UPDATED WITH VIDEO: CARICOM, Korea formalise decade-old friendship

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Republic of Korea on 13 June, 2017, formalised a decade-old friendship with the accreditation of the first non-permanent Plenipotentiary Representative of the East Asian country to CARICOM.

Deputy Secretary-General of CARICOM, Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan, PhD., accepted the Letter of Credence from His Excellency Ki-Mo Lim in a simple ceremony at the Headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.

She said CARICOM welcomed and celebrated this formal step towards a more institutionalised partnership and enduring relationship with Korea.

Please see photos here

Caribbean urged to prepare for heatwaves

Caribbean urged to prepare for heatwaves (Photo via Jamaica Gleaner)
Caribbean urged to prepare for heatwaves (Photo via Jamaica Gleaner)

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC): Caribbean islands especially those in the south have been urged to prepare for heatwaves as they will be a feature of the 2017 rainy season.

That is the warning issued by Dr Simon Mason of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology in his presentation  – ‘Caribbean Heat outlooks: Research and product development’ to the participants attending the Caribbean Regional Climate Outlook Forum which opened here on Wednesday.

Simon said in the past, not a lot of emphasis was placed on heatwaves but data gathered from islands over the years, has shown that this  is a growing challenge. “It’s time to investigate the problems of heatwaves and the best way to deal with it in this region,” said Simon who pointed out that in the United States of America heatwaves kills more people than tornadoes while in 2003 heatwaves killed 30,000 in France.

Read more at: Jamaica Gleaner

CIMH workshops focus on forecasting, impact of climate change

Representatives from across various sectors in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will on Friday 2 June, wrap up meetings in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that focused on forecasting and the impact of climate change of sectors including health, tourism, agriculture and energy.

The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) held the 2017 Wet Season Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) workshops with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of Environment and Climate Change Canada. In addition to the Forum, the final two days of the week-long workshops focused on the Building Regional Climate Capacity in the Caribbean (BRCCC) Programme’s Early Warning Information Systems Across Climate Timescaes (EWISACTS).

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves addressed participants on Wednesday morning. In his wide-ranging address, he reflected on the impact of natural disasters on the small states of the Caribbean, and the level of funding that was required to recover from them. He said that the Region had a responsibility to adapt to climate change and to continue to pursue efforts to mitigate its effects. He praised the CIMH for its work and pointed out that the certainty of climates of the past was no longer applicable, hence the science of meteorology was necessary.

He urged participants not to “take storms for granted” and to ensure that the best was done to “prepare yourselves”.


CDB, CCRIF launch Integrated Sovereign Risk Management in the Caribbean Project

From left: Anthony Isaac, CEO, CCRIF SPC; Dr. William Warren Smith, President, CDB and Malcolm Buamah, Chief Risk Officer, CDB after launching the Integrated Sovereign Risk Management in the Caribbean Project in Providenciales on May 25, 2017. (Photo via CDB)
From left: Anthony Isaac, CEO, CCRIF SPC; Dr. William Warren Smith, President, CDB and Malcolm Buamah, Chief Risk Officer, CDB after launching the Integrated Sovereign Risk Management in the Caribbean Project in Providenciales on May 25, 2017. (Photo via CDB)

 PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands – The Caribbean Development Bank and CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) on 25 May, 2017, launched the Integrated Sovereign Risk Management in the Caribbean project.  This project seeks to enable all Caribbean countries to take a more proactive approach towards country risk management, moving beyond planning for natural disaster risks such as climate change and events like hurricanes and earthquakes, and recognising the intrinsic linkages between disaster risk and other types of risks such as economic, technological and financial and the impacts of these on socioeconomic development. 

 At the ceremony, which was held on the margins of the 2017 CDB Board of Governors Meeting, CDB President, Dr. William Warren Smith indicated that this project “will help Caribbean governments address their increased vulnerabilities caused by socioeconomic factors as well as the technological and economic interconnectedness of communities across regions and throughout the world.”

Dr. Smith noted that CDB has strengthened its risk management infrastructure over the past few years by adopting an integrated enterprise risk management framework. The Bank will use this experience to support a holistic approach to risk management in Caribbean states. The proposed benefits of this project include maintaining country ratings; sharing risk intelligence and mitigation strategies across the region; and encouraging the adoption of a proactive forward-looking risk approach to country management in a way that would improve economic performance. (more…)

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