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‘Climate change is real,’ says Premier Cartwright Robinson

Image result for coastal erosion turks and caicos

Rugged coastline of the north shore of Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. © SF photo/Shutterstock.com

“Climate change is real and we’re not a Government that is going to deny it.”

These sentiments were expressed by Premier Sharlene Cartwright Robinson in response to a question posed by reporters on the Government’s position on climate change.

Climate change refers to a broad range of global phenomena created predominantly by burning fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to the Earth’s atmosphere.

These phenomena include the increased temperature trends described by global warming, but also encompass changes such as sea level rise, ice mass loss in Greenland, Antarctica, the Arctic and mountain glaciers worldwide, shifts in plant blooming, and extreme weather events.

This global trend has been blamed for intensifying hurricane Irma which wreaked havoc on many Caribbean countries and territories including the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Speaking at a recent press conference, the country’s leader maintained that the Government is keen on formulating strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change locally.

She said: “Our position is: it is real, something is changing something is happening, and while we can’t duck and dodge or ignore it we have to build a resiliency towards it.

Cartwright Robinson added that over the last few months, staff of the Ministry of Public Works attended training sessions on climate resilience hosted by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) which has its headquarters in Barbados.

“At those seminars they would’ve done some training in building roads in resilience to climate change.

“Also in our last meeting in the House of Assembly we passed what was a motion for a loan from CDB to look at restoring and rebuilding seawalls to be resilient to climate change.

“So we have already taken action showing that we believe that climate change is real unlike some heads of government.”

She emphasised that in order to protect the socioeconomic gains and make development efforts in the territory sustainable, efforts to build climate and disaster resilience are essential.

“We believe that it is real and we will have a firm policy where critical departments which serve on that committee, headed by Mr Ronlee James of my office, will play a role in how we build our resiliency.”

Several economists from the CDB have argued that rising disaster and climate risk, in addition to high vulnerability to seismic events, is threatening to undo much of the territory’s impressive development over the last few years.

Protecting the TCI’s coastline

A feasibility study and designs for coastal protection works in Grand Turk, North, Providenciales and Salt Cay are expected to be carried out soon.

A shoreline management plan will also be created to protect the Islands’ coastlines using climate-resilient approaches.

This project will be supported by a $440,000 loan, a $50,000 grant allocated from resources provided by the European Investment Bank under the Grant Facility for Climate Action Support to CDB, and counterpart funding of $289,000 from the TCI Government.

The provision of the loans and grant come directly on the heels of the CDB’s 47th annual flagship event held in the Turks and Caicos Islands in May this year.

According to O’Reilly Lewis, the chief of economic in the infrastructure division of the CDB, coastal defence is important in sustaining the TCI’s tourism industry.

He said: “Tourism is the main pillar of TCI’s economy, with its coastal and marine resources as the basis of the sector.

“The loss of critical beach assets due to coastal erosion, as well as the other anticipated changes resulting from climate change, would potentially have significant negative implications for settlements, tourism sites and livelihoods resulting from the reduction in coastal and marine economic activity.”

Lewis pointed out that the feasibility study and designs derived from the technical assistance project will provide the TCI Government with viable designs for climate-resilient infrastructure solutions to safeguard social and economic development, economic growth and livelihood security.

The shoreline management plan will strengthen the TCI’s capacity to sustainably monitor and manage the country’s beaches and related coastal assets.

It will also assist the Government with the development of a more comprehensive integrated coastal zone management plan.

The intervention is consistent with the CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive growth and sustainable development within its borrowing member countries.

It also aligns with the bank’s corporate priorities of promoting disaster risk management and climate change mitigation and adaptation, and improved protection and sustainable management of natural resources.

Credit: Turks and Caicos Weekly News

SKN To Receive CDB Grant For Climate Change Project

Image result for CDB WINN FM

St Kitts and Nevis is getting a climate-related Caribbean Development Bank grant of $538,000 euros.

The CDB says the funds will facilitate the conducting of a climate risk and vulnerability assessment of the federation’s coastal road infrastructure.

The CDB grant will also be used to prepare designs for the rehabilitation of two high-priority sites, according to a release from the regional Bank.

The bank’s board of directors has approved millions in loans and grants for ten borrowing member countries, including the grant to St Kitts and Nevis.

In the case of Dominica the CDB has approved a US$12 million line of credit to support education and housing.

The loan to the Dominica Agricultural Industrial and Development Bank is intended to assist in providing finance for student loans, and low and lower-middle income housing that, combined, is expected to benefit 400 people.

Haiti is being given a significant CDB grant to improve climate resilience, and disaster risk management.

The CDB says the grant of US$5.5 million to the Government of Haiti is to improve climate resilience and disaster risk management on an island off the country’s southern peninsula.

St Vincent and the Grenadines is meanwhile being allocated five million US dollars in loans and grants in additional support for the transformation of the country’s energy sector.

Other projects have been approved in The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Credit: WinnFM

All 16 CCRIF member countries renew hurricane and earthquake insurance for 2013/2014

Cave Karst

The sixteen member governments of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) renewed their hurricane and earthquake insurance for the 2013/14 policy year that started June 1. Since CCRIF’s inception in 2007 – and despite increasing economic and financial pressures – member countries have recognised the value of including CCRIF’s parametric hurricane and earthquake coverage in their national disaster risk management strategies.

This year was no different, especially given that the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an active 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season with more and stronger hurricanes than usual. For the six-month hurricane season, which began June 1, NOAA stated there was a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms – well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms.

In light of the budgetary constraints felt by countries across the region, CCRIF sought again this year to minimise premium costs. For the 2013/14 policies, CCRIF provided a 25% discount on premiums because no payouts were made by CCRIF in 2012/13, resulting in an underwriting surplus for the organisation, which is run as a not-for-profit entity. Also, countries could apply a portion of their Participation Fee (a deposit paid when they initially became a CCRIF member) toward their premium payment and had the option to lower the minimum attachment point for tropical cyclones (hurricanes) from a fifteen-year to a ten-year return period. These all led to a reduction in the effective cost of coverage to countries this year by at least 25% but in some cases up to 50%.

The Facility also added the new excess rainfall product to its portfolio of offerings to Caribbean governments for 2013/14. This product specifically covers extreme rainfall events, from both cyclonic systems and from non-cyclonic systems. It should be noted that rainfall is not included in CCRIF’s current hurricane policies, which trigger based on damage from wind and storm surge. Many countries have consistently expressed interest in excess rainfall coverage and in fact, the new product is of interest to countries which are not yet CCRIF members since they are not vulnerable to hurricanes or earthquakes but have significant extreme rainfall risk.

CCRIF recognises that rainfall is a leading cause of damage in the Caribbean – not only during hurricanes but throughout the year, and is seeking ways to enable countries in the region to obtain this coverage. Earlier this year, CCRIF, in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank, Sustainability Managers held a meeting with international development partners to explore ways in which they could support the roll-out of this product. These donors were very interested and committed to examine how they could provide support.

Since the inception of CCRIF in 2007, the Facility has made eight payouts totalling over US$32 million to seven member governments on their hurricane or earthquake policies. All payouts were transferred to the respective governments within 14 days after each event.

The payouts made by CCRIF since 2007 are listed below.

 Event                                      Country               Payouts ($US)

Earthquake, 29/11/07                Dominica                           528,021

Earthquake, 29/11/07                Saint Lucia                        418,976

Tropical Cyclone Ike, 09/08   Turks & Caicos Islands    6,303,913

Earthquake, 12/01/10                   Haiti                             7,753,579

Tropical Cyclone Earl, 08/10       Anguilla                       4,282,733

Tropical Cyclone Tomas, 10/10  Barbados                     8,560,247

Tropical Cyclone Tomas, 10/10   Saint Lucia                  3,241,613

Total for the Period 2007 – 2012     —                           32,179,470

For more information, please send an email to pr@ccrif.org or visit the CCRIF website at http://www.ccrif.org.

Source: CCRIF Press Release

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