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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 Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, widely known as the 5Cs, is a Centre of Excellence that thrives on coordination, collaboration and partnerships.
We’ve done pioneering work covering regionally relevant climate modelling and data collection, adaptation projects, climate risk management, education and outreach and coordinating Caribbean negotiating positions at international climate meetings. Over the last year we were involved in executing eight comprehensive projects spanning these areas. Our project portfolio includes:
Coastal Protection for Climate Adaptation in the Small Island States in the Caribbean – An Ecosystem-based Adaptation Project (2014-2018)
Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (2012-2016)
Caribbean Regional Resilience Development Implementation Plan (2011-2016)
Caribbean Risk Management Project (2012-2015)
Australia- Caribbean Collaboration on Climate Change and Coral Reefs (2012-2015)
Database Management System for a Regional Integrated Observing Network for Environmental Change in the wider Caribbean (2011-2015)
Global Climate Change Alliance (2011-2015)
Governments throughout the Caribbean have become more cognizant of climate change issues and the import to implement adaptation and mitigation measures allay such climatic issues. Many have been investing in renewable energy sources for their country. This was demonstrated in March 2013 when CARICOM ministers approved for its member states to produce 47 percent of their electricity needs through renewable energy by 2027.
Climate change urging for investments in renewable energy are based on scientific hypotheses, data collection and analysis. This may attribute for the lack of mass political and capital investments. However, such investments would reduce reliance on energy imports and would alleviate nations from volatility of the oil market.
The cost of importing the vast majority of energy needed for all forms of transportation and productions drives up the prices of all goods and services produced in the Caribbean.
In October 2013, the Jamaica Gleaner contained a special column written by Zia Mian, formerly of the World Bank, which stated:
“The cost of petroleum fuels, as well as electricity in these countries, is high, making it difficult for them to compete in the regional or international markets.”
He asserted that reducing the Caribbean’s reliance on imported fuels would further development in the region,
“For the energy deficient countries of the region, the immediate and long-term sustainability of development depends on facilitating the advancement of enabling environments that would allow increased domestic productive capacity and production of goods and services at competitive and affordable costs.”
Consequently, it is vital that the Caribbean invest in more renewable energy solutions which will positively impact its economic conditions. In order for theses investments to be profitable, practical solutions that are sustainable must be thoroughly planned.
Governments must look pragmatically at the realities of investing in renewable energy for the future and making a holistic plan for how to move the Caribbean towards wider use of renewable energy in a cohesive and usable way as opposed to a piecemeal, project-by-project approach. Credits: Caribbean Journal