Hurricane season officially ends, but impact lingers

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It is finally over.

According to the calendar of the National Hurricane Center, November 30 marks the official end of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which spawned 17 named storm.

Here in the Caribbean, September was particularly brutal with the passage of two Category 5 monsters, Irma and Maria, which left an unprecedented path of death and destruction.

Countries such as Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, St. Maarten/Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands all took direct hits and will take years to recover.

The World Bank said damages and losses, in the wake of Hurricane Maria, in Dominica amount to US$1.3-billion or 224 percent of GDP.

Read more at: Dominica News Online

Harsh climate: Commonwealth SG warns of existential threat

Baroness Scotland alone, first day (2)The Caribbean needs help from the international community now more than ever, as it seeks to build resilience to changing weather patterns and the impact on its economies, Commonwealth Secretary General, Baroness Patricia Scotland has said.

Delivering the 42nd annual Sir Winston Scott Memorial lecture at the Frank Collymore Hall last night on the topic: Responsiveness, Resilience and Regeneration: Building on Commonwealth advantage for good governance, prosperity and progress, Baroness Scotland noted that the region had suffered “some unprecedented climatic assaults” this year.

She warned that the existential threat of climate change could no longer be ignored, given the level of devastation wrought on the region by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“Last year the London School of Economics estimated that climate change could eliminate US$2.5 trillion of the globe’s financial assets. And that was an assessment made before this summer. And I really wonder whether that would be an upward projection in the future,” she said.

Read more at: Barbados Today

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…)

 

Help SIDS to help themselves – PM Chastanet issues call at COP23

“I call on developed countries to help SIDS help themselves. We cannot wait till 2020 to see finance to deal with the emergency situations, build resilience in our countries as far as possible, and the loss and damage that is already occurring.

“Our people have proven to be and will continue to be resilient. But here, on the international level, I say to you: all it takes is a pen; a pen to create the policies to prioritise the resources; a pen to change the protocols used to disperse funds; a pen to change macroeconomic targets, realising that we cannot invest in resilience without putting our counties into deeper economic volatility. This means that the frameworks we have under this process must be sensitive to the urgent needs of SIDS … and not simply wrapped up in bureaucracy.” – Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Jon. Allen Chastanet, Lead Head of Government in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet with responsibility for Sustainable Development, including the Environment and Disaster Management and Water, at COP 23

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