Regional tourism hits 30m

(Photo via Caribbean Tourism Organisation)

The Caribbean Tourism Office recently released its Caribbean Tourism Performance Report 2017 and Outlook, showing that the number of stay-over or tourist visits to the region reached 30 million in 2017 and bringing an estimated $37 billion in total visitor spending.

Ryan Skeete, director of research and IT at the organisation, presented the findings February 15, 2018, at CTO Headquarters, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados.

Read more at: The Bahamas Investor

CARICOM Agriculture Ministers meet in preparation for FAO Regional Conference

Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat (standing) consults with chair of the meeting, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Trinidad and Tobago. Also in photo are, from left, Richard Brown, Ph.D., Director Single Market and Sectoral Programmes, CARICOM Secretariat,  Mr. Joseph Cox, ASG, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat; and Lystra Fletcher-Paul, PhD., FAO Sub-regional Coordinator
Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat (standing) consults with chair of the meeting, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Trinidad and Tobago. Also in photo are, from left, Richard Brown, Ph.D., Director Single Market and Sectoral Programmes, CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Joseph Cox, ASG, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat; and Lystra Fletcher-Paul, PhD., FAO Sub-regional Coordinator

Ministers of Agriculture of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Monday began preparations for the 35th Food and Agriculture (FAO) Regional Conference which will be held in Jamaica, 5-8 March, 2018. The preparatory consultation was held at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, with some delegates joining the discussions via videoconferencing.

The regional conference in Montego Bay will help the FAO to strategise for effective responses to the priorities and challenges that the Region faces in the coming biennium.

Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries of Trinidad and Tobago, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat chaired the consultation at which the Director-General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Permanent Secretaries and other officials in the sector were present.

Please see photos more here (more…)

‘Building back better': a resilient Caribbean after the 2017 hurricanes

Citizens in Dominica doing their part to build back better
Citizens in Dominica doing their part to build back better

‘Building back better’ after a disaster intuitively makes sense, but it is challenging and requires a deep understanding of the causes of disaster, recovery processes and future climate and other risks. Critically, it requires high levels of commitment from policymakers and technical staff in national governments, from the international aid agencies and donors supporting recovery, and from communities already engaged in recovery.

This briefing paper highlights how lessons from history and past recovery can inform decisions around ‘building back better’ after hurricanes Irma and Maria. These two Category 5 hurricanes caused total losses estimated at US$130 billion. Although the countries and communities most affected will need years to recover, decisions and actions that are taken in the short term, such as repairs to housing, will have repercussions for long-term resilience.

While disasters are a common feature of the Caribbean, there has not been much serious reflection on the types of action needed for long-term resilience. Compounding this are the looming effects of climate change. Sea-level rise, in particular, is a huge problem for the Caribbean, but we are also likely to see more Category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the future.


Read more at: Overseas Development Institute

Review of early warnings for 2017 hurricane season in Caribbean

Barbuda after Hurricane Irma
Barbuda after Hurricane Irma

An expert review has been launched of the effectiveness of early warnings in the Caribbean during the devastating 2017 hurricane season in order to strengthen resilience against future disasters.

The World Meteorological Organisation and regional and international partners will make the assessment as part of the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative. Findings are expected to be published in 2018, ahead of the next North Atlantic and Caribbean hurricane season.

The 2017  season was one of the worst on record, causing hundreds of casualties and reversing socioeconomic development in hardest hit territories. It was by far the costliest on record. In Barbuda, ninety per cent of the infrastructure was destroyed, and Dominica was devastated. Hurricanes Irma and Maria killed more than 300 people.

For the Caribbean islands that were affected, timely and clear warnings of the impending tropical cyclones are an essential part of their capacity to cope with such extreme weather events and manage disaster risk.

Read more at: World Meteorological Organisation