ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE CARIBBEAN
CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (CIDA)
September 2001 to August 2004
The US$2 million Adapting to Climate Change in the Caribbean (ACCC) Project was implemented in 12 CARICOM member countries and was executed through the Canadian Executing Agency (CEA) which comprised Canadian Firms, de Romilly and de Romilly Limited and Global Change Strategies International (GCSI). Day-to-day implementation was the responsibility of the Regional Project Implementation Unit, originally established for the Global Environment Facility (GEF)/World Bank “Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change“ (CPACC) project
The project was designed to maintain momentum on climate change issues after CPACC which officially concluded in December 2001, and to lead into a later follow-on program being proposed to the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The Adapting to Climate Change in the Caribbean (ACCC) project built on the initial experience gained through the CPACC project, and addressed key areas that had been identified as priorities by the 12 participating Caribbean countries.
This project, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), served, in part, as a bridge between CPACC and the Mainstreaming Adaptation to Climate Change in the Caribbean (MACC) project for which it contributes an integral component (see Figure 1 – Source: World Bank)
Like CPACC, the ACCC project has nine components, which built upon the former project’s experiences in order to consolidate, extend and make sustainable climate change responses. A key objective of this project was to create conditions under which the region will be able to sustain climate change activities at the conclusion of the CPACC project.
Through this initiative, the approach to adaptation in the Caribbean evolved to include assessments of the likely impacts on key sectors such as water, agriculture and human health, as well as defining appropriate responses at the community, national and regional level. Most importantly, comprehensive public education and outreach programs have been recognized as a critical mechanism for mainstreaming climate change adaptation planning and management, and such programs now constitute essential elements of all national and regional climate change initiatives.
The project has fostered closer technical collaboration with Non-CARICOM countries in the Wider Caribbean countries and the South Pacific, strengthened regional technical capacity and established tools for the integration of risk management strategies into national physical planning frameworks. Extensive training has been provided on two comprehensive adaptation risk management tools that have been developed through the project, namely:
Caribbean Risk Management Techniques for Climate Change
Guide to the Integration of Climate Change Adaptation in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Process
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A post graduate program in climate change that has been established under the project at the University of the West Indies will ensure that the region will continue to benefit from the skills and expertise of trained technicians.
One of the eagerly anticipated outputs from the ACCC project was the outcome from efforts to collaborate on and define local statistical scenarios and regional models for climate change using most recent (IPCC, UK and Canadian) techniques. Development and use of a Regional Climate Model downscaled from an Atmosphere-Ocean Global Climate Model is expected to contribute to scenario development and address deficiencies in existing global models that cannot capture the small islands of the Caribbean.
Building upon the successes of the CPACC and ACCC programs, there emerged a need for a permanent mechanism to address climate change issues in the region. The idea to create a Regional Climate Change Centre was born. The ACCC program assisted the development of such a Center through the formulation of a Detailed Project Design and Business Plan for the Regional Climate Change Centre.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), established in 2003, will serve as a regional mechanism to anchor, support and sustain the program of action on climate change adaptation for the Caribbean, consistent with the Region’s position before the Conference of Parties (COP) and the meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies on Science and Technology (STAP) to the UNFCCC. Establishment of a Climate Change Centre in the region mirrors similar initiatives for the strengthening of institutional capacity in this field in Latin America and the rest of the world. It also is in direct response to the recommendations contained in the Institutional Development Initiative (IDI) of the UNFCCC, which has called for the establishment of “Regional Centres of Excellence in Climate Change” at the Fifth Conference of Parties.