Blog is a one stop source for climate change news on and about the Caribbean and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

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Greening Barbados still a priority

Efforts are still under way by Government to ensure that Barbados becomes the greenest economy in Latin America and the Caribbean.

So says Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe. He made the disclosure while delivering the keynote address at a Builders’ Forum at Baobab Towers yesterday morning put on by Rayside Construction Limited, where that company launched ColorMix, a new range of coloured concrete.

Referring to the country’s greening efforts, Dr. Lowe explained that Government undertook a green economy scoping study, and with the help of the University of the West Indies and the United Nations Environmental Programme, Barbados is counted among a total of seven countries in the world that have been able to complete such a study. That study, he pointed out, informs the Government and the wider country on where the country is in respect of its greening efforts.


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Climate change: The night is dark and full of terrors

THE latest United Nations report on climate change makes instructive reading that all governments, especially in this region, should study and use as a basis to improve adaptation measures.

According to the group of scientists and officials who make up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the impacts of global warming are likely to be “severe, pervasive and irreversible”.

Rising temperatures, the IPCC said, are likely to affect people’s health, their homes, food and safety. The panel also pointed out that, since 2007, scientific evidence on the impacts of global warming has almost doubled.

Journalists attending a news conference after the IPCC meeting in Yokohama, Japan, heard from Mr Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, that “nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change”.


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Britain promises CARICOM continued support on global stage

Britain says it will help the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) deal with global issues that affect their economies.

Newly accredited British Ambassador to CARICOM, Victoria Dean, Wednesday pledged to play the role of advocate for the region in the pursuit of its objectives as she presented her credentials to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque.

The United Kingdom diplomat said her country would play the role of conduit for CARICOM’s views on the global stage and support member states in their relations with third states in respect of trade.

She recognised that despite being vulnerable to external shocks and climate change, CARICOM were resilient, adaptable and creative.

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Climate change threatens human’s and wildlife’s access to water, says new report

Sea turtles in Costa Rica face threats from poachers when they come ashore to lay their eggs, but another threat comes from the water itself. Rising sea levels in the Caribbean are washing away valuable beaches where many of these endangered animals lay their eggs, noted a new report on climate change vulnerability in Costa Rica on Friday.

Sea turtles aren’t the only ones facing future threats from climate change. A new report estimates that a lack of rainfall and rising sea levels from climate change threaten an “alarming” number of Costa Rica’s indigenous flora and fauna and human access to potable drinking water. The report was funded by the U.S. tropical forest conservation debt relief fund and administered by Costa Rica por Siempre and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). It was presented at the Mesoamerican Protected Areas Congress in San José.

According to the report, 70 species of flora and 348 species of fauna in Costa Rica are under threat from changing rainfall patterns and rising sea levels.

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Heavy rainfall washing out honey production

By Desmond Brown

DUMBARTON, St. Vincent, March, 12, 2014 (IPS) – Allan Williams, 32, is an agriculture extension officer in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. But as a trained apiculturist, he has also been involved in beekeeping as a hobby for the past seven years.

He has seen beekeeping grow significantly since 2006, as stakeholders became increasingly aware of its importance to the agricultural sector, and thus an important contributor to economic growth and development.

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Caribbean Climate In Crisis

AS HUNDREDS of people in Britain affected by floods seek help and shelter following the wettest winter on record, Caribbean islands hit by severe storms over Christmas are also still struggling to recover.

Although more than 4,000 miles apart, the natural disasters that hit the Eastern Caribbean (EC) and parts of the UK can both be linked to climate change and global warming fuelled by carbon emissions.

And scientists have warned that the planet will experience more frequent and severe hurricanes and tropical storms as a result.

Outside of traditional hurricane seasons, typically June to November, there have been increasing reports of intense rains, storm surges and coastal flooding.

Last December, Eastern Caribbean (EC) islands were hit by extraordinarily heavy rains which caused floods and landslides.
In St Vincent & the Grenadines, severe weather claimed eight lives, families were forced out of their homes and water and electricity were cut off in many areas. In St Lucia, five people were killed in landslides and torrential rain caused extensive destruction in Dominica – one of the region’s most impoverished nations. The cost to the Caribbean is estimated to be in excess of EC$300million (£66m).

Read more: St_Vincent


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Indoor Mini-Farms to Beat Climate Change

Industrial engineer Ancel Bhagwandeen says growing your food indoor is a great way to protect crops from the stresses of climate change. So he developed a hydroponic system that “leverages the nanoclimates in houses so that the house effectively protects the produce the same way it protects us,” he says.

Bhagwandeen told IPS that his hydroponic project was also developed “to leverage the growth of the urban landscape and high-density housing, so that by growing your own food at home, you mitigate the cost of food prices.”


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Is Your State Prepared For The Health Impacts Of Climate Change?


This winter, a strange sickness has been spreading through the Caribbean. In St. Martin alone, where the disease was first detected in December, there have been over 500 confirmed cases and another 3,200 people are believed to have contracted the disease elsewhere in the Caribbean. The disease, Chikungunya fever, was once only seen in East Africa and while there were always a few cases of people with the fever reported in the Western hemisphere each year, they were all cases acquired abroad. But now it seems that the mosquito which spreads the disease is here to stay, and health officials in the U.S. are waiting to see when the first locally acquired case of the fever will spring up.

As climate change drives up temperatures and moisture levels, “there is plenty of habitat in the U.S. that is now suitable for the mosquito,” explained George Luber, an epidemiologist and the Associate Director of Climate Change at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Climate change and the Caribbean

THERE can be little doubt that the climate is changing. In the UK we are seeing unprecedented flooding, in the United States they are shivering in the prolonged cold of the ‘polar vortex’, and the Eastern Caribbean is still recovering from the floods and storms that occurred at the end of December.

Sadly, the natural disaster that struck Dominica, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines last Christmas has long since slipped from the headlines. But the people of the Eastern Caribbean are still at the beginning of the process of rehabilitation and recovery.

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In the Caribbean, sea-level limbo could affect tourist hot spots



Harbour Island, a narrow, four-mile-long Bahamas isle 200 miles east of Miami, is among the most idyllic spots in the western hemisphere. But some of its residents might be among the most unaware when it comes to the prospect of sea-level rise and its possible threats to the local economy.

One resort hotel operator in Dunmore, Harbour Island’s lone town, dismisses it altogether. “I was just down at our beachside bar,” she told WLRN-Miami Herald sands “I didn’t notice the sea level rising.”

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Cancun, Mexico Vacations May Not Be Available For Long: See How Global Warming Is Destroying Destination

Cancun has become synonymous with spring break, as the tropical beach is one of the most coveted vacation spots for college students and young adults. But the days of drinking cocktails, enjoying the water and partying at night may be threatened, as scientists are predicting that Cancun could be a victim of climate change. The Caribbean islcancunands are seeing an increase in the number of hurricanes and the natural disaster manages to damage the natural environment. For instance, in 2005, Hurricane Wilma eliminated eight miles of Cancun’s beach, exposing the bottom of layer of rock.


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Latin America: Facing off climate change with green innovation

Latin America is likely to see more floods like those wreaking havoc in Mexico, as the effects of climate change make themselves felt. Already highly vulnerable to natural hazards, the region will be one of the most affected by increased flooding and droughts, reduced arable lands and the possible loss of low lying regions caused by climate change.

And since the vast majority – over 80% – of Latin Americans live in cities, everyone will be affected, although the region’s poorest communities are likely to suffer the most.

“It’s possible and necessary to create policies and programs which help to combat climate change in the most inclusive fashion,” writes Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, Woecs-MoSSaiC-508x335orld Bank Director for Sustainable Development.

Reducing urban pollution– the source of much of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions – is one such example. Moreover, it is an area where Latin America is already leading the way, helping to protect the region’s citizens as well as Latin America and the Caribbean’s unparalleled biodiversity.

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Bahamas government underscores the impact of climate change on the country

Nassau The Bahamas – The effects of climate change will have the potential to drastically change the landscape of The Bahamas and its residents, the Minister of the Environment and Housing the Hon Kenred Dorsett told a workshop on Monday, September 23, 2013.

He was addressing The Climate Smarting Comprehensive Disaster Management Country Work Programme opening ceremony on behalf of the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, at the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture conference room on Thompson Boulevard.

Captain Stephen Russell, Director of the National Emergency Management Agency and Lyndon Robertson, project coordinator, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, CDEMA, also addressed the opening ceremony.

The workshop, slated for September 23 to 27, 2013 aims to develop a strategic country work programme for comprehensive disaster management that is climate smart and gender-sensitive, amongst other things. It also seeks to educate participants of Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and its neeBAH-CWP-Open-Ceremony-Sept-2013_2-RESd to be integrated into The Bahamas’ Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Programme.


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Dominican Republic banks on education to combat climate change

Educating people is important if the environment is to be protected. But that can only happen when everyone involved understands what’s at stake. That’s why the Dominican Republic is investing in climate education.

In a classroom in the Dominican Republic, Yndira Rodriguez is listening closely to the teacher’s words and taking down notes. The 39-year-old has switched roles. Normally, Rodriguez, a teacher, is used to standing in front of a class, not sitting in the first row.

But Yndira has changed sides for a good cause- in the last few months, she has clocked 192 hours – including weekends and most of her free time – learning everything she could about climate change, its consequences and how her region and country can better adapt to changing weather. Today, Yndira is to complete her final class and receive a so-called “climate diploma.”

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Trinidad’s Farmers Outpaced by Climate Change

PORT OF SPAIN, Sep 23 (IPS) – Dalchan Singh, a root crop farmer and board member of the Agricultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago, says the past year has seen drastic changes in the weather of this twin-island Caribbean nation.

Normally, the rainy season starts in June and continues during the months of July and August, he explained, then eases up until November when the rains start again.

“But this year was not so,” Singh told IPS. “For two months, we had a lot of sun and very little rain. It is only about August that we started to get rain.” He added, “This year when you get rain, it is very powerful, and when you get sun, it is very dry, hot sun. This year is very different.”

Crops grow more slowly when they do not get enough rain at the correct time, he said. Conversely, the heavy, powerful showers the country experienced this year killed some of the crops such as the pigeon peas and caused some of the root crop to rot.

Local farmers say the unpredictability of the weather is making it almost impossible to determine what crops can safely be planted when.

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Climate Change and Caribbean Tourism

What will the impacts of climate change mean for tourism in the Caribbean?

That’s precisely the subject of a new project being carried out by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean states and USAID.

The OECS/USAID Climate Change Project recently held a forum on “Rallying the Region to Action on Climate Change” in St Lucia, focusing on the effects of and adaptation to climate of changefor tourism and agriculture.

While the region produces less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is disproportionately vulnerable to the potential effects of climate change, with low-lying coastal areas, fragile marine eco-systems and steep slopes.

Yendi Jackson, who works as a sustainable tourism officer at Antigua and Barbuda’s Ministry of Tourism, said his country needed to place “more emphasis on awareness and the inculcation of best practices into the minds of the population with regards to Climate Change and its likely effects on tourism-dependent nations such as ours.”

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Jamaica Readies Climate Change Plan

Jamaica will soon be putting forth a draft Green Paper on a national Climate Change policy to Parliament, according to Environment Minister Robert Pickersgill.

The policy and action plan will call for the development of climate change sector plans and the implementation of “special initiatives,” Pickersgill said.

While the specifics of the policy have not yet been laid out, the plan will be extremely important for a country that, like all of its Caribbean neighbours, is among the most vulnerable in the world to the impacts of climate change.

“In addition, all Ministries and Departments will be required to designate a focal point to facilitate the coordination of climate change actions across governments,” he said. 2

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Insuring a Caribbean island against storms

Tropical storms are causing increasing damage to the Caribbean each year – and the costs are rising. Climate change has led to more frequent and severe hurricanes, and it is often the region’s poorest who suffer the most. Many impoverished families can lose everything they own in a single night. Micro-insurance could help protect families against such losses and play a role not just in helping people adapt to a changing climate but also in combating poverty.

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Experts urge Caribbean nations to prepare for climate change or risk fresh water scarcity

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –  Experts are sounding a new alarm about the effects of climate change for parts of the Caribbean — the depletion of already strained drinking water throughout much of the region.

Rising sea levels could contaminate supplies of fresh water and changing climate patterns could result in less rain to supply reservoirs in the coming decades, scientists and officials warned at a conference in St. Lucia this week.

“Inaction is not an option,” said Lystra Fletcher-Paul, Caribbean land and water officer for the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. “The water resources will not be available.”

Some of the possible solutions include limits on development, increased use of desalination plants and better management of existing water supplies, but all face challenges in a region where many governments carry heavy debts and have few new sources of revenue.


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Climate Change Already Affecting Life in the Caribbean

Rising sea levels could contaminate supplies of fresh water and changing climate patterns could result in less rain to supply reservoirs in the coming decades, scientists and officials caution at a recent conference in St. Lucia.

Experts are sounding a new alarm about the effects of climate change for parts of the Caribbean – the depletion of already strained drinking water supplies throughout much of the region. Barbados Tourism Authorityribbean-10351/

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Caribbean island of Dominica bets on geothermal energy

ROSEAU VALLEY, Dominica (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Government officials on the Caribbean island of Dominica are hoping that geothermal energy is the answer to mounting climate change concerns, high electricity costs and an ambitious commitment to become carbon ‘negative’ by 2020.

Known as the ‘Nature Island of the Caribbean,’ Dominica – in the Lesser Antilles region – is prone to climate-linked natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding and landslide. While hydropower accounts for 40 percent of the country’s electricity mix, Dominica also remains highly dependent on imported oil and residents pay the highest electricity prices in the Eastern Caribbean.

The geothermal project involves the construction of a small power plant for domestic consumption and a bigger plant of up to 100 megawatts of electricity for export to the neighbouring French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.dominica

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IDB to fund Climate Change project in Trinidad

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is funding Trinidad and Tobago with a US$360,000 ($2.3 million) grant for a climate change mitigation and adaptation project that will assist the entire Caribbean region.

The technical co-op­eration project, “Un­der­­standing the Economics of Climate Change Adaptation”, was launched at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain on Tuesday when IDB representative Mich­elle Cross Fenty said climate change is now widely re­cognised as a core development issue affecting most sectors and areas.–change-project-221575841.html


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Caribbean Economies Battered by Storms

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug 19 2013 (IPS) – The Caribbean is in danger of becoming “a region of serial defaulters” with respect to international debt obligations, according to one expert, and this may partly be due to its economies suffering frequent shocks from natural disasters.

Caribbean nations are among the world’s most vulnerable to natural disasters, with the region being struck by 187 such disasters in the past 60 years.

According to an International Monetary Fund study entitled “Caribbean Small States: Challenges of High Debt and Low Growth” and published in February, “The effects of natural disasters on [the region’s] growth and debt are also significant,” and “many Caribbean economies face high and rising debt to GDP ratios that jeopardize prospects for medium-term debt sustainability and growth.”

Commenting on the region’s restructuring of loans after some countries had defaulted on bond payments, a Bloomberg news report quoted an expert in international finance from American University who claimed Caribbean governments find it easier to default on bond payments than to reduce their spending.


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Google Street View Visits Caribbean Coral Reefs

With a mouse click, viewers anywhere can be transported to the serene underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef.A Google Street View photographer shoots video underwater.

Google Street View has partnered with scientists to create 360-degree panoramas of the world’s coral reefs, called Google Street View Oceans. New ocean sites continue to be added to the project, which was released in 2012. The science team hopes to develop a rigorous system for monitoring the coral’s health while giving the public a chance to explore these beautiful but vulnerable ecosystems.

“Coral reefs are some of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet,” said Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a reef scientist at the University of Queensland, Australia, who is leading the research in collaboration with the Catlin Seaview Survey. “I realized that if we formed a partnership, we could start to look at those images and understand why coral reefs are going downhill.” (See Amazing Images from Google Coral View)


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Five Caribbean States Join Pilot for Energy Efficiency

BELMOPAN, Belize, Aug 23 2013 (IPS) – Every year, the Caribbean’s electric sector burns through approximately 30 million barrels of fuel. Overall, the region imports in excess of 170 million barrels of petroleum products annually.

Dr. Al Binger, technical coordinator for the recently launched multi-million-dollar Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Caribbean Buildings Project, said that the region must now focus on ways to reduce the amount of fuel used to generate electricity, and in the process save millions of dollars.

He told IPS that building modifications, such as replacing windows and doors, installing solar water heaters and other retrofitting activities, are among the major components of the EDS project, which he hopes will eventually be embraced by all 15 members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).solarstreetlights640-629x472

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Is there any place not affected by Climate Change

Speaking via videoconference, Mr. Ban told youth delegates attending the UN climate change negotiations in Bonn, Germany that climate change is an issue that will feature in their lives and in the coming generations.

Climate Change will affect everything. It is a threat to development, the stability of countries and economies; the health of the planet while extreme weather being experienced all over the world was costing trillions of dollars.

Mr. Ban also said that youth would play a key role in his Climate Change Leaders’ Summit in New York this coming September to catalyze ambitious action on the ground, to reduce emissions and to strengthen climate resilience. “Use your power as voters and consumers,” Mr. Ban said, encouraging youth to get involved by reminding their political leaders of their moral responsibility to them and future generations and by adopting measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience to climate shocks.

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Controlled Environment Agriculture in the Caribbean

Farming in the Caribbean is a risky business. Much of that risk is connected to the uncertainty of the weather – from too much or too little rain, to the devastation of a hurricane – there are also other challenges from nature such as pests. The risk can be reduced by planting indoors in a controlled environment, the greater the control the less the risk. The pay-off can be significant increases in production.

The husband and wife team of Chris and Laurina Muglia is currently in Europe putting the logistics in place for a pilot project on Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) in the Caribbean. Chris is a global entrepreneur and business consultant who has worked with a number of multi-national companies. Laurina is a highly qualified human resource professional and social media entrepreneur.

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Caribbean policymakers get climate adaptation tool

A decision-support website has been launched to help policymakers in the Caribbean build resilience to the risks that climate change poses to activities such as tourism and agriculture.

The Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation TooL (CCORAL), unveiled last month (12 July) in Saint Lucía, allows users to identify whether their activity is likely to be influenced by climate change and how to deal with this.

It helps project managers to understand climate influence on decisions, and to choose and apply risk management processes.

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Yearly economic damage of climate change in LAC could reach US$100bn by 2050

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is forecasted to experience multibillion-dollar damage due to climate change by 2050, Ana Rios, a climate change specialist at the IDB, told BNamericas.

“What we projected in our book The Climate and Development Challenge for Latin America and the Caribbean -and it is a conservative amount- is that the yearly economic damage of climate change will reach US$100bn by 2050,” she said.

“Whereas studies on the costs of adaptation report annual estimates in the US$20-30bn range. This shows that adapting to climate change is highly cost effective and adaptation measures are urgent to avoid some of the climate change impacts.”

One example of the type of economic damage that climate change will cause can be seen by looking at the effects of glacier retreating in the Andes, which have already shrunk by more than 15%, leading to decreased water availability. Due to this decreased availability of water, Ecuadorian capital Quito will have to spend an additional US$100mn over the next 20 years to guarantee water supply, while Peru will require an annual incremental cost of up to US$1.5bn for energy generation, Rios explained.

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Scientists call for global action on coral reefs

A new paper, published in the journal Current Biology, says Caribbean reef growth is already much slower than it was 30 years ago. Its authors say that without serious action on climate change, the reefs may stop growing and begin to break down within the next 20-30 years.

‘The balance between reef growth and reef erosion is changing as we alter the environment,’ says Dr Emma Kennedy of the University of Exeter, who led the study.

‘This means that increasingly, some reefs are breaking down faster than they can replace themselves – essentially they’re being worn away.’

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Earth warms up; Funding available to counter the Effect

There is now sufficient evidence to conclude that the Blue Planet is warming up. This was the conclusion at the recent meeting of experts from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP) held at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) based in Belmopan was non-hesitant to share with the convened experts the most recent data from international institutions.turn-down-the-heat

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5 of the World’s Most Endangered Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are a ‘canary in the coal mine’ for the health of our planet. As land dwellers, we can’t see or feel the effects of climate change and other detrimental forces at work in the ocean, but coral reefs can. The strange changes occurring in the world’s most important reef systems show us that something is terribly wrong.

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Catlin Seaview Survey launched in Caribbean to monitor climate change impact

The Catlin Seaview Survey is beginning a new campaign in the Caribbean and Bermuda, in an effort to understand environmental stresses among coral reefs and vulnerability to climate change in the area.

Catlin Seaview Survey begins in Caribbean

The expedition, sponsored by insurer and reinsurer Catlin Group, began with studying the area around Australia’s Great Barrier Reef last year, where it recorded more than 100,000 360-degree panoramic images, at 32 separate locations, along the entire length of the 2,300-km reef, using specially built cameras.

The images are intended to create a scientific baseline study that can be used  to monitor changes.


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Science Fiction Films and Nature

By Jo-Anne Nina Sewlal

When you are stuck at home writing a PhD thesis the television becomes your best friend. I always have taken a liking to science fiction films, but thesis writing has made me look at these more critically. Most may think that this genre of films is for the geeks but many films do ask the important question of “what if” when it comes to our environment.

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The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) launched a US$23.5 million Community Disaster Risk Reduction Trust Fund (CDRRF) that will provide grants to support community-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation demonstration projects.
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UN, Caribbean bloc hail strong partnership, highlight shared concerns at biennial meeting

Sustainable development, climate change and security challenges were among the shared concerns highlighted during a two-day meeting between the United Nations system and the regional grouping known as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which wrapped up today in New York.

The Seventh General Meeting between the two organizations brought together participants from over 30 UN departments, funds and programmes, as well as representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat and its associated institutions.uncaricom

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Climate Change affecting Belize

Belize is getting an assistance of seven and a half million Belize Dollars from the European Union (E.U). This was revealed last week Thursday by Cosimo Lamberti Fossati, who comes from the Technical Support Office, European Union (E.U.) Delegation to Belize.


The cost of inactionClimate-resilient-model-2_w445

IF the Caribbean does nothing to mitigate the effects of climate change, the region could lose US$10.7 billion per year by 2025 in the categories of hurricane damage, loss of tourism revenue, and infrastructure damage. That’s five per cent of current regional GDP.

By 2050, the figure could shoot to US$22 billion, and top US$40 billion by 2100 — 10 and 22 per cent of GDP, respectively

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Climate Change Already Threatens Caribbean Nations with Rising Sea Levels

Rising sea levels are a huge threat for island nations, such as Granada. Now, it turns out that the ocean is already claiming Caribbean land as it sinks into the water. The people along the eastern stretch of Granada have watched for decades as the sea ate away at their shoreline; now, many families are thinking of relocating.

“The sea will take this whole place down,” said Desmond Augustin, a local fisherman from the location, in an interview with The Washington Post. “There’s not a lot we can do about it except move higher up.”

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Bush Diary with Robert Clarke

Standing ankle deep in roach-infested bat guano in a Tamana cave in Trinidad, Robert Clarke, a journalist turned nature explorer scratches his head wondering, “What have I gotten myself into?” This is just one of a multitude of wrinkles that we should have anticipated when we set out to create a local nature television series. Nature isn’t always breathtaking vistas and inspiring wildlife encounters, it can be downright creepy at times.

All in a day’s work for Robert Clarke, host of ‘Bush Diary’. This television programme combines the varied wildlife habitats of Trinidad and Tobago with the spirit of adventure and an underlying message of conservation. Although, when wading in waist-high swamp water in the dead of night, the only conservation on Robert’s mind is probably his own!

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Wanted: Robust, enforced building codes

OVERHAULING Jamaica’s energy use profile as a singular measure against the effects of climate change won’t be enough to protect the island from the related hazards such as rising sea levels, increased air temperature and more intense storms and hurricanes.

The effort, says Brian Bernal of local architecture firm MODE Ltd, has to be coupled with a deliberate move to ensure the building stock can withstand the anticipated shocks. He made the point on Thursday while addressing a workshop hosted by the Jamaica Institute of Architects in association with the Caribbean Architecture Students Association of the University of the West Indies (UWI).Climate-Conscious-Design_w445

Read more:–Robust–enforced-building-codes_14170204#ixzz2S8hDX4fF

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Australia To Help Caribbean Deal With Climate Change Issues

Australia will use its expertise in guiding the Caribbean adapt to climate change and manage its coral reefs.

Coral reefs provide benefits to the Caribbean valued at over four billion annually. The reefs of the Caribbean are of great importance in providing shoreline protection, habitat for healthy fisheries and an essential attraction for the tourism sector, the Belize Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).

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Developing Countries at UN Talks Opening: Post-2020 Climate Agreement Must be Consistent with 1992 Framework Treaty



Bonn, Germany – TODAY- The Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) group urged developed countries not to stray from the principles and provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change treaty and raise climate action ambition at the opening of this year’s first round of climate talks.

The current climate talks are pursued through two workstreams.  The first workstream deals with negotiations of a post 2020 agreement.  The second workstream primarily refers to addressing the lack of developed country emission reduction ambition and financial support for developing countries between now and 2020.

In both workstreams, the LMDC stressed in its opening statement[1], read by Ambassador Jaime Hermida Nicaragua head of delegation, that the ADP negotiations and the outcome shall be “under the Convention” and that the negotiations and the outcome shall be guided by and must be consistent with the principles and provisions of the Convention, especially the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.

The Group of Like-Minded Developing Countries on Climate Change (LMDC) includes: Bolivia, China, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, India, Iran, Iraq,  Malaysia, Mali, Nicaragua, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Venezuela.

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Earth Day Opinion: Helping Coral Ecosystems Survive a Changing Climate

By Dr. Tim McClanahan

As we mark Earth Day this year with a recognition of “the face of climate change,” it is clear that the greatest threat to coral reef ecosystems is rising sea temperatures.

With corals across the globe bleaching due to advancing ocean temperatures, many of the world’s coral reef experts believe these centers of marine biodiversity may become the first casualty of climate change. But while the news on corals has been largely grim, it is not beyond hope.

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Climate Change Drives Spread of Invasive Plants in Cuba

HAVANA, Apr 11 (IPS) – Botanist Ramona Oviedo has spent decades combing the countryside in Cuba to study and curb the spread of invasive plant species, a serious problem that has been aggravated by climate change.

Global warming “can worsen the impact of invasive plant species, which are more resistant than Cuba’s native flora,” Oviedo, a researcher at the Ecology and Systematics Institute (IES), said in an interview with IPS.

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Frozen Soil and Biodiversity


By Jo-Anne Nina Sewlal

One of my aims is to introduce the reader to new or unfamiliar sources of biodiversity. One such source is permafrost. This article will look at what permafrost is, where is it found, how it influences biodiversity and how it is being affected by our climate and what this means for our environment.

Permafrost or cryotic soil as it is also known is soil that maintains a temperature at or below the freezing point of water (0oC) for two or more years. It is found in high altitudes near the north and south poles, as well as in lower latitudes where it is found at high elevation like in the Rocky Mountains in North America and closer to home in the Andes in South America.