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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

Climate Policy Goes Hand-in-Hand with Water Policy

Guyana beverage manufacturer Banks DIH Limited treats all waste water, making it safe for disposal into the environment. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

Guyana beverage manufacturer Banks DIH Limited treats all waste water, making it safe for disposal into the environment. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

Concerned that climate change could lead to an intensification of the global hydrological cycle, Caribbean stakeholders are working to ensure it is included in the region’s plans for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

The basis of IWRM is that the many different uses of finite water resources are interdependent. High irrigation demands and polluted drainage flows from agriculture mean less freshwater for drinking or industrial use.

Contaminated municipal and industrial wastewater pollutes rivers and threatens ecosystems. If water has to be left in a river to protect fisheries and ecosystems, less can be diverted to grow crops.

Meanwhile, around the world, variability in climate conditions, coupled with new socioeconomic and environmental developments, have already started having major impacts.

The Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C), which recently brought international and regional stakeholders together for a conference in Trinidad, is aimed at better understanding the climate system and the hydrological cycle and how they are changing; boosting awareness of the impacts of climate change on society, as well as the risk and uncertainty in the context of water and climate change and especially variability; and examining adaptation options in relation to water and climate change.

“Basically we’re looking to integrate aspects of climate change and climate variability and adaptation into the Caribbean water sector,” Natalie Boodram, programme manager of the Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP), told IPS.

“And this is a very big deal for us because under predicted climate change scenarios we’re looking at things like drier dry seasons, more intense hurricanes, when we do get rain we are going to get more intense rain events, flooding.

“All of that presents a substantial challenge for managing our water resources. So under the GWP-C WACDEP, we’re doing a number of things to help the region adapt to this,” she added.

Current variability and long-term climate change impacts are most severe in a large part of the developing world, and particularly affect the poorest.

Through its workshops, GWP-C provides an opportunity for partners and stakeholders to assess the stage of the IWRM process that various countries have reached and work together to operationalise IWRM in their respective countries.

Integrated Water Resources Management is a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximise economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems.

IWRM helps to protect the world’s environment, foster economic growth and sustainable agricultural development, promote democratic participation in governance, and improve human health.

GWP-C regional co-ordinator, Wayne Joseph, said the regional body is committed to institutionalising and operationalising IWRM in the region.

“Our major programme is the WACDEP Programme, Water and Climate Development Programme, and presently we are doing work in four Caribbean Countries – Jamaica, Antigua, Guyana and St. Lucia,” he told IPS.

“We’re gender-sensitive. We ensure that the youth are incorporated in what we do and so we provide a platform, a neutral platform, so that issues can be discussed that pertain to water and good water resources management.”

The Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) is a non-profit, civil society body that focuses its resources on empowering Caribbean young people and their communities to develop programmes and actions to address socioeconomic and environmental issues.

Rianna Gonzales, the national coordinator of the Trinidad and Tobago Chapter, has welcomed the initiative of the GWP-C as being very timely and helpful, adding that the region’s youth have a very important role to play in the process.

“I think it’s definitely beneficial for young people to be part of such a strategic group of people in terms of getting access to resources and experts…so that we will be better able to communicate on water related issues,” she told IPS.

The CYEN programme aims at addressing issues such as poverty alleviation and youth employment, health and HIV/AIDS, climatic change and global warming, impact of natural disasters/hazards, improvement in potable water, conservation and waste management and other natural resource management issues.

The GWP-C said the Caribbean region has been exposed to IWRM and it is its goal to work together with its partners and stakeholders at all levels to implement IWRM in the Caribbean.

“A very significant activity for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States has been to prepare a Water Sector Model Policy and Model Water Act which proposes to remedy the key water resources management issues through new institutional arrangements and mechanisms that include water and waste water master planning, private sector and community partnership and investment mechanisms,” GWP-C chair Judy Daniel told IPS.

IWRM has not been fully integrated in the policy, legal and planning frameworks in the Caribbean although several territories have developed/drafted IWRM Policies, Roadmaps and Action plans. Some of these countries include: Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana, Jamaica; The Bahamas; Trinidad and Tobago; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Credit: Inter Press Service News Agency

Jamaica to host Youth Climate Change Conference

Youth Climate Change Conference

Youth Climate Change Conference

The USAID-funded Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change (Ja REEACH) project is hosting a mock United Nations-style assembly on climate change at the inaugural Youth Climate Change Conference in Kingston, Jamaica on September 14, 2014.
Themed, "One Climate, One Future...Empowering Youth for Action" high school delegates will deliberate on the availability, access, and quality of water in Jamaica, a relevant and timely issue considering the country's current drought condition.
The assembly will discuss the rights and use of water across Jamaica's social and economic sectors, focusing on tourism, agriculture and fisheries, manufacturing and industry, health and recreation, and the environment. The deliberations will be collated to formulate a youth position on risk management strategies and actions for sustainable use of the resource in the face of a changing climate.
The conference will also incorporate a poster competition, exhibit of climate information, water conservation and clean technology solutions display, a concert and a fashion show.

Extension of Deadline: AQUASTAT Update for the Caribbean Consultancies

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean are still seeking consultants to update the FAO’s AQUASTAT Report for the Caribbean. The deadline date for proposals for Cuba, Dominican Republic and Jamaica only, has been extended to March 5th, 2014.

Download the Terms of Reference for the three (3) consultancies below:

AQUASTAT Update for Cuba

AQUASTAT Update for Dominican Republic

AQUASTAT Update for Jamaica

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has a unique global water information system, AQUASTAT, developed since 1993 by the Land and Water Division. The main objective of the programme is to systematically select the most reliable information on hydrological resources and water use in each country, as well as to make this information available in a standard format for interested global, regional and national users.

The last update of the AQUASTAT report for the Caribbean was done in 2000. Hence the FAO in partnership with the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) search for suitable consultants to update the FAO’s global water information system – AQUASTAT through five (5) consultancies for the following countries:

  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Lesser Antilles (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago)

Interested persons should submit their proposals for Cuba, Dominican Republic and Jamaica only via email to info@gwp-caribbean.org and address to the GWP-C Regional Coordinator.

Download the Terms of Reference for the various consultancies here.

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

New deadline for proposals under GWP-C’s IWRM Initiative

Midday on February 24, 2014 is the new deadline to submit technical and financial proposals for the creation of a database of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) initiative that foster climate resilience in the Caribbean. The proposal is being requested under the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean’s (GWP-C) Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) for the Caribbean.

Interested applicants should submit the required documents via e-mail to the GWP-C Regional Coordinator at info@gwp-caribbean.org.

Download the Terms of Reference for the consultancy here.

Caribbean urged to brace for impact of climate change

Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Robert Pickersgill (left), I discussions with CCCCC Executive Director, Dr. Kenrick Leslie (right) (JIS PHOTO)

Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Robert Pickersgill (left), I discussions with CCCCC Executive Director, Dr. Kenrick Leslie (right) (JIS PHOTO)

A two-week regional training workshop on climate change has started here with a warning that the Caribbean could suffer billions of dollars in losses over the next few years as a result of climate change.

“As a region, we have to assist each other in every conceivable way imaginable,” said Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister Robert Pickersgill at the start of the workshop that is being organised by the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in partnership with several regional governments and the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

It is being held under the theme “The use of sector-specific biophysical models in impact and vulnerability assessment in the Caribbean”.

Pickersgill said that Caribbean countries needed to work together to boost technical expertise and infrastructure in order to address the effects of the challenge.

He said global climate change was one of the most important challenges to sustainable development in the Caribbean.

Citing a recent report from the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he noted that while the contribution of Caribbean countries to greenhouse gas emissions is insignificant, the projected impacts of global climate change on the Caribbean region are expected to be devastating.

Pickersgill said that according to experts, by the year 2050, the loss to the mainstay tourism industry in the Caribbean as a result of climate change-related impacts could be in the region of US$900 million.

In addition, climate change could cumulatively cost the region up to US$2 billion by 2053, with the fishing industry projected to lose some US$140 million as at 2015.

He said the weather activity in sections of the Eastern Caribbean over the Christmas holiday season was a prime example of this kind of devastation.

The low level trough resulted in floods and landslides in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Dominica. At least 15 people were killed and four others missing. The governments said they would need “hundreds of millions of dollars” to rebuild the battered infrastructures.

“For a country the size of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, this loss is significant and could result in their having to revise their GDP (gross domestic product) projections. (Therefore), while one cannot place a monetary value on the loss of lives, the consequences in terms of dollar value to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is also important,” Pickersgill said.

“It only takes one event to remind us of the need to become climate resilient in a region projected to be at the forefront of climate change impacts in the future,” Pickersgill said, adding that he hoped the regional training workshop would, in some meaningful way, advance the Caribbean’s technical capabilities to meet the future projections head-on and be successful.

He said the workshop has particular relevance to Jamaica as one of the SIDS that is most vulnerable to climate change.

The two-week programme forms part of the European Union (EU)-funded Global Climate Change Alliance Caribbean Support Project, which is geared towards the creation and financing of policies that can reduce the effects of climate change as well as improved climate monitoring within the region.

The Global Climate Change Alliance project is to be implemented over 42 months and will benefit Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

CCCCC Programme Manager, Joseph McGann, said the project would include several activities including: enhancing national and regional institutional capacity in areas such as climate monitoring; data retrieval and the application of space-based tools for disaster risk reduction; development of climate scenarios and conducting climate impact studies using Ensemble modeling techniques; vulnerability assessments that can assist with the identification of local/national adaptation; and mitigation interventions.

CMC/id/ir/2014

Credit: CMC

Green Funds and Capacity Development for Environmental Management

Environmental Solutions Limited, a Caribbean consulting outfit focused on environmental management, published a strong review of Green Funds in the Caribbean and the opportunities for capacity development. An excerpt is below, read the full article at ESLCaribbean.

Green Fund

Concern about climate change and its many, far-reaching effects has propelled countries around the world to come up with novel ways to achieve socio-economic development without causing additional damage to the environment. One of the more recent solutions has been the establishment of various ‘green funds’ by countries and international aid and development agencies alike. According to Investopedia.com, a green fund is basically “a mutual fund or other investment vehicle that will only invest in companies that are deemed socially conscious in their business dealings or directly promote environmental responsibility. A green fund can come in the form of a focused investment vehicle for companies engaged in environmentally supportive businesses, such as alternative energy, green transport, water and waste management, and sustainable living.”

Here in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago leads the way with a well-established, well-financed Green Fund. The fund was first instituted under the Finance Act 2000 and is financed by a tax of 0.1 per cent of the gross sales or receipts of companies doing business in Trinidad and Tobago. The levy is payable quarterly. The purpose of the fund is “to provide financial assistance to community groups and organisations for activities related to reforestation, remediation, environmental education and public awareness of environmental issues and conservation of the environment.” Since its inception, the fund has successfully financed a number of certified activities totalling approximately TT$117 million. The value of the fund as at January 2012 was TT$2.7 billion.

The key stakeholders in the fund are members of the private sector, which pay the Green Fund Levy; the Ministry of Finance, the official custodian of the fund’s resources; the Ministry of Housing and the Environment, which provides certification Green Fund-supported activities; and civil society organisations that use the resources. The fund can be accessed by corporate companies, non-profits, NGOs and community groups by making the necessary application.

Read the full article here.

JAMAICA-CLIMATE-International climate conference deemed important to developing countries

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Dec 6, CMC – The Third International Conference on Climate Change Services (ICCS3) was ending here on Friday with stakeholders indicating that the three day forum providing an opportunity to find linkages between international climate services and those in the region.

“This conference is of great importance for developing countries and for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in particular,” said Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Robert Pickersgill.

“It is common knowledge that we are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, but what this conference will provide, is an opportunity to build our capacity, and to look beyond weather and hydrological information, to a focus on climate information for decision-making,” he added.

The conference sought to address to address current progress, challenges and opportunities in climate services implementation, and foster discussions regarding the transition from pilot activities to sustained services.

Deputy Director and Science Advisor at the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Dr Ulric Trotz, said the conference was the first of its kind in the Caribbean and any developing country.

He said the three-day event provided an opportunity to find linkages between international climate services and those in the region.

Officials said climate services are crucial as climate variability and change were posing significant challenges to societies worldwide.

“Therefore, timely communication of climate information helps prevent the economic setbacks and humanitarian disasters that can result from climate extremes and long term climate change,” the officials said.

The CCCCC is supporting a series of national consultations across the Caribbean under the Global Framework For Climate Change Services (GFCS) which was established in 2009 at the World Climate Conference-3 (WCC3).

The vision of the GFCS is to enable society to better manage the risks and opportunities arising from climate variability and change, especially for those who are most vulnerable to such risks.

Launched in May this year, the GFCS uses five components for the production, delivery and application of climate information and services.

Pickersgill told the conference that the 2009 report of the High Level Task Force on the Global Framework for Climate Services had identified that three basic facts had to be taken into account when focusing on climate information for decision-making.

“Firstly, we know that everyone is affected by climate – particularly its extremes, which cause loss of lives and livelihoods all over the world, but overwhelmingly in developing countries.

Secondly, we know that – where they exist – needs-based climate services are extremely effective in helping communities, businesses, organizations and governments to manage the risks and take advantage of the opportunities associated with the climate.

Thirdly, we know that there is a yawning gap between the needs for climate services and their current provision. Climate services are weakest in the places that need them most namely, climate-vulnerable developing countries.”

Pickersgill said that the identified climate change impacts, multiplicity of stressors, and the available scientific information all suggest that the Caribbean region is  a climate change hotspot. “This presents a clear need at the national level and as a concerned region, for climate services that will help families, businesses, and communities to make informed decisions,” he said, adding there “is a clear need to promote integrated service delivery and stimulate the development of environmental technologies, applications and services in the private sector.

“The provisions of inundation mapping services, to inform decisions on sea level rise and storm activity, are critical and are urgently needed. The assistance to our farmers through modelling will help them to adapt to the changing climate through services such as drought forecasting, precipitation modelling as well as vulnerability and risk mapping.”

Pickergill said that developing countries, in particular, would be looking at the products that would inform  health sector managers in responding to heat projections and the potential changes required in health services; as well as those that will inform our business leaders and national governments in investment decisions and planning.

“Pioneering climate services will enable us to make smart decisions to ensure public safety, increase our resilience, drive smart public and private sector-led infrastructural investment and stimulate economic growth,” he added.

The next national consultation on a Framework for Climate Services will be held in Barbados.

CMC/if/ir/2013

Credit:CMC

German Agency for International Cooperation Unveils Agriwaterpedia

Agriwaterpedia1Agriculture accounts for 70 per cent of global water consumption, but population growth, climate change and other man-related effect are likely to make water one of the most limiting resources of all production factors for agriculture. Profound and in-depth expert knowledge is key to successfully safeguard the supply of water and develop sustainable solutions for its use. A central challenge to such an effort is that sources of information are dispersed or not accessible at all. The highly valuable knowledge, experiences and approaches in agricultural water use development cooperation gained until the early 1990s, for instance, were not electronically available.

As the focus of development cooperation had increasingly shifted away from agricultural water use the extensive knowledge is in danger to be lost for good. In response to this challenge, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) recently launched the global knowledge platform for agricultural water management. The wiki-based platform is an initiative of GIZ’s “Rural Development and Agriculture” and “Water, Energy and Transport” departments.  It is intended to foster the global knowledge platform for agricultural water management: http://www.agriwaterpedia.info.

This platform is a tool to discuss strategies and challenges related to agricultural water use on a global scale. 

It provides practitioners and experts in development cooperation with approaches and good practices and draws data from experiences and lessons learnt in the field from a variety of developing countries.

What is Agriwaterpedia?
Agriwaterpedia is a knowledge platform on agricultural water management aiming at the improvement of food security under conditions of climate change in developing countries. http://www.agriwaterpedia.info stands for easy and free access to knowledge and invites you to share your own knowledge and experience by contributing articles and documents.

What does Agriwaterpedia provide?

  • Thematic articles written by development professionals and practitioners
  • Access to practical experiences and approaches through good practices
  • Online library with over 260 publications in PDF format, digitally available only on Agriwaterpedia
  • References to knowledge hubs and sources of information

Who is addressed?

The platform provides easy and free access for all those interested in the subject, in particular users who work in the context of development cooperation. Agriwaterpedia focuses on two types of users:

  • Generalists working in development organizations who are in need of a concise overview on specific aspects of agricultural water management for well-informed decision-making and management tasks.
  • Practitioners in development programs who frequently need context-specific and in-depth documentation for locally adapted solutions.

How can you help?

Like all wikis, Agriwaterpedia depends on user contributions. Please feel free to improve

the platform by editing or writing articles, or by uploading publications.

Learn more:

Browse www.agriwaterpedia.info and sign up for an account today!

Peruse the GIZ flyer.

Source: GIZ flyer.

Enter the 2013 Media Awards on Water!

Media AwardsThe Caribbean network of the Global Water Partnership, officially known as the Global Water Partnership- Caribbean (GWP-C), is currently accepting applications for its Media Awards on Water 2013 until May 12th, 2013.

Through the Media Awards on Water, GWP-C hopes to inspire Caribbean journalists in the areas of print, television, radio and multi-media to report more on water related issues in the region.

Journalists working across these platforms are required to submit original published pieces on any of the water related topics outlined in the competition’s guidelines. Peruse the details (Announcement, Guidelines and Registration Form) on the GWP-C Media Awards on Water 2013 are available here.

There are great prizes and awards up for grabs!

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