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Caribbean communities take on climate change

Children playing in the water at sunset in the harbour of St. George’s, Grenada, November 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

When powerful storms tear through the islands of the Caribbean, it’s often fishing families and famers in coastal villages who bear the brunt of flooding and damage – and it’s those same people who can help lead climate change adaptation, say experts.

Across the region, decision makers are realising a top-down approach isn’t always the way forward, and often those who live and work in high-risk areas – whether they grow coffee, run small businesses or work as tour guides – best understand the particular issues they face, and have ideas about how to tackle them.

Those local insights can positively shape policy at a national level in the climate-vulnerable tropical island nations, a discussion hosted by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) heard this week.

“It’s saying ‘this is a two-way street, a two-way conversation’,” said Will Bugler, a senior consultant at Acclimatise, who gave a rundown of Caribbean climate change adaptation tools and research.

But local efforts alone are not enough, and communities need strong links with regional and national governments so they can draw on their expertise, influence and spending power.

The problem is that linking up groups with different levels of understanding – and sometimes competing interests – can make hammering out climate resilience strategies a long and frustrating process, according to a report published by CDKN.

Today, a raft of sophisticated new technologies harnessing high-quality data on climate and weather patterns are being used to develop community vulnerability assessments and help companies, governments and development banks inject climate change resilience into their plans.

Sharon Lindo, policy advisor at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), said Grenada was one country now consulting CCORAL, an online tool highlighting climate change vulnerabilities, before making policy decisions. Some regional banks are using it as part of their risk assessment processes, she added.

“What that showed us was that just a small incremental cost makes the investment climate-resilient,” Lindo told the webinar.

DATA GAPS

While these tools can be used to track multiple scenarios – such as the chance of storm damage, drought or even dengue outbreaks – there are still gaps in the data, as some of the tiny islands scattered across the Caribbean lack comprehensive monitoring.

A planned project to install additional monitoring stations could start to fill in the picture, said Dr. Ulric Trotz, CCCCC’s Deputy Director and Science Advisor, who highlighted the need for well-documented environmental data to go with meteorological information.

“If we want to really target agriculture… and watershed management appropriately, we need to also have stations within areas on these smaller islands to really capture that data that can feed into the model and give a more robust analysis,” said Trotz.

And in climate-vulnerable countries, it seems you’re never too young to learn about the impact climate change may have on your future. A pilot project in Belize is trying to integrate climate change into the curriculum for schoolchildren, said Trotz.

“Individual countries could start initiatives in schools. We’re particularly keen on … introducing a system of school gardening right across the region,” he said.

With this, students could find out about new techniques like drip irrigation, greenhouse cultivation and aquaponics, he added.

Credit: Thomas Reuters Foundation News

Do you know your NDA? The CCCCC is GCF Ready

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The Green Climate Fund (GCF) aims to multiply current actions and responses to climate change while deploying unprecedented levels of funding to invest in low-emission and climate-resilient development in the battle to save our Earth.  The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) was accredited as a regional implementing entity by to this key multilateral financing mechanism to support climate action in developing countries on July 09, 2015.

 

The Executive Director of the CCCCC, Dr. Kenrick Leslie says “It speaks to the high calibre of work being done in the region and the strength of our internal systems. We will now move forward with a set of ambitious and bankable projects that we have been developing under a directive from CARICOM Heads”.

The first GCF “Readiness Week” was  held from April 25 to 29th, 2016 to assist direct access entities in developing their project ideas. The event brought together the centre and 12 other accredited direct access entities and 27 developing countries to share project concepts and project proposals with each other.  Caribbean Countries represented at the session included Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados and Guyana.

The CCCCC was represented by Sharon Lindo, International & Regional Policy Advisor and Dr. Mark Bynoe, Senior Economist and the Head of Project Development Management Unit.

Dr. Mark Bynoe, Senior Economist and Head of the Project Development and management Unit, CCCCC

Dr. Mark Bynoe, Senior Economist and Head of the Project Development and management Unit, CCCCC

According to Dr. Bynoe “The recent workshop demonstrates the Green Climate Fund’s aspirations to fulfill its fit-for-purpose mantra. The workshop clearly demonstrates that the institution and its Board have been listening to the issues raised by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and is seeking to address these through its Enhanced Direct Access approach. This is a step in the right direction and one should be applauded and encouraged.”

Sharon Lindo, International & Regional Policy Advisor, CCCCC

Sharon Lindo, International & Regional Policy Advisor, CCCCC

At the close of the session, GCF’s Executive Director Héla Cheikhrouhou reiterated to participants that “GCF’s role is to provide you with the necessary support so that you can lead transformative changes in your countries and regions…You are a trusted GCF partner, and the Fund can only be successful if you deliver on bringing about significant projects or programmes.”

Looking forward from the Sodongo Readiness session, GCF Regional Advisers will schedule calls with focal points to check on work programmes and also to organize group webinars to bring entities together for briefings on specific issues.

As the first regionally accredited organization, the CCCCC is now the interface and conduit for GCF funding to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Caribbean. Applications for GCF funding takes place in consultation with country focal points (NDAs) and the CCCCC. 

For further information on GCF Funding, please contact your National Designated Authority listed below or the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre at http://www.caribbeanclimate.bz/ .

Antigua and Barbuda  

Environment Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands
Housing and the Environment
Her Excellency Ambassador Diann Black‐Layne
Environment Division
Chief Environment Officer and Ambassador for Climate Change
Botanical Gardens, Factory
Rd., St. John’s, Antigua
Tel.: +1 268 464 6410
E‐mail: dcblack11@gmail.com

Bahamas

The Ministry of the Environment Housing
Ms. Camille Johnson
Permanent Secretary
P.O. Box N 4849, Nassau, N.P. The Bahamas
Tel.: +242 322 6005; +242 322 6006
E‐mail: kenreddorsett@bahamas.gov.bs
E‐mail: camillejohnson@bahamas.gov.bs

Barbados

Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs
Dr. Louis Woodroffe
Permanent Secretary, Economic Affairs
Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados
Tel.: +1 246 310 1302
Fax: +1 246 425 1100
E‐mail: Louis.woodroffe@barbados.gov.bb

Belize

Ministry of Finance and Economic Development 
Her Excellency Sharman Yvonne Hyde 
Chief Executive Officer
Ground Floor, Right Wing,
Sir Edney Cain Building
Belmopan City, Cayo District, Belize, Central America 
Tel.: +501 822 2626; +501 822 2527; +501 822 1495
E‐mail: ceo@med.gov.bz

Dominica

Ministry of Finance
Mr. Samuel Carrette
Chief Development Planner
5th Floor, Financial Centre
Kennedy Avenue, Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica 
Tel.: +1 767 266 3221; +1 767 266 3561
Fax: +1 767 448 0054
E‐mail: carrettes@dominica.gov.dm
E‐mail: finsecfinance@gominica.gov.dm

Grenada

Ministry of Economic Development, Planning, Trade,
Cooperatives and International Business 
Mr. Timothy Antoine 
Permanent Secretary
Financial Complex, Carenage, St. George’s, Grenada
Tel.: +1 473 440 2928; +1 473 440 2731; +1 473 440 2732
Fax: +1 473 440 4115
E‐mail: psfinancegrenada@gmail.com

Guyana

Ministry of the Presidency
His Excellency Mr. Joseph Harmon, M.P. 
Minister of State
Vlissengen Road, Bourda, Georgetown
Co‐operative Republic of Guyana 
Tel.: +592 225 0582
E‐mail: ministerofstategy@gmail.com
E‐mail: presidentialadvisorenvirongy@gmail.com

Haiti

Ministry of Environment
Mr. Moise Jean‐Pierre
# 11 Rue , Pacot, Port‐au‐Prince, Haiti
Tel.: +509 3701 2694
E‐mail: Moisejp8@hotmail.com

Jamaica

Ministry of Water, Land, Environment & Climate Change
Mr. Albert Daley
Principal Director, Climate Change Division
16A Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, Jamaica
Tel.: +876 906 0724; +876 633 7351; +876 633 7354
E‐mail: Albert.daley@mwlecc.gov.jm

Saint Lucia

Ministry of Finance,
Economic Affairs and Social
Dr. Reginald Darius
Permanent Secretary
Castries, Saint Lucia
Tel.: +1 758 468 5503; +1 758 285 0200
Fax: +1 768 452 6700
E‐mail: reginald.darius@govt.lc

Saint Kitts and Nevis 

Department of Physical Planning and Environment 
Ms. June Hughes
Senior Environment Officer
Bladen Commercial Development 
Wellington Road
Basseterre, St. Kitts
Tel.: +1 869 465 2277
Fax: +1 869 465 5842
E‐mail: ccodoe@sisterisles.kn

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning 
Ms. Laura Anthony‐Browne
Director of Planning
Administrative Centre, Bay Street, Kingstown
Sait Vincent and the Grenadines 
Tel.: +1 784 457 1746
E‐mail: cenplan@vincysurf.com

Suriname

Ministry of Finance
His Excellency
Mr. Gillmore Hoefdraad
Minister
Tamarindelaan 3
Tel. (597) 472610
E‐mail: ghoefdraad@finance.gov.sr
E‐mail: secmin@finance.gov.sr

The 5Cs to Develop Climate Adaptation Programme

(Front L-R) Dr. Kenrick Leslie and Dr. Josef Haider; (Back L-R) Donneil Cain, Keith Nichols, Sharon Lindo, Christina Rumke, Dr. Martin Lux and Dr. Mark Bynoe

(Front L-R) Dr. Kenrick Leslie and Dr. Josef Haider; (Back L-R) Donneil Cain, Keith Nichols, Sharon Lindo, Christina Rumke, Dr. Martin Lux and Dr. Mark Bynoe

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the German Financial Cooperation (KfW) signed a wide-ranging aidemémoire 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.

(L-R) Dr. Josef Haider, Keith Nichols, Carlos Fuller, Sharon Lindo, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Dr. Mark Bynoe, Dr. Martin Lux and Christina Rumke.

(L-R) Dr. Josef Haider, Keith Nichols, Carlos Fuller, Sharon Lindo, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Dr. Mark Bynoe, Dr. Martin Lux and Christina Rumke.

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 Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE

Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE

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.

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