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The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre held the second in a series of Climate Change Exchange events last Thursday in Belize City. The first was held in Barbados last October. The event, which was held with support from the European Union – Global Climate Change Alliance (EU -GCCA) Programme and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) under the DFID ARIES project, sought to raise awareness and promote dialogue about COP 21 slated to be held in Paris later this year, the United National (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), and the range of work done by the Centre across the Caribbean over the last decade.
The widely supported event attracted over 150 guests drawn from the apex of government, the diplomatic corps, the scientific community, civil society, development partners, universities, local and regional media and the general public. It was also live-streamed and broadcast live on four television stations (Krem, Love, Channel 5 and Channel 7) and two radio stations (Krem and Love) in Belize. The event was also covered by the Barbados-based Caribbean Media Corporation and Jamaica’s CVM TV.
An impressive set of international, regional and national experts addressed the audience, including Professor Christopher Fields and Dr Katherine Mach of Stanford University, Mr Carlos Fuller, a veteran Caribbean negotiator, Dr Leonard Nurse, a member of the IPCC’s research and author teams for four global assessment reports and three key project managers.
Peruse the Speakers' Guide to learn more about our speakers.
Why is COP 21 Important?
This key public education event was held as 2015 is shaping up to be a landmark year for global action on Climate Change. The future of the Caribbean depends on a binding and ambitious global agreement at COP 21. A bold agreement that curbs greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global rise in temperature to below 2°C is needed to safeguard our survival, food, critical industries such as tourism, infrastructure and promote renewable energy.
Peruse our informational card "Why is COP 21 Important?" for more context and the region's 11 point negotiating position leading up to COP 21.
Here’s the Agenda to guide you as you peruse the evening’s key presentations (below).
Keynote Address by Professor Christopher Field and Dr. Katharine Mach of Stanford University
Keynote Address by Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer at the CCCCC –
CCCCC's Programme Development and Management Presentation by Dr. Mark Bynoe, Sr Economist and Head of the Programme Development and Management Unit at the CCCCC
EU -GCCA Presentation by Joseph McGann , EU - GCCA Programme Manager at the CCCCC
KfW Presentation by Kenneth Reid, KfW Programme Manager at the CCCCC *Click all hyperlinks to access relevant files/webpages.
The fourth meeting of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) ministers in charge of fisheries and aquaculture was held in Brussels from 22 to 23 July 2015, preceded by a meeting of senior fisheries officials on 20 and 21 July.
It provided an opportunity for the ministers to take stock of progress made in implementing the strategic action plan for fisheries and aquaculture, which was adopted in Nadi, Fiji in 2012, and to agree on the way forward to ensure the sustainability of aquatic resources with a view to wealth creation and development in ACP countries.
More than 60 ACP member states are engaged in the export of fish and aquaculture products to regional and international markets, although these countries provide only 3% share in value of the global fisheries trade, worth US$150 billion per year.
At the conclusion of their meeting, the ministers adopted a roadmap for the implementation of the strategic action plan, calling for mobilisation of adequate financial resources and close collaboration with partner institutions which provide support to ACP fisheries sector, among them the EU, FAO, IFAD, UNIDO and the World Bank, to ensure effective implementation.
Given the negative impact of climate change on the fisheries sector, the ministers called specifically on the international community to agree to outline concrete, ambitious actions to reduce the effects of climate change during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is scheduled to take place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015.
In light of the persistence of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and piracy, the ACP ministers also urged the international community to cooperate more closely with ACP countries and to provide financial and technical support for the efforts made at the national and regional level, to curb and eradicate these two extremely serious problems.
The ministers recommended developing aquaculture, the economic development of the fisheries sector as a means for creating decent jobs, especially for youth and women, as well as the preservation of aquatic biodiversity. They agreed to implement plans for the development of aquaculture and appropriate fisheries management measures in compliance with international agreements.
The ministers also stressed the need for coherence and appropriate policies among regional economic integration organisations and regional fisheries organisations to achieve this aim.
The ministers directed the ACP Secretariat to seek technical assistance and financial support from development partners, specifically the European Union, to strengthen ACP fisheries sectors and their national health and food security agencies to enable them to comply with increasingly stringent health requirements.
The ministers also agreed that the European Union should provide support to the ACP fisheries and aquaculture sector, through appropriate measures, to cope with the erosion of preferential tariffs for ACP fish exports to EU markets, and to support the ACP Position on Fisheries subsidies negotiations in the WTO negotiations.
Credit: Caribbean News Now
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s International and Regional Liaison Officer, Mr. Carlos Fuller, was the guest speaker at a National Consultation on Agriculture and Climate Change in Barbados last week (June 7, 2013). The event was convened by the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI).
Mr Fuller discussed the science of climate change, the impacts on agriculture in the Caribbean and the Centre’s efforts to reduce the negative impacts of climate change. He noted that studies show that a two degree increase in temperature and a change in rainfall of +/- 20% could result in a decline of beans in Belize by 14 and 19%, rice by 10 and 14 % and corn by 22 and 17 %. In sugarcane and citrus, an increase in temperature of one degree by 2028 and 2.5 degrees by 2050, sugar cane would decline by 112 and 17% and citrus by 3 and 5%.
Mr Fuller’s wide-ranging presentation included a look at the landmark Implementation Plan, which was approved by the CARICOM Heads of Government in 2012, and a review of the work being done by the Centre: namely conducting training workshops for CARICOM agriculture officials in Guyana in 2008, and for CARDI officials in Trinidad in 2009. Following the keynote presentation, Mr Fuller and Dr. Cyril Roberts, CARDI Country Representative, facilitated dialogue among the representatives, which included officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and private sector consultants.
The Barbados national consultation is the first of a series being organized by CARDI to raise the awareness of the agricultural communities in CARICOM Member States about the impact of climate change on the sector. The initiative is being funded by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), which was established in 1983 under the Lome Convention between the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the European Union (EU).
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) is hosting a regional training workshop focused on the process of conducting Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) studies in Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries this week (from May 29 to June 6) in the Dominican Republic.
The workshop is the second of a two part training programme that seeks to build resilience through VCAs and Climate Change Adaptation within and among the diversity and similarities of the CARIFORUM countries. The first part of the training programme was held in Suriname in April and targeted Southern Caribbean countries, while the second is aimed at Northern Caribbean states.
Program Manager Joe McGann says he anticipates over twenty participants, who will bring a wealth of experience from their respective countries and from previous participation in the many regional opportunities for sharing of lessons learned and opportunities for capacity building.
Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments
The CCCCC-coordinated training programme furthers efforts under the Caribbean component of the Intra-ACP Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) programme to mainstream and improve VCAs and implement a range of adaptation options and projects.
Under the Caribbean component of the European Union (EU) funded Intra-ACP GCCA initiative, vulnerability and risk assessment techniques and methodologies will be developed and people will be trained in the application of the new methodologies. Subsequently, about 10 vulnerability assessments will be conducted in the field. This activity will be implemented in collaboration with the national government entities and private consultants and the outcomes of the assessments will inform future land use planning, zoning and development planning.
Also a number of risk and hazard assessments will be carried out and topographic maps indicating risk areas and levels will be produced.
The development and implementation of concrete Adaptation Projects will be based on the experiences gained under the Special Pilot Adaptation to Climate Change (SPACC) Project in Saint Lucia, Dominica and Saint. Vincent and the Grenadines. Following the identification and screening (feasibility studies, participatory consultations) of potential adaptation interventions, at least 2 adaptation projects will be funded and implemented under the GCCA Project.
According to the VCA Guidance Manual, the emphasis is on process as opposed to a recipe of steps for Mainstreaming. This is important as VCA and adaptation planning cannot be a “one size fits all” mechanism, but one of situation specific applications.
The VCA training sessions will focus on:
- The types of information that should be gathered
- How to manage relevant stakeholder processes
- Some of the tools that can be used to analyze the information gathered
- Useable products for decision making
- How to organize data into a graphical map-based format (using GIS)
- Identifying hotspots and priorities for adaptation strategies
- Prioritizing capacity and vulnerability reduction needs.
The Guidance Manual also emphasizes that the most important components of the VCA are:
- The social aspect and how people cope with events at present
- Awareness and perception of risk
- Assessments of a community’s strengths and weaknesses
Learn more about the Caribbean component of the EU-GCCA here.