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The role of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) networks in improving marine ecosystem resilience in the Caribbean region was at the core of discussions at the recently concluded workshop on “MPA and resilience to climate change” in St Martin.
The workshop, which sought to build MPA local and national capacities to increase the resilience of the coastal marine environments to climate change and strengthen regional cooperation and action, attracted many MPA managers and relevant stakeholders of the EU overseas territories across the Caribbean.
Resources from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Managers (CaMPAM) and the Regional Activity Centre for specially protected areas and wildlife in the Caribbean region (SPAW-RAC) supported event are now available, including a keynote presentation by Dr Owen Day, Director of Ecosystem Based Adaptation, CARIBSAVE and Director of the Caribbean Fish Sanctuary Partnership (C-FISH). Dr Day’s presentation is titled “Impacts and Costs of Sea Level Rise in the Caribbean and Role of Ecosystem-Based Adaptation”.
C-FISH is a project being implemented as part of the the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s regional Implementation Plan for climate resilience.
Peruse the resources here.
The Board of Governors of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre concluded its annual meeting (August 22 -24) in Belize yesterday. Among the key decisions taken, the Centre will continue to pursue a broader mix of regional and national projects and actions, advance efforts to boost its institutional capacity, and expand its collaborative work with the various economic and social sectors, including health, renewable energy and youth.
Regional and National Tracks
Chairman of the Board Dr Leonard Nurse says the Centre’s primary focus on a combination of regional and national (dual track) climate change activities is consistent with its regional mandate. This mandate is outlined in the Regional Framework and its accompanying Implementation Plan, which was approved by CARICOM Heads of Governments last year. The dual track approach “allows us to enhance the region’s resilience, so that we can minimize the impact of climate change on certain critical sectors, including agriculture, fisheries, tourism and others, that underpin the economic viability of the region”.
The Chairman notes that the Centre is already strategically developing and implementing dual track initiatives that address the priorities outlined in the Regional Framework and accompanying Implementation Plan— among them is the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank-funded Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) and the Caribbean component of the Intra-ACP Global Climate Change Alliance programme, which is supported by the European Union. Under the PPCR initiative, the Centre will be working with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to better understand the linkages between climate change and human health.
The Centre has expanded rapidly having developed the capacity to successfully execute a suite of regional climate change programmes worth between US$40 and US$50 million over the last five years. Pilot projects such as the installation of a Reverse Osmosis Plant in Bequia using solar energy (photovoltaic) have improved access to potable water. Elements of this project are being replicated across the region— Petite Martinique, Carriacou (both dependencies of Grenada), Belize, Barbados and The Bahamas. These successes have resulted in increased demand for the Centre’s services.
Executive Director Dr Kenrick Leslie says the Centre was directed by CARICOM Heads to “work with national governments to put together programmes that would help them develop bankable projects that can be funded under the various mechanisms under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Therefore, the Centre is putting maximum effort to ensure CARICOM Member States get their fair share of the financial resources available through the Green Climate Fund, Adaptation Fund and other funds to help them in their adaptation efforts. That is our primary thrust— to meet the mandate given to us by the regional Heads [last year].”
Accordingly, the Centre is strengthening its capacity by consolidating the work of its Monitoring and Evaluation Unit to better prepare it to function as an implementing agency. This will enable the Centre to access resources to implement programmes that are now largely within the remit of globally recognized institutions. The Centre’s expanded M&E Unit will assist regional governments in developing, monitoring and evaluating programmes. The Board has also unveiled plans to strengthen its fiduciary oversight through initiatives such as more frequent financial reporting, a Finance and Audit Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors, an internal audit function for the Centre and increased focus on data and plant security.
Dr Nurse says these actions are necessary given the Centre’s shift from a project based orientation to more programmatic activities. He notes that the Centre, which is primarily funded through grants, is advancing efforts to complete the establishment of a Trust Fund. The Fund, which has been seeded with a grant from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, will be managed by a Board of Trustees external to the Centre. The Trust Fund will be a vital component of the Centre’s thrust to ensure its financial sustainability.
President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr. Warren Smith says the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a new multilateral initiative, must achieve three short-term objectives if it is to be different, make a significant contribution to transforming Caribbean economies and create low carbon, climate-resilient societies in the region.
Third, this Fund must pay particular attention to the needs of those developing countries which are most vulnerable to climate change.
In underscoring the importance of this Fund, Dr. Smith said,
We, in the Caribbean, share the vision of the founders of this Fund, as enunciated in its Governing Instrument that, “given the urgency and seriousness of climate change …the Fund is to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change”
To ensure that [developing] countries can access the Fund on equal terms, when it is fully operational, the Board must advance, in a meaningful manner, its work programme on climate finance readiness and preparatory support.
The GCF Board members from Barbados and Zambia, representing the Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries constituencies, have called for the prioritisation of activities related to readiness and preparatory support during the design of the Fund, as developing countries in these groups have, traditionally, not accessed climate finance at levels commensurate with their high vulnerability to climate change.
Take, for example, the case of the Caribbean. Of the 694 national projects approved by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) under its climate change focal area between FY 1991 and FY 2013, only 33 national projects from CARICOM countries received support. This represents a mere USD24 million or less than 1% of the total USD2.5 billion grant financing provided by the GEF for national climate action. The amount allocated to the Caribbean must be seen in the context of a worsening of the climate change phenomenon and of economic losses in excess of USD1 billion in three Caribbean countries for 2012 alone.
This inability of Caribbean countries to access climate financing can be directly attributed to institutional constraints; to difficulty in identifying priorities and developing coherent investment programmes; and to serious deficiencies in capacity to effectively and efficiently implement projects and programmes.
It is extremely important to note that, in general, the burdensome criteria attached to accessing resources are often by themselves a deterrent to access.
The situation is complicated by the monitoring and reporting requirements to evaluate outcomes.
Therefore, if these countries and other countries with similar capacity constraints are to benefit from the GCF, it is crucial that focus is placed on “climate finance readiness” at the national, regional and international levels ~Dr. Warren Smith
Despite these challenges, Dr. Smith notes that there is consensus, at the highest political levels in the Caribbean, on the way forward.
Leaders have endorsed a Regional Climate Change Strategy and Implementation Plan to guide national and regional efforts towards building climate-resilient, low-carbon economies. This effort will require transformational change by national governments, regional organisations, civil society and the private sector, underpinned by an unprecedented level of financial resources and technical assistance. Within the context of the regional Implementation Plan, CDB has been assigned, and takes seriously, the role of spearheading the Region’s resource mobilisation efforts.
Dr. Smith says the region must boost capacity (policy, institutional, expertise and accountability) and develop investment-ready, low-carbon climate-resilient projects and programmes to benefit from the GCF and other new flows of low-carbon, climate-resilient financing.
** The workshop was convened by CDB, in partnership with the Green Climate Fund and the Government of Germany through GIZ.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s (CCCCC) International and Regional Liaison Officer, Mr Carlos Fuller, was a panelist at the First Forum of the Standing Committee on Climate in Barcelona, Spain on May 28, 2013. At the historic forum addressing “financing and investment drivers for adaptation activities”, Mr Fuller discussed the Centre’s adaptation efforts across the Caribbean. He noted that these activities are in support of the mandate that the CARICOM Heads of Government endorsed in the region’s Implementation Plan for the “Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change”.
Other members of the panel included Mr Juan Hoffmaster of Bolivia, who represented the UNFCCC Adaptation Committee, Ms. Smita Nakooda of the Overseas Development Institute and Ms Saliha Dobardzic of the LDCF/SCCF of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The panel was facilitated by the co-chair of the Work Programme on Long-term Finance, Mr Naderev Sano of the Philippines.
The Standing Committee is a body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established at COP 16. Its mandate is improving coherence and coordination in the delivery of climate change financing, rationalization of the financial mechanism, mobilization of financial resources and measurement, reporting and verification of support provided to developing country Parties.
Dr Hugh Sealy of Barbados, the Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of the CDM was also a panellist at the forum addressing “Financing and investment drivers for mitigation activities”. Among the 100 attendees was Mr Derreck Oderson of Barbados, the Chairman of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) and Mr Raymond Landveld, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Suriname to the United Nations who is a member of the Standing Committee.
The Forum was organized by the Standing Committee on Finance of the UNFCCC with support by the World Bank Institute and the International Emission Trading Association (IETA). Panellists included representatives of national governments, international organizations such as the South Center, the International Finance Corporation, the IDB, GIZ, OECD and the private sector, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Standard Bank (Nairobi). Carbon Expo 2013 will be held at the same venue on 29 to 31 May 2013.
At the conclusion of the Forum, the co-chair of the standing Committee, Ambassador Dianne Black-Layne of Antigua and Barbuda noted that the insights of the Forum would inform the next meeting of the Forum to be held in Bonn, Germany in June.
The Forum was formally closed by Secretary of State of the Environment of Spain, Mr Federico Ramos de Armas and Ms Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the German Financial Cooperation (KfW) signed a wide-ranging aide–mémoire last Friday evening, paving the way for the development of a €12.27 million programme, which will seek to reduce the climate change induced risks facing the Caribbean’s coastal population.
The approximately six year Ecosystem-Based Approaches for Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Zones of Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean (EBACC) programme, which is slated to start later this year, will be implemented in Saint Lucia, Saint. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Jamaica.
The programme will have two main components: (i) Investments in sustainable improvements of coastal ecosystems relevant for climate change adaptation, and (ii) knowledge management, project support and monitoring. Under the first component, the programme aims to invest in measures related to protection and sustainable management, rehabilitation or substitution, and monitoring of coastal ecosystems in an effort to assist the participating countries to mitigate climate change induced risks to livelihoods and development prospects. Investments under this component will include, among others, the purchase of equipment directly related to marine protected areas (MPAs) management, reforestation, slope stabilization, coral reef restoration, construction of artificial reefs and break water.
Under Component 2 of the programme, assistance will be provided to the countries in the preparation and implementation of the local adaptation measures, monitoring of project goals and impacts, and the systematization and dissemination of project experiences. The Centre’s Resource Senior Economist and Head, Programme Development and Management Unit, Dr. Mark Bynoe, who along with Senior Programme Development Specialist Keith Nichols led the Centre’s engagement with KfW, notes that the “measures to be pursued under this component will include the harmonization of monitoring methods and the implementation of a monitoring system for the project that will complement the overall monitoring, evaluation and reporting system being developed for the IP”.
Dr. Bynoe notes that “these four participating countries were selected because the programme seeks to establish synergies with the Caribbean’s Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR). However, mainly because of the limited financing not all the participating Caribbean PPCR countries will be involved in EBACC. The KfW and CCCCC were advised by the consultants conducting the diagnostic studies for this programme, that the greatest net returns on investments are likely to be gained through investing in the countries selected.” Dr. Bynoe adds that the programme’s focus complements priority areas within the Implementation Plan of the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change that was approved by CARICOM Heads of Government in Match 2012 in Suriname.
Specifically, it will address Strategic Elements 2 and 4 in the IP that seeks to “promote the implementation of specific adaptation measures to address key vulnerabilities in the region” and “encouraging action to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems in CARICOM countries to the impacts of a changing climate” respectively.
Executive Director of the CCCCC, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, says “the EBACC programme is part of the implementing phase of the landmarkRegional Strategic Framework to address climate change”. The programme, which will be funded by the German government to the tune of €10.8 million and €1.47 million from the Centre and participating countries through a mix of in-kind and financial support, will operate under a facility approach. This arrangement will allow both governmental and non-governmental institutions in the four participating countries to seek funding for Local Adaptation Measures (LAM).
The agreement signed by the Centre’s Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE and KfW’s Sector Economist Dr. Josef Haider marks the successful conclusion of KfW’s appraisal mission (March 7-March 17, 2013), which included meetings in Jamaica and St. Lucia with government officials and non-governmental leaders who are directly engaged in climate change adaptation initiatives.
In a region already characterized by high variability in the current climate, climate change represents additional risks for society, economic sectors and the environment. This changing risk profile will have an effect on the outcome of a wide range of decisions affecting individual, societal and economic well-being. In order to plan effectively, decision-makers must assess and be aware of these changing risks.
As our understanding of climate change improves it is becoming possible to gain increasing confidence about some of the expected changes, such as increasing temperatures. However, our knowledge of the climate system is not perfect, resulting in uncertainty around the precise extent of future climate change. Furthermore, we cannot know how future emissions of GHGs will change. Uncertainty also stems from our incomplete understanding of the impacts of future climate on society, the environment, and economies.
Despite these uncertainties and regardless of the effectiveness of emissions reductions efforts worldwide, Caribbean governments must continue to make decisions to plan for the future. The Regional Framework is founded upon the principle of using risk management processes and tools to aid decision-making. Decision-making based on subjective value judgments given the challenges and uncertainties we face, will compromise resilience building. Risk management assists in the selection of optimal cost-effective strategies for reducing vulnerability, using a systematic and transparent process. Policies or initiatives that aim to reduce this vulnerability can be designed to complement and support the goals of poverty reduction, sustainable development, disaster preparedness and environmental protection. The Implementation Plan developed by the Centre to guide the operationalization of the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change highlights as a priority challenge the need to utilize risk management tools and processes to aid decision makers.
The Caribbean Risk Management Project builds on the work started by the Region in 2003 in the development of Risk Management Guidelines for decision makers, but is intended to be more attuned to the needs and special circumstances of the Region given the prevailing conditions. It will also incorporate the development of new tools and risk management methodologies. The Project will be executed in a phased approach. Phase 1 will be the development of a risk management, web-based tool to guide decision making. Phase 2 will provide in-depth training for country decision-makers. Phase 3 will undertake detailed risk assessments in selected countries. The overall objective is to embed risk assessment into decision-making and management systems across the region in finance and planning.
Proposed Aim & Objectives:
- Support climate compatible development in the Caribbean by enabling the implementation of key activities outlined in the IP
- Embed considerations of climate change across the Caribbean, through the development of regional approach to risk management and the creation of a risk ethic in decision making.
The key tasks to be undertaken in this project are set out below:
1 Initial consultation and scoping phase including workshops and in-country meetings in three pilot countries together with a review of existing approaches to risk management in the Caribbean.
2 Review CARICOM Climate Risk Management Guidelines. Develop a revised risk management framework for the Caribbean taking into account the latest developments in climate risk management techniques. This will be fully supported by existing resources and materials and will link into the latest information on climate science, vulnerability assessments and impact modelling, together with economic, environmental and social system baseline data. The new framework will link into the CCCCC information clearing house.
3 Working with the CCCCC to secure CARICOM approval to the revised Caribbean Risk Management Framework.
4 Launch Caribbean Risk Management Framework at a high profile event.
5 Develop an on-line version of the Caribbean Risk Management Framework with full guidance and links to other tools and techniques.
6 Develop an online ‘stress-test/screening’ tool to enable all organisations (including donors and development banks) operating at regional and national levels to take a high-level view of policies and decisions against the potential impacts of a changing climate.
7 Working with the CCCCC to provide assistance and support in implementing the communications plan aimed at raising awareness in the Caribbean regarding a risk based approach to decision making.
8 Develop an M&E programme to assess the effectiveness of the Caribbean Risk Management Framework
Caribbean Climate is the region’s premier climate change focused blog. It is produced by the Belmopan, Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). The 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.
The Centre maintains 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 the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 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 (UNITAR) 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.