the most significant threats to sustainable development in St. Kitts and Nevis. Against this backdrop, a number of persons from various fields throughout the federation are currently attending an eight day National Training Workshop in the Use of Climate Models for Decision Making.
The workshop, which runs from April 19-28, is held under the auspices of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
June Hughes, Senior Environment Officer at the Department of Environment, said that the training is timely, as climate change continues to be a clear and present danger. She noted that the department is working closely with regional and international partners to ensure that persons are aware of the dangers that exist.
“We in the Department of Environment have been working to raise awareness on the impacts of climate change, while taking advantage of every capacity building opportunity to improve our adaptive response have strengthened our mitigation measures,” she said. “Each training, workshop and meeting strengthens our country to address and reduce the impacts of climate change.”
Dr. Ulric Trotz, Deputy Director and Science Advisor at CCCCC, explained that the workshop would first be rolled out nationally in all 10 countries under the USAID banner, after which regional workshops will be held. He made mention of specific training tools that were developed with the aim of assisting in the generation of scientific information and analysis to help in making informed decisions. These include the Weather Generator (WG), the Tropical Storm Model/ Simple Model for the Advection of Storms and Hurricanes (SMASH), and the Caribbean Drought Assessment Tool (CARiDRO).
“The CARIWIG [Caribbean Weather Impacts Group] tool is a critical tool in that it more or less localizes the projection so that for instance, you can actually look at climate projections for the future in a watershed in St. Kitts and Nevis. It localizes that information and it makes it much more relevant to the local circumstance,” said Dr. Trotz.
The deputy executive director encouraged participants to acquire all the knowledge necessary, as it is the presenters hope that at the end of the training “a cadre of technical skills” would be developed in St. Kitts and Nevis and the region on whole that would help to deal successfully with the challenges faced from climate change.
Training and application of the tools will allow decision-makers to better understand the potential impacts of drought, tropical storms, and rainfall and temperature changes. When combined with other data and information, they can help to build a picture of potential impacts to key economic sectors in the country. The training will target key personnel whose focus are in areas of agriculture, water resources, coastal zone management, health, physical planning or disaster risk reduction.
Credit: ZIZ Online
Guyana signed a readiness grant agreement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris on Tuesday, December 08, 2015. The funding will provide USD 300,000 to Guyana to help the country build capacity to access GCF funding for its priority projects in the future.
This project, which was negotiated between the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC or 5C) and the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea of Italy, aims to address several issues affecting CARICOM States under the rubric of Climate Change, inclusive of mitigation, adaptation and vulnerability. The 5Cs is an Accredited Entity (AE) to the Fund, meaning that it can partner with GCF in delivering mitigation and adaptation projects on the ground in the Caribbean.
Executive Director of the 5Cs, Dr. Kenrick Leslie attended the ceremony along with H.E. Raphael Trotman, Minister of Governance of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, who signed on behalf of Guyana in the presence of H.E. Winston Jordan, the Guyanese Minister of Finance. Ousseynou Nakoulima, Director of Country Programming, signed on behalf of the Fund.
The GCF aims to help CARICOM Member States to adapt to climate change, by lessening their vulnerability to sea level rise and climate variability; identifying and implementing the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs); reporting and assessing of the Member States INDCs and the development and dissemination of renewable energy sources and technology.
According to iNews Guyana, “Francesco La Camera, Director General of the Ministry of Environment of Italy, signed a €6 million project to assist CARICOM Member States to mitigate climate variability and change.”
The GCF also seeks to transfer scientific and technical knowledge, experiences and technology, facilitate the exchange of experts, scientists and researchers; enhance the capacities for the implementation of mechanisms under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its related instruments, and to promote joint ventures between the private sectors of the Parties.
The Fund provides early support for readiness and preparatory activities to enhance country ownership and access through its country readiness programme. A minimum of 50 per cent of readiness support is targeted at Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Guyana, Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and African States.
More than 95 countries have so far expressed interest in receiving readiness support from the Fund, and more than 30 such grants have been approved to date.
The estimated timeframe for the project is five years. Minister Trotman thanked the Government and People of Italy for their continued support and friendship shown towards the people of Guyana and the Caribbean.
Credit: iNews Guyana, Green Climate Fund
Stepping up the challenge: six issues facing global climate change and food security
To this end, on 7 December 2014, a special seminar, Stepping up to the challenge – Six issues facing global climate change and food security, was co-organised by CARE International, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to inform COP negotiators, global development planners and policy-makers. Dr. Olu Ajayi, CTA Senior Programme Coordinator, ARD Policy, presented one of the lead papers at the seminar. The African Union Commission (AUC), represented by Dr. Abebe Haile Gabriel, gave a keynote address at the event. CTA also invited individuals to chair some of the sessions during the seminar, including farmers’ representatives from the Caribbean and representatives of the ACP secretariat.
A hackathon event on climate-smart agriculture
One week earlier, CTA, the International Potato Center (CIP) and CCAFS organised a hackathon on Climate-Smart Agriculture to deploy ICT tools that provide better and easier access to climate information. These, enable stakeholders to manage climate variability and make better decisions, and bring solutions that will help farmers to reduce the risk of crop failure. CTA also facilitated the participation of youths from the Caribbean, as means to upscale the impact of the event and achieve an economy of scale.
Agriculture should be integrated into UN climate change negotiations
As expressed in a CGIAR blog on this topic, this year’s negotiations are “an important opportunity to bring agriculture into climate change commitments and activities and tackle issues related to agriculture and food security.” In fact, agriculture is expected to be higher up on the agenda at COP21, to be held in Paris next year. On that occasion, CTA, CGIAR and Farming First will team up to provide support and disseminate knowledge around the incorporation of agriculture within climate change negotiations. This builds on their efforts in 2013, when they jointly developed a Guide to UNFCCC Negotiations on Agriculture – Toolkit for Communications and Outreach.
The Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC) was launched today (Monday, January 27, 2014) at the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) in Trinidad and Tobago. The World Bank/infoDev initiative, which is being administered by the Jamaica-based Scientific Research Council and Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), will function as an incubator for businesses solving climate change problems and promote investment in green technology in the region. The Centre is one of eight globally, as others are located in Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa and Vietnam.
The Centre will provide grant funding of up to US$50,000.00 to MSMEs/ entities to assist them in developing prototypes for commercialization.
The Centre’s five focus areas are:
Solar Energy – e.g. Residential and commercial self generation, residential and commercial water heating, solar powered air conditioning
Resource Use Efficiency – e.g. waste-to energy, materials recovery, reuse and recycling
Sustainable Agribusiness – e.g. water/ energy efficient irrigation systems; waste management; high value agribusiness; sustainable land use practices; waste to energy; wind and solar energy for farms
Energy Efficiency – e.g. Lighting, household appliances, air conditioning, commercial cooling and ventilation systems, consumer behavior, building and energy management systems, building design and materials
Water Management – e.g. Potable water, rain water harvesting, efficient irrigation, wastewater treatment and recycling, water use efficiency, desalination
Dr Ulric Trotz, Chairperson of the CCIC, and Deputy Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, says the CCIC comes to fruition at a point when unsustainable and inefficient energy consumption exacerbates the enormous socio-economic constraints faced by Member States of the Caribbean Community.
The region, which is among the most vulnerable places to climate change and climate variability, imports in excess of 170 million barrels of petroleum products annually, with 30 million barrels used in the electric sector alone, at a cost of up to 40% of already scarce foreign exchange earnings. This dependence on ever more expensive imported fossil fuels increases our economic vulnerability and reduces our ability to invest in climate compatible development. Therefore, it’s crucial that we support initiatives that can make the region’s energy sector more efficient through increased use of renewable energy, which will in turn reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
This comes at a time when economies around the world are re-orientating towards low-carbon, green growth pathways, which have the potential to make some of our established industries, including tourism, more attractive to discerning travellers who are willing to spend more for environmentally sensitive travel packages.
The Centre offers this region a unique opportunity to leverage technological innovation in its bid to adapt and mitigate challenges brought forth by climate change, with particular focus on energy efficiency, resource use, agriculture and water management, as the regional technology space is rapidly evolving and seems poised to take-off with the advent of events and groups like DigiJam 3.0, Caribbean Startup Week, Slashroots, among others. This is encouraging as the development, deployment and diffusion of technology are key factors in any effort to mitigate and adapt to the current and future impacts of climate change. So the Centre is uniquely positioned to capitalize on these developments and focus them to achieve essential technological advancement.
~Dr Ulric Trotz, Chairperson of the CCIC, and Deputy Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
Please view the CCIC website at www.caribbeancic.org for further information.
Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) announced an Advanced Hydrometeorology Workshop, which will take place in Israel from the 2nd to the 12th of December 2013.
The course, which is the product of a partnership among MASHAV, Israel Meteorological Service and World Meteorological Organisation, solely targets participants from meteorological and hydrological institutes.
Also see Mashav's brochure for the course Advanced Methods for Increasing Dairy Yield: Small & Large Ruminants.
In announcing the call for applications, the course administrators said candidates will be allocated with the assistance of the World Meteorological Organization only.
The workshop will cover topics in accordance with the concept of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), where water is one of the four key areas selected by the High Level Taskforce of GFCS.
A course advert says many of the methodologies and techniques developed in Israel over the years could be used to support development and improvement of existing and planned water resources management systems in other parts of the world. This is being emphasized as Israel has successfully developed an efficient Water Management System, despite its inherent water scarcity, growing population demands and the impacts of climate change and variability.
These methodologies and techniques will be presented to the participants in a combination of classroom lectures, discussions, exercises, demonstrations, field trips and round-table discussions.
The course seeks to:
a) To discuss the effects of climate change on aspects of the hydrological water cycle and availability of water resources. b) To demonstrate modern Hydrometeorological Techniques and methods for efficient water resources management.
Main Workshop Content
Data Management and Quality Control
Statistical Analysis of Extreme Events
Nowcasting and short Term Forecasting
Seasonal and Climate Prediction
Water Resources and Management:
Statistical Analysis (Droughts, water levels in water reservoirs, etc.)
Rainfall – Runoff Relationship
Soil and Water Conservation
Role of Rain Radar in Flash Flood Management
- The airfare cost should be covered by the participant, by his/her employer, or by the granting institution.
- The total cost of lodging at full board for single in a double room during the duration of the workshop, including tuition fees and field trips transportation will amount to app. 200$ per day (inc. insurance).
Scholarships, covering accommodations at full board (two persons per room) during the duration of the workshop, tuition fees and field trip transportation will be provided by the Government of Israel – MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation for suitable applicants from developing countries only.
The Advanced Workshop is designed primarily for meteorological staff of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services engaged and interested in application of advanced Hydrometeorological methodologies and techniques of water resources management.
The workshop will be held in English. A working knowledge of English is mandatory.
The workshop will be conducted by senior staff of the IMS/WMO RTC Bet Dagan and other Institutes having extensive knowledge and experience in Climatology, Hydrology and Meteorology in Israel and elsewhere. Invited guest lecturers will also participate in providing and sharing their knowledge and experience in specific fields of expertise.
Interested candidates are requested to complete the Participant Application Form for the workshop and return it directly to RTC Bet-Dagan, Israel Meteorological Service, P.O. 25 Bet-Dagan 50250 Israel, to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com not later than the 15 October 2013.
Caribbean applicants are advised that CARDI is prepared to support applications from the region, but says it cannot guarantee that any application will be accepted or that funding from MASHAV will be available. CARDI’s support is non-financial.
The Deputy Director and Science Advisor of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Dr. Ulric Trotz has defended regional countries from criticisms that they are more interested in seeking financial assistance from the developed world when dealing with the impact of climate change.
We can’t get away from the question of finance because we need to have finance,” he said, noting that “one of our problems is that we are poor, we know what to do.
Trotz told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the region needed the finances to deal with issues like strengthening coastal defences, making airport and seaports less vulnerable to climate risks.
But we don’t have the resources. Take a country like Holland, they are below sea level like Guyana, but they have invested in a one in a 1000 year flood event to protect Amsterdam and the coast of Holland from that type of event. We in the Caribbean don’t even have the resources to protect ourselves from a one in a 10 year event. So finances are important and this is one of the arguments that we have at the international level because we are saying “look, we are in a position now, you are facing a risk that is as a result of your lifestyle, your pattern of development, we are not responsible for this but being poor and living where we are, we are very vulnerable to the impacts basically that results from that type of development which you have been enjoying for years”.
Trotz said that the Caribbean has always felt “there is a moral argument for the developed countries to provide us with financing to help us to deal with the impacts of climate change, a phenomena that is on us as a result of your developmental patterns.
And so the question of finance is central to the entire argument and basically it is a key issue for us as we move forward to address climate change in the region.
Trotz also acknowledged that the developed world has maintained its position regarding the climate change arguments despite the moral and other arguments from the region, telling CMC, the “other challenge that we have and this is the one we are trying to make, is to make a business case for responding to climate change.
“A business case for adaptation and for mitigation,” he said noting “we still have to depend on aid etc, but there are a lot of opportunities, for instance in the energy sector right now for the new business opportunities, basically it would result in a more sustainable energy sector and it is good business.”
He said this is the road being taken by the United States with President Obama “trying to preach to the American private sector that there are new business opportunities unfolding by addressing some of the risk we face with climate change.
So we hope to be able to sell that as an opportunity now for our private sector to look at new investments and see how we can marry that opportunity with getting us on teh road to what we should be doing to increase resilience in the Caribbean.
Trotz said while he is aware that the new venture would be a challenge “but I don;t think we would have a choice”.
The CCCCC senior official said an examination of the disasters in the Caribbean would show the region suffers from weather related events that would get worse in the future.
So we should be dealing with our present day exposure to climate risk, and there is a lot of action that we should be taking. Yes we look at the destructive side of it but now under the discussions we are having internationally about dealing with climate change there are tremendous opportunities for the region to basically address several of our development issues.
Summer has officially begun. Still, temperatures recorded in some European countries recently told stories of a continent that remains gripped by the cold claws of winter, according to the Jamaica Observer.
Dr Kenrick Leslie, told the paper that late winters are not unprecedented, and they do not mean that the Earth isn’t warming.
One must differentiate between climate change and climate variability. Climate change doesn't mean variability will stop, in the same way that climate change won't cause hurricanes to stop in the Caribbean. What is happening in Europe can be attributed to the natural variability effect; there's late winter effect and early winter effect. So this must be seen in a global sense.While Europe may be experiencing a late winter, others might be experiencing an early spring effect. Last year, in the United States, they had very early spring," Dr Leslie said.