Region must adapt to the reality of climate change – CARICOM SG

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is mobilising resources to support reconstruction of hurricane-ravaged Member States to build back smarter and better, against the existential threat of climate change.

Secretary-General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, said that intention was in “full knowledge that we are into a new era,” when hurricanes had now become “game changers.”

He was at the time speaking at the opening of Technical Consultations at the CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference, earlier this morning (20 November) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.


The CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference is to mobilise national governments, regional organisations, international development partners, private sector, and civil society to support the construction of what can become the world’s first hurricane-resilient countries.

See more information here  (more…)

 

How to build back better after a hurricane with the next one a few months away

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OP-ED By Irwin LaRocque and Achim Steiner*

CARICOM SG, Irwin LaRocque
Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator

 Imagine relocating the entire population of your country in the face of a colossal hurricane and two months later still not being able to get back home. Now imagine spending several nights in a shelter and taking a stroll the next morning only to find what you used to call community, city or country reduced to an apocalyptic scene.

This is no fiction. Irma and Maria, two back-to-back category 5 hurricanes, the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic, swept across the Caribbean in September, cutting a swathe of destruction, taking lives, devastating infrastructure and severely damaging the economies of small climate-vulnerable countries.

Entire islands were decimated, like Barbuda, the smaller of the two-island state of Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica, both Members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands were also devastated while The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands were severely affected. Haiti and St Kitts and Nevis also suffered damage. All of the islands are Members or Associate Members of CARICOM.

The island of St Marten, divided between Sint Maarten, a constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands and St Martin, a dependency of France as well as Cuba and the Dominican Republic were impacted, in addition to Puerto Rico and Florida, in the United States. (more…)

CARICOM engages the Head of the Green Climate Fund

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(l-r) CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund Howard Bansey, and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and CARICOM Lead Prime Ministerial Spokesman on Sustainable Development Hon Allen Chastanet

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet of Saint Lucia, the Lead Prime Ministerial Spokesman on Sustainable Development in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Tuesday met with the Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund Mr. Howard Bamsey on the margins of the COP 23 in Bonn, Germany.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a new global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change.

The Fund pays particular attention to the needs of societies that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

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Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund Mr Howard Bamsey (l) in discussion with Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Hon Allen Chastanet, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and Assistant Secretary-General CARICOM Secretariat Dr Douglas Slater

Several CARICOM Member States were this year severely affected by two mega hurricanes – Irma and Maria – and the CARICOM Secretary-General has noted that their increased intensity and frequency, fueled by climate change, form the  new reality for the foreseeable future.

CARICOM, with support from the United Nations Development Programme, will hold a Pledging Conference on 21 November 2017 to moblise support for the rebuilding effort in the affected countries and to strengthen resilience generally across the CARICOM Region.

CARICOM eyes key outcomes from UN climate change talks

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Mitigating climate risks and building resilience against extreme weather events underpin key areas of focus for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) during the ongoing United Nations (UN) climate talks in Bonn, Germany.

The Twenty Third Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 23) is being held from 6-17 November under the presidency of Fiji.

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Briefing: (l-r) Hon. Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and Lead CARICOM Head on Sustainable Development; CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Grenada Dr. Keith Mitchell and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

This year’s climate talks mark the first time a member of the Alliance for Small Island States (AOSIS) has held the Presidency. It presents an important opportunity for CARICOM and the wider Small Island Developing States (SIDs) to influence the global climate change agenda. (more…)