Rapid Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment: The Eastern and Southern Caribbean Regional Report
This technical assessment report reviews the application of a rapid climate change vulnerability assessment in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean Region that included Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The report provides an overview of the background of the areas and the assessment, methodology, predicted effects of climate change, institutional and legislative framework, impacts of development projects, and ongoing projects on climate change vulnerability, as well as priority issues for each location.
Because tourism is a leading industry for the region, climate change and its effects must be considered and appropriate action must be taken to protect the lives, livelihoods, and economy of these vulnerable islands. According to the report, climate change is predicted to increase the Eastern and Southern Caribbean countries’ mean annual atmospheric temperature, sea surface temperature, and intensity of tropical storms, and will either decrease or increase the monthly precipitation. A 1-meter rise in sea level together with a 1-in-100-year storm surge by 2080 is predicted to seriously affect the tourist resorts of the eight island countries and impose costs that would hamper the economies of all ten countries.
Excerpt from the report:
To assist the 10 countries to effectively resolve several issues relating to the countries’ vulnerability (gathered from the qualitative data that were collected through interviews and focus group discussions), we recommend that USAID finance measures to:
- Realign their financing priorities toward conservation measures as a means to increase their resilience to the effects of climate change;
- Improve the level and effectiveness of participation of resource users and vulnerable groups in the conservation of ecosystems;
- Plan and regulate the use of marine protected areas;
- Increase their capabilities for collecting, analyzing, and using reliable, current data related to climate change;
- Strengthen the capabilities of their public and nongovernmental conservation institutions;
- Increase their capacity to formulate and enforce regulations for marine protected areas;
- Prepare reliable assessments of the effects of climate change on family units, users of natural resources, and vulnerable groups;
- Identify the problems and opportunities related to increasing investment in the production of clean energy;
- Strengthen regional cooperation in establishing and monitoring indicators of climate change and its effects; and
- Strengthen links between infrastructure projects and the conservation of terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
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