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The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) coordinates the Caribbean region’s response to climate change, working on effective solutions and projects to combat the environmental impacts of climate change and global warming.
In its efforts, the CCCCC has been granted the support within the GIZ – REETA program to introduce a mobile biogas Laboratory at the University of Belize (UB) for use within CARICOM Members states and also by the private sector. The vision of the project meant that the CCCCC would purchase a facility to convert biomass into biogas by using locally supplied feedstock, consisting mostly of easy to harvest biomass, manure and organic waste.
The laboratory was recently delivered to Belize and after final installation of the lab, the opening ceremony was held on November 27, 2015. In the speeches delivered at the ceremony, the speakers highlighted the importance of promoting science for students. Well deserved recognition was given to the CCCCC and GIZ REETA, which supplied the Biogas Laboratory to UB. The University was recognized for being a strong partner with the best capacity in Belize to utilize the Laboratory. UB committed to integrate the laboratory in its curriculum to ensure ‘the students of today could use the technology tomorrow.’ Dr. Andreas Täuber also mentioned that in the future, support by GIZ for UB might be on the agenda to support the implementation of a Renewable Energy Study programme.
At the Biogas Laboratory opening ceremony, the ribbon was cut by: Dr. Andreas Täuber, Head of GIZ REETA; Dr. Wilma Wright, Provost, UB; Dr. Pio Saqui, UB FST Dept.; Dr. Kennrick Leslie, Executive Director, CCCCC; and Henrik Personn, Renewable Energy Expert – Biogas Laboratory PM, CCCCC.
TNO Consultants, Henk Trap and Dr. Johan Van Groenestijn displayed biogas produced by the laboratory to visitors. Dr. Leslie highlighted the importance of the laboratory and applauded the efforts of the stakeholders to to make the best use of it in Belize.
Members of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s management team, namely Executive Director Dr Kenrick Leslie, CBE, and Deputy Director and Science Advisor Dr Ulric Trotz, were recently interviewed by Tim Padgett, Americas Editor at WRLN, NPR’s Miami affiliate, for a wide-ranging feature on sea level rise and the likely impact on South Florida and the Caribbean. Below is a transcript of the interview.
Read the full report in Miami Herald and WRLN (includes audio clip).
From the WLRN Miami Herald Studio I’m Tim Paget with the Latin America Report made possible by Espirito Santo Bank. Today, as part of WLRN’s weeklong series, Elevation Zero, about the impacts of sea level rise, we look at the threat to South Florida’s neighbours in the Caribbean. The Caribbean basin is important, not just for white sands and blue surf but, as strategic hemispheric crossroads and its Sea Level scenario is more troubling than what we face here. From the Bahamas to Belize, from Grenada to Guyana, experts say rising sea waters could do more than ruin the crucial tourism industry. They could leave some islands virtually uninhabitable if major preventative measures aren’t taken soon. Ulric Trotz is Deputy Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre in Belize.
Dr. Ulric Trotz-
In 50 years, if the projections that we are seeing from our models are correct then the entire landscape will be changed. Our beaches would have disappeared, our coastal areas eroded, our infrastructure degraded. Certainly, that will wreak havoc on the way we live.
Experts project the Caribbean face a Sea Level Rise 3- 6 feet or more by the end of this century. If it goes unchecked, they fear as much as 1200 s-m of coastal land could be lost. A recent Inter-American development Bank report that Trotz co-authored estimates half the Caribbean Community’s major tourist resorts could be damaged or destroyed by sea rise, surge or erosion. Not to mention scores of sea turtle nesting beaches.
Dr. Ulric Trotz-
All of the physical plant supporting the tourism industry, hotels, airports, would be in what we call the inundation zone.
The Caribbean Community or CARICOM started sounding the sea level rise alarm in the 1990’s. Today it is recommended that the basin nations begin erecting more than 200 miles of levees and sea walls at a cost of almost 6 billion dollars. The problem is the Caribbean doesn’t have that kind of cash in the best of times and these aren’t the best of times. In fact, the Caribbean is currently home to 5 of the world’s 12 most indebted countries. Kenrick Leslie is the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s Director.
Dr. Kenrick Leslie-
It would be extremely difficult for us to put in place the type of adaptation measures that we have recognized would be necessary.
The Caribbean islands and the 40 million people who live on them produces less than 1 percent of the greenhouse gases that many scientists blame for the global warming that’s causing rising sea levels. As a result, the basin’s leader say developed nations should help finance the Caribbean’s mitigation tab.
Dr. Kenrick Leslie-
We’re not looking for hands-out. We’re looking for concessional loans when we go to the international meetings. We try to make it very clear, we need to have programs supported by the larger industrialised countries.
Coastal tourism isn’t the only concern. Further inland, agriculture and fresh water supplies are also threatened by more intense storms and tidal surges.
Some islands, you know some of the smaller low lying islands may actually have to be evacuated.
Brian Soden is a Professor of Meteorology and Oceanography at the University of Miami. And like other Scientists, he believes the Bahamas Islands, just off South Florida, are some of the most vulnerable. Many of the Caribbean’s Eastern Islands were formed volcanically and have a bit more elevated breathing room but Western Isles like the Bahamas chain are just downright flat.
A vast amount of their acreage is literally within 2 or 3 feet of Sea Level. That’s well within the range of projected Sea Level Rise over the next century.
But whether it’s the Bahamas or Barbados, Caribbean Sea Level Rise may well result in a spike in immigration, especially to South Florida. And none of that seems fair to region that stands to suffer the most from a phenomenon that it has done the least to provoke. I’m Tim Paget in Miami. You can read more of our Latin American coverage at www.wlrn.org
– The Latin American coverage is made possible by Espirito Santo Bank.
This article has been updated to include the transcript of the interview.
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.
“The urgency and seriousness of Climate Change calls for ambition in financing adaptation and mitigation”, says Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE
“The urgency and seriousness of Climate Change calls for ambition in financing adaptation and mitigation”, according to Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE. He adds that this urgency is longstanding as it was recognized over two decades ago at the Rio Convention.
Speaking at the recently concluded (July 15-16) Caribbean Regional Workshop on Climate Change Finance and the Green Climate Fund in Barbados, Dr. Leslie noted that at that watershed convention countries agreed that:
Developed countries would curb consumption and production patterns
Developing countries would maintain development goals but take on sustainable development approaches
Developed countries would support developing countries through finance, technology transfer and reforms to the global economic and financial structures
Dr. Leslie notes that even with these longstanding commitments progress has been limited.
Despite continued intergovernmental processes, there has been little implementation of the agreements. At the time a pledge to commit 0.7% of national income to international aid was made. This pledge has only been met by five countries and where given, aid is unpredictable and poorly targeted and/or administered.
The two day regional workshop at which Dr. Leslie spoke primarily sought to review the various financial mechanisms, including the Green Climate Fund, available to developing countries— specifically Caribbean Community member countries.
Developed countries pledged to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments, approaching US$30 billion for the period 2010 – 2012 and with balanced allocation between mitigation and adaptation. This collective commitment made at the Conference of the Parties (COP15) in December 2009 in Copenhagen is known as ‘fast-start finance’.
The Fast Start Funds:
New and additional resources
US$30 billion annually through 2013
Increasing to 100 billion by 2020
Unfortunately neither of the first two commitments has been accomplished
Following up on this pledge, the Conference of the Parties in Cancún, in December 2010, took note of this collective commitment by developed country Parties and reaffirmed that funding for adaptation will be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing States and Africa, said Dr. Leslie.
What’s the Green Fund?
The Green Fund is the most recent of the Climate Change-related Funds now being developed for operational implementation in the near future. The Fund seeks to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change.
It is the expectation that this fund, unlike the other funds, will be better administered with an improved governance structure and will contribute to the achievement of the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the context of sustainable development, it is the expectation that the Fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries, such as Members of the Caribbean Community, to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The importance of this last statement is highlighted in the latest report (Turn Down the Heat) from the World Bank on Climate Change
Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE, says “it would be informative and useful” if a Caribbean-centred study akin to the World Bank’s Turn Down the Heat: Climate extremes, regional impacts and the case for resilience, which focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and South Asia, is conducted.
Turn Down the Heat says it is now very likely that the increase in average global temperature could be as high as 4oC, 2.5 oC more than what the Centre has advocated as a critical threshold for the region since 2009— a position strongly supported by the latest science.
Whereas the World Bank Report dealt in depth with the impact of a 3oC to 4oC temperature rise on the risks of climate change to development in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and South Asia, such an in depth study is yet to be done for our region which is considered one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of Climate Change.
Such a study is particularly important for the region as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the Caribbean as one of the most vulnerable areas to Climate Change in its Fourth Assessment Review. It further recommended that average global temperature should not exceed 2oC if the region was to avoid significant climate and development impacts.
Dr. Leslie was speaking at the recently concluded (July 15-16) Caribbean Regional Workshop on Climate Change Finance and the Green Climate Fund in Barbados.
Summer has officially begun. Still, temperatures recorded in some European countries recently told stories of a continent that remains gripped by the cold claws of winter, according to the Jamaica Observer.
Dr Kenrick Leslie, told the paper that late winters are not unprecedented, and they do not mean that the Earth isn’t warming.
One must differentiate between climate change and climate variability. Climate change doesn't mean variability will stop, in the same way that climate change won't cause hurricanes to stop in the Caribbean. What is happening in Europe can be attributed to the natural variability effect; there's late winter effect and early winter effect. So this must be seen in a global sense.While Europe may be experiencing a late winter, others might be experiencing an early spring effect. Last year, in the United States, they had very early spring," Dr Leslie said.
In keeping with its thrust to promote a culture of risk management across the region, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre launched a seminal online support tool in Saint Lucia today. The launch event, which was attended by permanent secretaries from ministries of finance and planning, development partners, Saint Lucia’s Deputy Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre (among other St. Lucian officials), a broad cross-section of regional stakeholders and journalists, officially introduced the Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation TooL (CCORAL).
In his keynote address Dr. James Fletcher, Saint Lucia’s Minister of Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, urged the region to ensure broad use and adaptability of CCORAL. He added that CCORAL, which has been endorsed by Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, will promote climate-smart development by helping to embed a risk management ethic in decision-making processes across the region.
“The development of the risk assessment tool [is] an extremely important asset in assessing the risk from the impacts of climate change in the Caribbean region,” according to Dr. Pachauri. The two dozen island nations of the Caribbean, and the 40 million people who live there, are in a state of increased vulnerability to climate change. Higher temperatures, sea level rise, and increased hurricane intensity threaten lives, property and livelihoods throughout the region. Against this background, CCORAL will help to boost the capacity of these countries to assess their risk amidst a variable and changing climate, while creating pathways for the identification and implementation of adaptation and mitigation options.
“CCORAL is a practical approach to cost-effective climate-resilient investment projects,” says Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. “CCORAL will aid the region in defining approaches and solutions that will provide benefits now and in the future by adopting ‘no-regret’ actions and flexible measures.”
It is intended to be used primarily by agencies at the regional and national level with responsibility for development, planning and finance, the private sector and non-governmental organisations. Ministries of Finance and/or Planning are central to the initial efforts to anchor this tool in climate resilience-building decisions. Notwithstanding, civil society organisations, universities, financial services and development partners, local communities can also use CCORAL to inform actions that must embed climate considerations. The tool is available to all member countries through an open source online platform at ccoral.caribbeanclimate.bz.
According to Keith Nichols, Programme Development Specialist at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, “the development of the risk assessment tool emerged after an extensive consultation process with regional stakeholders to ensure authenticity, relevance and ownership”. It is a direct response to the requirement of the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change (the “Regional Framework”) and the landmark Implementation Plan (IP) that were endorsed by CARICOM Heads in 2009 and 2012, respectively. The IP acknowledges that a transformational change in mindset, institutional arrangements, operating systems, collaborative approaches and integrated planning mechanisms are essential to deliver the strategic elements and goals of the Regional Framework and to enable climate smart development by embedding a risk management ethic in decision-making.
The Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation Tool (CCORAL), has been developed by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Climate Development and Knowledge Network (CDKN).
Updated July 12, 2013 at 12:07pm post-lauch
The Commonwealth Secretariat has appointed Bharrat Jagdeo, former President of the Republic of Guyana, to chair a new Commonwealth Expert Group on Climate Finance. Mr Jagdeo will lead a high-level team of experts to identify solutions for unlocking resources to enable small, poor and climate-vulnerable Commonwealth countries to combat climate change.
Mr Jagdeo will be joined by eight others, including Dr Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, to press the international community to help identify practical solutions for those countries most vulnerable to climate change.
To provide further opportunity for dialogue with the Commonwealth Expert Group on Climate Finance, the Commonwealth Network on Environment and Climate Change will be launched at Marlborough House, headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat, in London from 25 to 26 June 2013.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma says the Group will present their report to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November 2013.
In accepting the appointment Mr Jagdeo said: “Some of the most climate-vulnerable people in the world are in our Commonwealth. Millions of people are in danger – the magnitude of the challenges they face is overwhelming and they cannot face those challenges solely from their own resources. Over the years, many pledges of assistance have been made – but we have not seen enough action. I hope that the Expert Group can identify ways, both to identify financing at a scale that matches the problem, and also to enable Commonwealth Heads of Government to take specific actions to enable financing to be deployed in a way that rapidly gets to the people who need it.”
The Commonwealth Secretariat is facilitating the gathering of evidence on good practices in climate finance through its online workspace for professional communities of practice, Commonwealth Connects: www.thecommonwealth.org/climatefinancecfe.
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.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) welcomes the Australian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago Ross Tysoe AO, who also holds non-resident accreditation to 13 other CARICOM countries, for a two day meeting this week. Yesterday the High Commissioner joined a team from the Centre on a tour of the Calabash Cay Coral Reef Early Warning System, which was procured and installed with assistance from the Australian government.
Earlier this week the High Commissioner met with CCCCC’s Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie and members of the management team to discuss a raft of plans and reflect on Australia’s longstanding relationship with the Centre. Australia first engaged the Centre in 2007 when High Commissioner Tysoe’s predecessor made a courtesy visit to the regional climate change centre.
Since then the Centre has enjoyed an excellent relationship with Australia. At the 2008 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Trinidad, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued a communiqué in which he indicated Australia’s commitment to support the Centre’s work. Since then the Centre has received in excess of US$5 million in institutional support through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
**This article was updated on March 15, 2013