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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.

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“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!

23rd Annual CWWA Conference and Exhibition

CWWA Conference

The Caribbean Water and Waste Water Association (CWWA) will host their 23rd Annual Conference and Exhibition on October 6-10 at the Atlantis Paradise Island (Kerzer) Resorts in the Bahamas.

The 2014 Conference seeks to:

  • examine the past and present aspects of the Caribbean’s water and waste sectors to determine the positions of the sectors for networking and resource development of successful endeavours;
  • arrange for manufacturers, suppliers and distributors to display goods and services being currently offered to the industry;
  • honour persons who have given distinguished service to the Caribbean Sectors

Authors wishing to present a paper should submit an abstract of not more than 500 words for consideration. Abstracts should be in English and contain a title, author’s name(s) and full contact details. Deadline for abstracts is June 30 2014. Successful authors will be notified by July 14th 2014. Full papers should be submitted no later than August 30, 2014. All papers will be published in the official conference proceedings. Please focus on applied research, case studies and lessons learnt.

The major 2014 CWWA conference thematic topic areas are:

  • Distribution systems and plant operations - Water
  • Collection systems and plant operations – Wastewater
  • Solid Waste
  • Policy, Legislative and regulatory, Public Affairs
  • Financial Management
  • Special Topics/Research and Development
  • Water Quality/Water Resources
See the CWWA May 2014 Newsletter here.
Credits: CWWA

UNEP to develop first state of the marine environment report for Caribbean Sea

Water Quality Monitoring in Barbados Credits: Caribbean News Now

Water Quality Monitoring in Barbados
Credit: Caribbean News Now

As countries “Raised their Voices and Not the Sea Level” in celebration of World Environment Day, and prepare to commemorate World Oceans Day under the theme “Together We Have the Power to Protect the Oceans”, UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) has committed to develop the first state of marine environment report for the Caribbean Sea.

Nelson Andrade Colmenares, coordinator of the Kingston-based UNEP office, which also serves as Secretariat to the Cartagena Convention for the Protection and Development of the Caribbean Sea, highlighted that “The development of such a report will be critical to obtain a better understanding of the current status of our coastal and marine resources, to identify trends as well as new threats”.

The UNEP CEP has been based in Jamaica for the past 27 years working with many partners to protect and sustain the Caribbean Sea and the goods and services which it provides for the people of the wider Caribbean region.

The sustainable development of the wider Caribbean region will require improved management of the region’s fragile marine resources and according to Andrade, “reliable and credible scientific data and information will be an invaluable decision-making tool, and assist in the evaluation of the effectiveness of existing national policies, laws and regulations.”

The first state of marine environment report for the Caribbean will build upon efforts by many regional agencies, projects and partners who have been working with UNEP CEP for the protection and development of the wider Caribbean region. The detailed content and approach will be discussed at an upcoming meeting of regional technical and scientific experts to be held in Nicaragua from June 10 to 13 who will be discussing a range of issues relating to the pollution of the marine environment.

The Caribbean Environment Programme is one of the UNEP’s regional seas programmes, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year – International Year for SIDS. More than 143 countries participate in the 13 regional seas programmes globally and it has emerged as an inspiring example of how to implement a regional approach to protecting the coastal and marine environment while effectively managing the use of natural resources.

Christopher Corbin, programme officer with responsibility for pollution at the UNEP CEP office, outlined that, as the Secretariat begins the development of this regional report, new communication and outreach materials have also been developed that will be launched on World Oceans Day this year. These include a new website (www.cep.unep.org) and a new video that showcases the value of the Caribbean Sea, major sources and impacts of pollution and the benefits of regional agreements such as the Cartagena Convention and the protocol concerning pollution from land-based sources and activities (LBS Protocol).

Poor land use and agricultural practices and the lack of effective wastewater and industrial treatment contribute a range of pollutants such as sediment, fertilizers, pesticides, heavy metals, pathogens, oil and nutrients directly or indirectly into the Caribbean Sea. Pollution not only poses threats to human health but can negatively impact on coral reefs, which provide US$375 million in goods and services annually to coastal economies through activities such as tourism, fisheries and maritime transportation.

These new communication and outreach efforts along with the increased use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter will ensure that information on the marine environment is not only used to improve national and regional decision-making but to improve awareness of why we need to protect the Caribbean Sea and its vulnerable yet valuable resources.

Credits: Island Resources Foundation (IRF), Caribbean News Now

Caribbean Partners in Water and Wastewater to Launch New Tools and Resources to Benefit the Region’s Water Sector

GWP-C in collaboration with CReW

GWP-C in collaboration with GEF CReW

A slate of recently developed Caribbean Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) knowledge products,  which focus on tools geared toward building climate resilience in the Caribbean water sector, as well as, resources for the wastewater sector professionals, were launched at a two-day (April 29-30) Regional Meeting of Partners in the Water and Wastewater Sector in the Caribbean this week.

The  products include those developed under the Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation Tool (CCORAL)-Water initiative, a joint collaboration between GWP-C and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network. The Session will also showcase wastewater videos and materials from the GEF CReW, an effluent discharge database and other resources.

The Global Water Partnership (GWP) technical focus paper on IWRM in the Caribbean: The challenges facing SIDS.

Over the course of the two-day Regional Meeting of Partners in the Water and Wastewater Sector in the Caribbean, the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C), the United Nations Environment Programme, Caribbean Regional Coordinating Unit (UNEP-CAR/RCU) and the Global Environment Facility’s Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (GEF CReW) hosted a Knowledge Sharing Session on New Tools and Resources for IWRM in the Caribbean.

IWRM is an holistic approach to managing water that takes into consideration that different uses of water are interdependent. IWRM means that water allocations and management decisions consider the effects of each use on the other. The approach is grounded in the understanding that water resources are an integral component of the ecosystem, a natural resource, and a social and economic good.

Representatives from more than fifty (50) regional and national agencies in water and wastewater management are scheduled to attend the Session. Download Press Release here.

Credit: Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C)
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