caribbeanclimate

Home » Posts tagged 'Disaster Risk Reduction'

Tag Archives: Disaster Risk Reduction

Caribbean at Annual Meeting of the AMS

Dr Leonard Nurse, Chairman of the Board and Mr Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) attended the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in their personal capacities. Other participants from the Caribbean at the meeting held in Phoenix, Arizona, USA from 6 to 10 January 2019 included Dr David Farrell, Principal of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), Mr Glendell de Souza, Deputy Coordinating Director of the Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) and representatives of the national Meteorological Services of the Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana and Suriname.

There were several presentations by scientists from the CIMH. Shawn Boyce presented on “Impact-Based Forecasting and Assessment in the Caribbean”.  Lawrence Pologne delivered a presentation on “The Potential, Viability and Co-benefits of Developing Wind Energy to Mitigate Climate Change in the Caribbean” based on his University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill doctoral thesis. Branden Spooner, an Intern at CIMH, presented on “Using Virtual Reality Technology as a Tool in Disaster Risk Reduction”.

There were several presentations of interest to the region. Kristie Ebi delivered on “Building Resilience of Health Systems in Pacific Island Least Developed Countries”. She also worked with Cory Morin of the University of Washington who delivered a presentation on, “Use of Seasonal Climate Forecasts to Develop an Early-Warning System for Dengue Fever Risk in Central America and the Caribbean”. They expressed an interest with collaborating with the CCCCC in developing this warning system.

The CIMH, and the national Meteorological Services of Belize and Jamaica were used in Catherine Vaughan’s, “Evaluation of Regional Climate Services: Learning from Seasonal Scale Examples across the Americas”. She is working out of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Colombia University.

Belize may find the presentation by Jorge Tamayo of the State Meteorological Agency, Spain, on “New Projects on Iberoamerican Meteorological Cooperation” of special interest. One project is on the development of a lightening detection network for Central America. They are also collaborating with the Regional Committee of Hydrological Services (CRRH) and the Central American Integration System (SICA) on a meeting in 2019 on the delivery of climate services.

In an interesting session on Communicating Climate Change, Mike Nelson of KMGH-TV in Denver Colorado, presented on “Communicating Climate Change – Be the Expert in the Living Room”, and Hank Jenkins-Smith of the University of Oklahoma delivered a presentation on “Stability and Instability in Individual Beliefs about Climate Change”. Jenkins-Smith noted that based on polling trends, conservatives were more likely to change their beliefs on climate change while liberals were more likely to retain their opinions on climate change.

In a session on Climate Extremes in the Tropical Americas: Past, Present and Future, Derek Thompson of Louisiana State University (LSU) presented on “Spatiotemporal Patterns and Recurrence Intervals of Tropical Cyclone Strikes for the Caribbean Islands from 1901 to 2017”, and Prashant Sardeshmukh, CIRES presented on “Can We Trust Model Projections of Changes in Climate Extremes over the Tropical Americas?”. He noted that dynamics played a more important role than atmospheric temperature in explaining extreme weather events. Current climate models were not capturing this aspect accurately and more work was required in this area. Kristine DeLong of LSU presented her work on “Last Interglacial Sea Surface Temperature Variability in the Tropical Atlantic Warm Pool: A Comparison of Model and Coral-Based Reconstructions”, which focused mainly on paleoclimatic reconstructions based on coral samples in the Caribbean. She noted the importance of collaboration with Caribbean institutions.

The 100th AMS Meeting will be held in Boson, Massachusetts from 12 to 16 January 2020. Caribbean meteorologists, hydrologists and climate change experts are encouraged to attend these meetings to be appraised of the most recent research on these subjects.

Intensive Training Continues In An Effort To Increase Awareness Of The Impacts Of Climate Change

(L-R) Dr. Ulric Trotz, Deputy Director and Science Advisor, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre with June Hughes, Senior Environment Officer at the Department of Environment,

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

Browse the IDRC Davos 2014 Outcomes Report

Global Risk Forum

The outcomes of the 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC) Davos 2014, which was held from 24th -28 thof August in Davos, Switzerland, is now available.

The Outcomes Report is now available for download and consists of two major parts. Part I provides a summary of the findings of the post-conference expert workshop with focus on science and technology, education and training, and implementation (workshop participants are listed in the annex part III).

Part II shows all the various comments which have been provided by the IDRC Davos 2014 participants to the pre-zero and the zero draft concept. The comments are listed according to the numbering used in the existent zero draft. Many comments are very much in-line with the existent draft and might also serve for confirmation purposes of the existent zero draft.

The outcomes of the IDRC Davos 2014 expected to serve as a science & technology input for the post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (HFA2) and provide recommendations towards the UN World Conference WCDRR in Sendai, Japan.

The next IDRC Davos conference will be held from 28 Aug. – 1st Sept. 2016.

IDRC 2014 Presentations and Proceedings

You missed a session or the entire event? – All presentations are still available online.

Plenaries and keynotes have been recorded and can be watched as video stream. Parallel session abstracts and presentations can also be read online. Explore our interactive conference review!

Explore the Interactive Review!
Credit: Global Risk Forum

CDEMA Unveils New Online CDM Monitoring and Evaluation Tool

CDEMA

L-R: Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director, CDEMA; Dr. Elvis Nurse, Director Resources Management and Administration Division; Ms. Elizabeth Riley, Deputy Executive Director, CDEMA; Ms. Ana Maria Fernandez, Economist, IDEA International and Dr. Frederic Martin, Co-President, IDEA International.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) continues to strengthen its Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems for disaster risk reduction projects and programmes in the region. Recognizing the important role of technology in supporting robust M&E systems, the agency has developed a computerized information tool for capturing and analyzing performance data of the regional Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy 2014-2024.

The CDM Monitor, as the tool is called, was unveiled at a recent stakeholder session held at the Baobab Towers in Barbados. Participants at that meeting included representatives from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), UN Women, National Disaster Offices of CDEMA Participating States and the CDEMA Coordinating Unit.

The web-based application assists in the area of planning and facilitates monitoring at various levels: strategic, programme, sub-programme/project, yearly work plan and annual budget. Performance information generated can then be used for decision-making by senior officials and technical project/programme staff.

Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of CDEMA, highlighted the importance of such technology to the Agency’s wider M&E system.

“As the region’s mandated disaster risk management agency we are required to effectively monitor regional progress towards achieving a safe and resilient Caribbean. We must also be able to monitor, report and plan more effectively and give account for our own performance as we make our contribution to the overall implementation of the CDM Strategy 2014-2024. With the implementation of The CDM Monitor, the Agency’s is poised to achieve these aspirations and further support our efforts to realize our vision of being ‘A Centre for Disaster Risk Management Excellence and a preferred partner for a safe Caribbean’.”

The CDM Monitor was developed by the Institute for Development in Economics and Administration (IDEA), as part of a wider consultancy aimed at strengthening the Monitoring and Evaluation capacity across the CDEMA system.

Dr. Frederic Martin, Co-President for IDEA, noted that “IDEA International, supported the CDEMA CU working in collaboration with other CDM system actors to (i) build up CDEMA human capacities in monitoring and evaluation, (ii) revise its performance indicators and targets, (iii) propose a CDEMA monitoring and evaluation policy, (iv) design a monitoring and evaluation plan, an action plan, and a staff performance management system for CDEMA Coordinating Unit, and (v) implement an online data base information system to support the M&E system. The progressive implementation of those complementary actions should position CDEMA as one of the leading institutions implementing results-based monitoring and evaluation in the Caribbean region over the next three years.”

The development of the CDM Monitor was sponsored through the Comprehensive Disaster Management – Harmonised Implementation Programme (CDM-HIP) with funding support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Credit: CDEMA

5Cs Welcomes DFID Caribbean Evaluation Team

Exec Team and DFID Caribbean Team

(L-R) Lennox Johnson, Finance Administrator; Dr Ulric Trotz, Deputy Director; Dr Mark Bynoe, Sr Resource Economist; Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer; Rosanne Kadis, Programme Officer, DFID Caribbean; Dr Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director; Alex Harvey, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Team Leader, DFID Caribbean; Sharon Lindo, International and Regional Cooperation Officer; Keith Nichols, Sr Programme Development Specialist; and Clay Hope, Project Officer

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre welcomed Caribbean representatives from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UK-DFID) to its offices yesterday. The team, which is conducting an annual project evaluation, includes Alex Harvey, climate change and disaster risk reduction team leader, and Rosanne Kadir, programme officer.

The UK-DFID is providing up to £4.9 million from the International Climate Fund, between October 2011 and March 2015, to support a programme of priority actions in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change Implementation Plan (IP). This support strengthens the Centre’s ability to support national level adaptation, as well as Caribbean participation in global negotiations. It will also help some of the most vulnerable communities to withstand the impacts of climate change and variability

DFID Visit

CCCCC staff with UK DFID Caribbean representatives Rosanne Kadir and Alex Harvey

Proposed Elements for Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Released

DDR

Credit: UNISDR

The  ‘Proposed Elements’ for the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction are now available. The ‘Proposed Elements’ now being considered draws on consultations with stakeholders that began in early 2012, including online, local, national, regional and global events. Further guidance came from the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG)’s advisory groups, country reports through the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) HFA Monitor, the findings of the biennial UN Global Assessment Reports on Disaster Risk Reduction (2009, 2011 and 2013) relevant deliberations of the United Nations General Assembly, as well as growing literature and practice on disaster risk and resilience.

Over 60 senior government officials, Members of Parliament, scientists, business executives, lawyers, practitioners, and civil society representatives – all serving pro bono in their personal capacity, provided counsel to the SRSG to formulate the Proposed Elements.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/67/209) agreed to convene the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to review implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action and to adopt a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction. The 2012 resolution requested UNISDR to serve as secretariat of the World Conference in 2015, to facilitate development of a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction (HFA2), and to coordinate the preparatory activities in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

The Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction will undergo the formal preparatory process of the 3rd World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, Japan, 14‐18 March 2015) before it is endorsed by the Conference and transmitted to the United Nations General Assembly for final endorsement.

View full document of the Proposed Elements.

Credit/Source: Prevention Web

Caribbean urged to brace for impact of climate change

Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Robert Pickersgill (left), I discussions with CCCCC Executive Director, Dr. Kenrick Leslie (right) (JIS PHOTO)

Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Robert Pickersgill (left), I discussions with CCCCC Executive Director, Dr. Kenrick Leslie (right) (JIS PHOTO)

A two-week regional training workshop on climate change has started here with a warning that the Caribbean could suffer billions of dollars in losses over the next few years as a result of climate change.

“As a region, we have to assist each other in every conceivable way imaginable,” said Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister Robert Pickersgill at the start of the workshop that is being organised by the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in partnership with several regional governments and the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

It is being held under the theme “The use of sector-specific biophysical models in impact and vulnerability assessment in the Caribbean”.

Pickersgill said that Caribbean countries needed to work together to boost technical expertise and infrastructure in order to address the effects of the challenge.

He said global climate change was one of the most important challenges to sustainable development in the Caribbean.

Citing a recent report from the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he noted that while the contribution of Caribbean countries to greenhouse gas emissions is insignificant, the projected impacts of global climate change on the Caribbean region are expected to be devastating.

Pickersgill said that according to experts, by the year 2050, the loss to the mainstay tourism industry in the Caribbean as a result of climate change-related impacts could be in the region of US$900 million.

In addition, climate change could cumulatively cost the region up to US$2 billion by 2053, with the fishing industry projected to lose some US$140 million as at 2015.

He said the weather activity in sections of the Eastern Caribbean over the Christmas holiday season was a prime example of this kind of devastation.

The low level trough resulted in floods and landslides in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Dominica. At least 15 people were killed and four others missing. The governments said they would need “hundreds of millions of dollars” to rebuild the battered infrastructures.

“For a country the size of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, this loss is significant and could result in their having to revise their GDP (gross domestic product) projections. (Therefore), while one cannot place a monetary value on the loss of lives, the consequences in terms of dollar value to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is also important,” Pickersgill said.

“It only takes one event to remind us of the need to become climate resilient in a region projected to be at the forefront of climate change impacts in the future,” Pickersgill said, adding that he hoped the regional training workshop would, in some meaningful way, advance the Caribbean’s technical capabilities to meet the future projections head-on and be successful.

He said the workshop has particular relevance to Jamaica as one of the SIDS that is most vulnerable to climate change.

The two-week programme forms part of the European Union (EU)-funded Global Climate Change Alliance Caribbean Support Project, which is geared towards the creation and financing of policies that can reduce the effects of climate change as well as improved climate monitoring within the region.

The Global Climate Change Alliance project is to be implemented over 42 months and will benefit Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

CCCCC Programme Manager, Joseph McGann, said the project would include several activities including: enhancing national and regional institutional capacity in areas such as climate monitoring; data retrieval and the application of space-based tools for disaster risk reduction; development of climate scenarios and conducting climate impact studies using Ensemble modeling techniques; vulnerability assessments that can assist with the identification of local/national adaptation; and mitigation interventions.

CMC/id/ir/2014

Credit: CMC

Building Resilience in Communities & Disaster Risk Reduction (Presentation)

The Belize Red Cross (BRC) gave a wide-ranging presentation aboutBuilding 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).

International Federation of the Red Cross Disaster Management Officer Pria Rai introduced the new Caribbean Climate Change Adaptation (3CA) Toolkit, which includes tools designed to facilitate:

  • 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 BRC and the Centre have long collaborated in areas such as VCAs for Belize and the wider Caribbean.

Peruse the BRC‘s presentation here.

5Cs supports the Caribbean’s first ‘National Consultation on a Framework for Climate Services’

Climate Services

Filipe Lucio (left), Head of the GFCS, WMO, and Dr Ulric Trotz (right), Deputy Director, CCCCC

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
  • Capacity Development

The next National Consultation on a Framework for Climate Services will be held in Barbados.

UNISDR Policy Analysis of Disaster Management and Climate Adaptation in the Pacific

YardEdge

YardEdge

The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat (UNISDR) has released a study on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CAA) in the Pacific, titled “Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Pacific: an institutional and policy analysis.” The study analyzes the level of integration of DRR and CCA activities across the region.

DRR is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through analysis and management of their causal factors. It reduces exposure to hazards, lessens the vulnerability of people and assets, and improves management of the land and environment and preparedness for adverse events (UNISDR, 2009).

CAA is defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCCC) as ‘adjustments in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects that moderate harm and exploit beneficial opportunities. This can include: (a) adapting development to gradual changes in average temperature, sea level and precipitation; and (b) reducing and managing the risks associated with more frequent, severe and unpredictable  extreme weather events” (UNISDR, 2010).

The 67-page report includes analysis of seven Pacific island countries: the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Palau, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. The results indicate that despite the low level of integration at the operational level, countries are making efforts to develop Joint National Action Plans for DRR and CCA.

The report says there is strong evidence of an increase in the observed frequency and intensity of weather and climate-related hazards. An assertion buttressed by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change IPCC), which anticipates that in the short to medium term many impacts of climate change may manifest themselves through changes in the frequency, intensity or duration of extreme weather events. Having made these observations, the report makes an urgent call for a paradigm shift in DRR noting that the recent Global Assessment Report on DRR shows that mortality and economic loss risk are heavily concentrated in developing countries, disproportionately affecting the poor and posing a real threat to the achievement of the MDGs.

The report also outlines challenges and barriers to integration, highlights evolving good practice towards integration, and provides recommendations for regional and national stakeholders for further action. Key recommendations include: the establishment and maintenance of a database of DRR, CCA and related projects, and a database of Pacific-focused case studies and good practices; to co-convene meetings on disaster risk management (DRM) and CCA at times and locations that maximize coordination and integration opportunities; to develop an integrated Pacific Regional Policy Framework for DRM, CCA and mitigation for implementation post-2015; and for donors, Pacific island governments, nongovernmental and relevant regional organisations to work collectively and promote greater integration of DRR and CCA.

The study was produced in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), with resources from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Peruse the full report here.

%d bloggers like this: