caribbeanclimate

Home » Posts tagged 'Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)'

Tag Archives: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

CCCCC and CATIE sign MOU

(L-R) Dr Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre with Dr Muhammad Ibrahim, Director-General of the
Tropical Agricultural Research And Higher Education Center

August 13, 2019; Belmopan, Belize. – On Tuesday, August 12, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) hosted representatives from the Tropical Agricultural Research And Higher Education Center (CATIE) for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between both institutions at its offices in Belmopan.

Dr Muhammad Ibrahim, the Director-General of CATIE, accompanied by one member of its Board, Mrs Gale Miller-Garnett, joined a small team from the CCCCC led by the Executive Director, Dr Kenrick Leslie to sign the MOU.

The agreement formalises a partnership to address:
• The development of joint proposals to secure resources to enhance collaborative possibilities through donors and partners;
• Assistance in the implementation of research and development programs; and
• The delivery of training programs and activities for professionals, officials, producers, and other appropriate clients.

Dr Ibrahim outlined CATIE’s areas of interests noting: “We are particularly interested in collaborating on Climate Change Adaptation initiatives that focus on the scaling up of Ecosystem-Based Adaptation by building on knowledge within Central America and reporting on the status of Biodiversity and Climate Change. We acknowledge that the Sustainable Development Goals are all linked to the Climate Change agenda and we want to build on achieving those”, Dr Ibrahim said.

In his response, Dr Leslie spoke of the willingness to work with counterpart agencies in achieving the Centre’s prime objectives: “There are many things that we as a community can do to prove beneficial to this work. The Centre has developed a model for partnership that has attributed to much of our success. The Centre welcomes the invitation to explore this partnership as both institutions share their expertise to further these initiatives,” he said.

In his remarks, Deputy Director and Science Advisor of the CCCCC Dr Ulric Trotz highlighted the areas that were most in need of resources.

“Two areas calling for significant resources to address them are the mangrove restoration and coral reef restoration. Between our institutions, we have enough information that we can use to scale up and focus our energy on a major intervention”.

The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) is a regional body dedicated to research and graduate education in agriculture, and the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Its members include Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the State of Acre in Brazil.

# END #

IPCC Releases 1.5 Report with dire warning for the Caribbean and the World

Belmopan, Belize; October 10, 2018 – The highly anticipated 1.5 degrees’ report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been released, and the news is dire. But while Scientists ‘sound the alarm about complacency’, they’ve given hope that it is still possible to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The report clearly outlines the risks of exceeding 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels; this is the upper limit of warming that small islands states have advocated for many years.

“This report is a wake-up call for governments and the world, that we no longer have time for playing-around. It is time for hard-work to avert climate change and  the small islands states need significant financial help to make it happen” said Science Advisor and deputy executive director at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) Dr Ulric Trotz.

In the Special Report on Global Warming at 1.5 Degrees released on Monday, October 8, 2018, the IPCC warned that the global leaders need to quickly cut carbon emissions over the next decade. The landmark report by the world’s top scientists studying climate change noted, that to avoid going past 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels, the world needs to adopt “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.

“From the small island perspective, this is probably the most important report the IPCC has done, not only because it was in part called for by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) but also because every important message we have been requesting over the years is now backed up by scientific assessment in this report,” said Dr Michael Taylor one of the Caribbean’s leading climate scientists and a contributor to the report.

Dr Taylor noted that the Caribbean science underpins the assessments and supports the urgency of the messages that highlight not only the expected impacts on the region at 1.5 degrees”, but also “the enormous risks of 2 degrees, to the synergies with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), to adaptation needs, deficits and costs, to the necessity for more mitigation”.

The report outlines the considerable risks now being faced by SIDS to the escalating impacts of extreme events, from sea level rise to slowed economic growth, biodiversity loss and significant global risks, should global warming exceed 1.5°C.

For SIDS, the difference between warming at 1.5°C and 2°C is critical, resulting in increased water stress, more intense rainfall during tropical cyclones, and increased exposure to irreversible sea level rise. Some coral reefs would be able to adapt at 1.5°C, at 2°C their chances of survival are next-to-none, irrecoverably damaging the fisheries and livelihoods that depend on them.

Here in the Caribbean, the changes are already happening. The region is experiencing hotter days and nights, more intense rainfall as well as more and longer periods of drought, putting lives, livelihoods and economies at risk.

Significant data from the Caribbean and SIDS have featured prominently in this IPCC reports which provides a clear picture of the level of devastation that would occur at 2 degrees. The inclusion of regional data sets has been hailed a success by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) the agency designated by CARICOM to lead the Caribbean’s response to Climate Change.

“We set out to have the Caribbean situation reflected in the report and we have accomplished that,” Trotz said.

The Centre has been working with regional and international organisations to pull together institutions such as Cuba’s Institute of Meteorology, the Caribbean’s own CIMH, the Universities of the West Indies and Suriname and others to coordinate the production of Caribbean-specific models and information which provided critical information to the special report.

The 1.5 report was released during the 48th Session of the IPCC in Incheon, Republic of Korea.

— END —

Link to the Special Report on Global Warming at 1.5 Degrees: http://ipcc.ch/report/sr15/.

_______________________________________________________________________­_

The Caribbean Community Climate Change 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. We maintain 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 CARICOM member states through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Programme, 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 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.

###

CARICOM – Strengthening regional and global networks to achieve sustainable development goals

The_Oceans_Conference_Logo_Horiz_EN-1

caricom_family_photo

CARICOM participants at the Side-Event gather for a group photo

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) staged its Side-Event at the UN Oceans Conference in New York, Wednesday, with a strong focus on networking and collaboration to help the region achieve its sustainable development goals.

The event, titled “Ocean Governance and SIDS Sustainable Development”, was convened as a partnership involving CARICOM Member States, led by Barbados and Belize; CARICOM Institutions led by the University of the West Indies (UWI); and the CARICOM Secretariat.

CARICOM_OCEANS-photo

Head Table, Side Event by CARICOM Secretariat, Governments of Belize and Barbados and UWI (l-r) Assistant Secretary General CARICOM Secretariat Dr. Douglas Slater; Belize Government Minister Hon Omar Figueroa; Barbados Government Minister Hon. Maxine McClean; Professor Robyn Mahon, UWI; Ms Christine Pratt, Pacific Forum.

The event had as a second goal, cultivating inter-regional collaboration among Small-Island and Low-lying Developing States (SIDS).  To this end, it was an engagement involving CARICOM, the Pacific Island Forum and the Indian Ocean Commission.

“The CARICOM region in the lead up to and follow up from the Samoa Conference have prioritized the intra and inter-regional collaboration amongst SIDS to advance the SIDS development agenda,” CARICOM Secretariat’s Assistant Secretary-General Dr. Douglas Slater said in welcoming remarks.  “We have tried with this event to demonstrate both.”

He said the intra-regional approach, involving Member States and Institutions, was key to insuring implementation of the SIDS agenda for Sustainable Development especially in a region where human and financial resources are often scarce.

The inter-regional collaboration, he said, stemmed from calls by Heads of Government at the 2014 Samoa Conference on SIDS, for the UN system to foster opportunities for enhanced SIDS inter-regional collaboration to fields beyond climate change negotiations.

“As such we are using this platform – the Oceans Conference – as a first step to what we hope will be many engagements between ourselves, the Pacific Island Forum and the Indian Ocean Commission, to advance the SIDS collectivity,” Dr. Slater said.

CARICOM has argued that despite longstanding recognition that, to be effective, oceans governance arrangements must be integrated across sectors and at all levels, from local to global. It has however noted that governance arrangements remains fragmented and ineffective. As an example, it noted that bio diversity, fisheries, pollution and climate change have 23 global and 120 regional agreements. CARICOM’s position is that these global and regional networks, if rationalised, connected and strengthened could provide a working global ocean governance framework for oceans that will enable achievement of the SDG 14 targets.

Indian Ocean Rep

Ms Jeana Bond, Officer in Charge of the Indian Ocean Commission,

Ms Jeana Bond, Officer in Charge of the Indian Ocean Commission, with responsibility for environment and climate, represented her Group at the CARICOM side event and signalled their own strong interest in inter-regional collaboration.

“We have arrangements to strengthen regional and inter-regional cooperation, getting institutions networking and sharing, as well as exploring areas for collaboration,” Ms Bond told the meeting.

Her position was endorsed by  the Pacific Islands Forum’s Deputy Secretary-General Ms Christelle Pratt.

“We continue to deploy our best efforts at finding common ground to effectively manage frameworks,” she told the meeting.

“We therefore see SDG 14 as an opportunity to further embed and strengthen regional ocean governance to ensure effective implementation of goal 14, but more crucially to use the current international dialogue on the world’s ocean to progress an already ambitious regional agenda for it and for our very special chunk of the Pacific Ocean that we have stewardship and custody of. And we trust that this first Ocean Conference is such an opportunity to pursue and solidify these efforts and to share  best practices between our Regions which should and must continue inter-sessionally for years and for decades to come”, she added.

The Barbados Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Maxine McClean chaired the event which also received remarks from the Minister of Sustainable Development from Belize Mr. Omar Figueroa.  UWI was represented by Professor Robin Mahon, and there was a presentation from Mr. Patrick Debels of the UNDP/GEF/CLME+Project who announced the launch of a partnership for the wider Caribbean Region which involved a large marine ecosystem project.

The UN Ocean Conference, being held from 5 – 9 June at the UN Headquarters in New York, was organised to support implementation of Goal 14 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by world leaders in 2015.  The main outcome will be a Call For Action to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Credit: CARICOM Today

22nd COP of the UNFCCC & the Entry into force of the Paris Agreement

The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled to take place from 7-18 November 2016 in Marrakesh, Morocco. COP22 will build on last year’s Conference of Parties in Paris (COP21) and begin preparations for entry into force of the Paris Agreement, focusing on action to achieve the commitments of the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

See: Side Events & Exhibits | UN Climate Change Conference November 2016 (COP 22/CMP 12/CMA 1)

The Paris Agreement in a Nutshell from Track 0 on Vimeo.

This three minute video explains all you need to know about the 2015 Paris Agreement and how it will help to address climate change and promote the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Paris Agreement enters into force today, 4 November 2016, creating binding commitments. The video highlights the need for further ambition by governments and businesses.

Peruse articles related to the Paris Agreement and what it means for the Caribbean below:

Paris Agreement- Status of Ratification

Why is COP 21 Important for the Caribbean? 11 points our negotiators are championing

Credit: Track0 Vimeo Video; UNFCCC Secretariat

For more inforemation, please contact UNFCCC Secretariat   
Phone: +49-228 815-1000;Fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int  

CDB engages regional water and waste management specialists in Trinidad

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) recently partnered with the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA), to host the largest gathering of water and waste-management specialists from across the Caribbean at the CWWA 2016 Conference and Exhibition.

cdb-logo.jpg

“Clean water is one of the key pillars of human development and its importance cannot be overstated. The use and management of water impacts all of today’s leading global challenges, including: energy generation and usage; food security; natural disaster management; and the management of the environment. CDB therefore, has a vested interest in the well-being of the water and sanitation sector because it is key to us achieving our development mandate,” said L. O’Reilly Lewis, portfolio manager, CDB during the opening ceremony for the CWWA Conference.

The bank sponsored a high level forum (HLF) for water ministers in the Caribbean, which included presentations from CDB representatives, and also engaged with conference attendees at its booth in the exhibition hall.

The high level forum is a key mechanism for water-sector-related policy dialogue, bringing together government ministers and senior officials from across the Caribbean, as well as development partners and key stakeholders.

“CDB was instrumental in the establishment of HLF, playing an integral role in the planning and financing of the first forum in 2005 in Barbados… There is a commonality of challenges facing Caribbean countries and recognition of the fact that the sharing of experiences, expertise and knowledge — including best practices — is key in promoting more strategic approaches at the regional and national levels,” said Daniel Best, director of projects at the CDB.

Topics covered included economic drivers that must be considered in investments in the water and wastewater sector in the Caribbean, promoting the regional water agenda linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 6) and SAMOA in the context of climate change and disaster reduction and case studies, focusing on drought conditions in Jamaica and the impact of Tropical Storm Erika on the water sector in Dominica. CDB also participated in a panel discussion on how countries can access concessional funding, specifically through the Adaptation Fund, and the Green Climate Fund, which recently accredited the bank as a partner institution.

“This important policy dialogue on climate financing for the water sector is central to the bank’s strategy…This forum provides the bank with a timely opportunity to build awareness of its role as an accredited body to facilitate access to concessional financing from the Adaptation Fund, and the Green Climate Fund, for much needed water infrastructure investments in the Caribbean,” said Best.

The CWWA conference took place from October 25-27, in Trinidad and Tobago. This is the 25th year that the conference is being held.

Credit: Caribbean News Now!

Climate change will impact Caribbean resources

Alberton Pacheco, Regional Coordinator for Ecosystems of the United Nations Environmental Programme, said yesterday climate change and climate variability strongly impact water resources in the Caribbean. He said the region suffers from a lot of droughts, which affects agriculture and when these droughts pass they are usually followed by periods of floods.

“In the long run, there will be an affectation by climate change in the Caribbean and that’s the reason we have been advocating for the integrated management of water resources. If we are able to manage our water resources we might be able to save enough water for whenever we have an extended period of drought and likewise when we have floods we can manage ourselves a little better, because the problem that we have at the moment is that in either instance, either drought or floods, the region’s agricultural soil is being affected, you actually get the fragmentation of the soil from too much drought and you have the loss of soil enrichment from the floods.” Pacheco was leading a discussion on water management at the Caribbean Basin Forum and afterwards spoke to Newsday about the importance of the issue.

The Caribbean Basin Forum was held in advance of the official opening of the 2016 Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association Conference on Monday evening at the Hyatt Regency.

The conference is continuing all week at the hotel.

Pacheco said that the region needs to communicate the usefulness of water as a development resource: “you cannot develop your agriculture, you cannot have an expansion of the tourism sector if you do not factor in how you are going to manage your water resources in the long term.” He said integrated water management was a tool to do that kind of planning at the national level in terms of legislation and in terms of policy. He added that there needed to be the political will to do so and slowly but surely politicians were starting to become aware of how to use the natural resources in the productive sector.

He said issues of climate change have already been key discussion points in the conference because the whole issue of access to water is one of the UN’s eight Sustainable Development Goals, pointing out that the world cannot plan for the future in terms of access to water unless it confronts the issue of climate change.

Credit: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Guyana emerging as a ‘green state’

granger_un2.jpg

President David Granger of Guyana addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s 71st session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

 

Underscoring the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change, the president of Guyana highlighted that his country will continue to pursue a ‘green’ economy and will be a reliable and cooperative partner in international efforts to protect the earth’s environment.

“[Guyana] realizes that the establishment of a ‘green state’ is consistent with building climate resilience while mitigating the effects of climate change,” President David Granger said in his address on Tuesday morning.

“Guyana promises to work towards the [2030] Agenda’s goals (SDGs), particularly, by contributing to limiting increases in global temperatures; and to work towards a ‘green path’ of development that is in accord with the [Paris] Agreement’s nationally-determined commitments,” he added.

Making specific reference to the importance of Goal 13 that calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impact as well as the Paris Agreement’s obligation to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius, the president informed the General Assembly that Guyana is developing a comprehensive emissions reduction programme as part of its responsibility to contribute to global solutions to the threat of climate change.

“However,” he stated, “all our efforts – nationally, regionally and globally – the advancement of development in an environment of peace and stability are being challenged by the territorial ambitions of our neighbour, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” referring to an “external assault on Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The president also hailed the efforts of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his leadership of the organization and, especially, for his commitment to sustainable development that was illustrated in the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, as well as the Paris Agreement.

In conclusion, he stressed the importance of a collective commitment by the international community to collaborate with small states, including Guyana, to pursue a low-carbon, low-emission path to sustainable development and to constraining the rise in global temperature.

Credit: Caribbean News Now!

Caribbean Water Ministers Will Address Water and Climate Issues to Help Shape the Development Agenda

In September, the United Nations will finalise a Post-2015 Development Agenda known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs follow and expand on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which expire at the end of the year and will be “the global community’s plan of action” for all dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) for the next fifteen (15) years.

On the heels of establishing this new universal Agenda; Caribbean Ministers with responsibility for water resources management from more than ten (10) countries, will meet on August 27th and 28th, 2015 at the InterContinental Hotel in Miami, Florida to discuss critical regional water and climate issues. Both water and climate change are reflected as priorities in the soon to be confirmed SDGs, with Goal 6 being: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” and Goal 13 being: “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.”

This Ministerial Meeting is the 11th Annual High Level Forum (HLF) which is being organised by the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) and the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility – funded Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (GEF CReW) Project. The 11th HLF which takes place under the theme “Connecting Water to Climate, Economic Growth and Development within the Post-2015 Development Agenda” forms part of the CWWA’s 24th Annual Conference and Exhibition which is being held in partnership with the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA).

The 11th HLF takes place at an appropriate time to allow for discussion and collaboration on water and climate matters to help shape the sustainable development agenda of the region. This year’s Forum is forward-looking with a goal of producing concrete outcomes and harmonised recommendations to guide national and regional efforts in operationalising water, wastewater and climate goals and targets for sustainable development. Some outcomes of the Forum are likely to feed into the contribution to be made by Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December to play a pivotal part of global processes for advancing sustainable development.

According to Dr. Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary-General of Human and Social Development of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), who will be a keynote speaker at the 11th HLF “Climate change will continue to have serious implications for water resources in the region,” linking the two critical issues. He has also stated that partnership remains one of the means of implementation needed to achieve sustainable water development goals. In addition to CARICOM and the Caribbean Ministers with responsibility for water and their senior government officials, representatives from regional and international agencies such as the United Nations Environment Programme Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEP-CEP), the Caribbean Water and Sewerage Association Inc. (CAWASA), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Pan America Health Organisation (PAHO), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) are expected to attend. Professor John Agard who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change, will moderate a Ministerial panel discussion at the Forum.

 Credit: WINN FM 98.9

UNEP ‘Our Planet’ 2015 Focuses on SDGs

world

Credit: UNEP

An integrated, universal approach to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda is essential, according to the 2015 issue of ‘Our Planet,’ a publication from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner discusses the importance of integration, universality, climate change mitigation, governance and accountability, and financing. He writes that linking the SDGs with climate change mitigation will help countries build energy-efficient, low-carbon infrastructure and achieve sustainable development.

In an article by Tommy Remengesau, Jr., President, Palau, he explains that healthy, productive, resilient oceans are critical to preserving and restoring the balance between humans and nature, and ensuring economic prosperity, food security, health and culture, particularly in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Remengesau advocates for a stand-alone SDG on oceans, and says Palau’s national conservation efforts must be “amplified and augmented by work at the international level” in order to make a difference.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights should guide the elaboration of the SDGs, writes Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He stresses that human rights, such as the rights to education, food, health and water, are about empowerment, not charity, and underscores the importance of empowering citizens to be involved in crafting and implementing the SDGs. He adds that “universality applies not just to universal application, but also to universal participation and ownership of the goals.”

UK Environmental Audit Select Committee Chair Joan Walley cautions that reducing the number of SDGs “risks relegating environmental sustainability to a side issue,” and could shatter “the carefully negotiated consensus.” She also argues for communicating the goals to the public, particularly youth.

Other articles address: the European Commission’s (EC) energy and climate framework, which will promote a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy; the UN Environment Assembly’s (UNEA) role in moving towards an integrated, universal approach to the SDGs; the role of central banks in shifting towards inclusive, environmentally sustainable development; a carbon pricing system; national accounting systems and inequalities; and chemicals and hazardous substances, among other issues.

The issue also highlights the Montreal Protocol as an “ozone success” and a model for achieving a green economy and the SDGs, achievements by UNEP’s Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI), and the UNEP Finance Initiative’s work to align the financial system with a low-carbon, carbon resilient green economy. [Publication: Our Planet: Time for Global Action]

Credit: SIDS Policy & Practice

%d bloggers like this: