Stark warning issued to Caribbean concerning climate change

(Image via Jamaica Observer)
(Image via Jamaica Observer)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – A warning has been issued to governments across the Caribbean to do more to make countries resilient to climate change as there is a price to pay if nothing is done.

According to a report commissioned by the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme, the Caribbean is “in the front line” and at greater risk from more severe impacts than many other parts of the world because of its geographic location because most regional states are smaller islands where people live close to and depend on the sea.

The Caribbean Marine Climate Change Report Card 2017, which was conducted by scientists and researchers said more intense storms, floods, droughts, rising sea levels, higher temperatures, and ocean acidification are major threats to all regional economies and pose a danger to lives as well, both directly and indirectly.

“As the seas, reefs and coasts on which all Caribbean people depend are under threat, much more needs to be done to protect these resources and the authors recommend building more resilient environments to prepare for, and protect against, climate change,” the report noted.

Read more at: Jamaica Observer

Regional integration provides resilience – CARICOM SG

(front row, from left) Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica; Hon. Senator Francine Baron, Dominica; Hon Maxine McClean, Barbados (Chair of COFCOR); Hon. Yldiz D Pollack-Beighle, Suriname; HE Elma Gene Isaac representing Saint Lucia; Ms. Sharon Haylock representing The Bahamas Back row, from left) Hon. H. Charles Fernandez, Antigua and Barbuda; Hon. Carl Greenidge, Guyana; Hon. Nicolas Skeete, Grenada; Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General; Hon. Mark Brantley, St. Kitts and Nevis; HE Peterson Noel representing Haiti; Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Belize; Hon. Dennis Moses, Trinidad and Tobago; Hon. Sir Louis Straker, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The strength of the regional integration movement provides a solid platform upon which the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) can build its resilience within a global environment constantly in flux.

That sentiment was expressed by the Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, earlier today, Thursday 18 May 2017, when he addressed the opening of the 20th Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR). Barbados is host of the two-day meeting, being chaired by Hon. Maxine McClean, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados.

Ambassador LaRocque said COFCOR was meeting at a time when international order was in greater flux than usual. As the balance of power shifted and voids became evident in international leadership on matters of great global import, such as climate change, new and assertive actors were beginning to fill those voids, he added.

(Remarks – CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque:   COFCOR_SG’s Opening Remarks

(Remarks – Chair of COFCOR, Hon. Maxine McClean of Barbados:  COFCOR_Statement by the Chair

“Globalization and multilateralism, characterised by open borders, the institutionalization of economic and political cooperation, and shared sovereignty are unravelling, increasingly challenged by the rise of populism, protectionism and isolationism,” the CARICOM Secretary-General told the gathering of the Region’s Foreign Ministers (more…)


Fisheries Ministers from CRFM Member States meet Friday in Guyana

Guyana and other CARICOM countries maintain a vibrant fisheries sector (Photo by CRFM)
Guyana and other CARICOM countries maintain a vibrant fisheries sector (Photo by CRFM)

Belize City (CRFM Press Release)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will host the 11th Meeting of its Ministerial Council—the highest ranking decision-making body of the regional fisheries organization—starting at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 19, at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana.

Ministers who hold the portfolio for fisheries from the 17 Member States of the CRFM, or their appointed delegates, are slated to attend the event, at which Guyana is expected to be elected as the new chair of the Council.

Fisheries ministers from across the Caribbean will review ongoing programmes and the status of and trends in the fisheries and aquaculture sector. They will also discuss further actions needed to tackle the pressing challenges facing the sector.

“The 11th Meeting of the Council is taking place against the backdrop of the High Level UN Oceans Forum that will take place in New York from 5-9 June 2017, to review progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development,” noted CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton.


CARICOM collaborates to host workshop on implementing SDGs in St. Kitts and Nevis

Workshop participants

Environmental stakeholders in St. Kitts and Nevis are being taught how to implement and mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a workshop organized by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in partnership with the St. Kitts and Nevis Department of Environment.

The workshop is an activity under the European Union and UN Environment funded programme for capacity-building related to multilateral environmental agreements in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP-MEAs programme).

The three-day workshop is being held at the Ocean Terrace Inn in Basseterre. It opened on May 16, 2017, with remarks by the Hon. Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources, Environment, Cooperatives and Human Settlement, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Dr. Thérèse Yarde, Project Coordinator, Caribbean Hub Capacity Building related to Implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). (more…)

Climate Change adaptation project under discussion in Jamaica

Minister Daryl Vaz
Minister Daryl Vaz

PRESS RELEASE via CCCCC – Belmopan, Belize – Senior officers from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) are meeting in Jamaica with counterparts from the German Development Bank (KfW) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for discussions on a regional Coastal Protection for Climate Change Adaptation (CPCCA) Project being implemented in four Caribbean States.

The teams will be on the island between May 8 and 17 to have talks with grantees and partner organisations, and to visit the four sites that have been approved for funding support under the project for the Local Adaptation Measures (LAMs) aimed at improving the ability of vulnerable communities to withstand the impacts of Climate Change.

The CPCCA Project is being implemented by the CCCCC also called the 5Cs, with technical support from IUCN and with €12.9 million in grant funding from the KfW. It seeks to minimise the adverse impacts from climate change by restoring the protective services offered by natural eco-systems like coastal mangrove forests and coral reefs in some areas while restoring and building man-made structures such as groynes and revetments in others. (more…)