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A contingent of Caribbean climate modellers and scientists recently participated in the VAMOS/CORDEX Workshop on Latin-America and Caribbean. The workshop was held at the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP) in Lima, Peru ( September 11-13) and brought together an international community of regional climate modellers from South America and the Caribbean.
The workshop sought to:
(i) pursue an initial assessment of the various CORDEX downscaling initiatives over the South American and Central American CORDEX domains;
(ii) develop regionally focused vulnerability, impact and adaptation (VIA) user-knowledge; and
(iii) identify stakeholders’ needs so as to support the science-based information required for climate adaptation, mitigation and risk management in the region.
The Caribbean was represented by members of the regional modelling consortium, including presenters from the Instituto de Meteorlogia (Cuba), the three campuses of The University of the West Indies (Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago), the Antom de Kom University of Suriname, and the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service.
The Caribbean presentations notably highlighted the coordinated and collaborative manner in which modelling is being undertaken within the region and the resulting science. The application of regional climate modelling in determining future flood risk at the watershed scale in the Caribbean was also a highlight.
To learn more about the work of the Caribbean regional modelling consortium, please click here and search for PRECIS (see examples below):
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre showcased its work at the 10th Carbon Expo in Barcelona, Spain last week (May 29-31 2013). The Carbon Expo is the largest event for the international carbon market and attracts project developers, regulators, financiers, brokers, businesses, and entrepreneurs.
The Centre shared a display booth with Cuba and the UNEP Riso Centre. Despite the depressed state of the carbon market, approximately 2,200 participants attended the expo representing 110 countries and 150 exhibitors.
The expo was organized in three streams covering: policy, climate finance, and clean energy and clean technology in plenary, training and dialogue sessions. While the regulated market which developed as a result of the Kyoto Protocol has declined significantly in 2013, the voluntary market and the national and regional markets are expanding. The focus of the expo therefore was considering options for linking these diverse markets, exploring opportunities in NAMAs, understanding the new market mechanisms being negotiated under the UNFCCC, and bridging the gap until the new mechanisms come into effect. For the first time, the Carbon Expo included issues of adaptation on the agenda as the organizers appreciated the linkages between adaptation and mitigation.
The Centre’s representative at the Carbon Expo, Carlos Fuller, the International and Regional Liaison Officer, held discussions with the representatives of Cuba, UNEP Riso, Barbados, and representatives of several organizations to explore opportunities for collaboration in the Caribbean. The Centre work was also promoted through a World Bank display featuring the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) project.
The Centre’s attendance was facilitated by the World Bank. Carbon Expo 2013 was preceded by the First Forum of the standing Committee on Finance of the UNFCCC, where Mr Fuller was part of a panel discussion during which he highlighted the work of the Centre in adaptation in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean has officially joined the global Earth Hour Community. Earth Hour is a symbolic 60 minute period during which participants turn off all non-essential lights to raise awareness about the effects of climate change. It will be celebrated this year on Saturday, 23rd March 2013 from 8:30PM to 9:30PM local time. Earth Hour is an annual event that began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and has since spread across the entire globe. In 2012, official activities took place in more than 7000 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories. Sadly, the only Caribbean territories listed on the 2012 map of participants were Aruba and Belize.
The Caribbean region is comprised largely of Small Island developing states that are very vulnerable to the effects of climate change including extreme rainfall patterns, sea level rise, increased temperatures and intensified hurricane seasons. Caribbean nations are inherently climate sensitive with their lives and livelihoods inextricably connected to the physical environment. In spite of the solid work by Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) and the Climate Studies Group at The University of the West Indies among others, the vital information has not been converted to widespread public awareness. Although the action of turning off the lights for one hour is largely symbolic, Earth Hour provides an opportunity for communities across the region to focus on and begin to discuss Climate Change mitigation, adaptation and resilience strategies.
Earth Hour Caribbean was launched in March 2013 and is a project of Hill 60 Bump – A Caribbean Sustainability Network. It acts as a focal point for Earth Hour activities in the region including the sharing of events, activities, tips, news and climate change relevant information. Earth Hour Caribbean will also assist in the coordination of ‘I Will If You Will’ challenges and the appointment a regional ambassador to champion the cause. For 2013, the following Caribbean countries have been added to the official list of Earth Hour participants: Grenada, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Curacao, Suriname, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Earth Hour Caribbean aims to spread the movement to all Caribbean territories and is seeking interested parties in the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Cuba, Haiti, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda among others.
Text by Heather Pinnock