USAID/USFS Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Prioritization
This assessment report covers a two-week, in-country vulnerability assessment in Jamaica that considered expected climate challenges such as intense storms, rising temperatures, rainfall variability, and more. These impacts will create significant impact on key economic sectors including agriculture and tourism. Climate impacts in the country could also have negative effects including increased erosion and pest outbreaks, decrease crop yields and water supply, and damage beaches, coral reefs, and infrastructure.
An interdisciplinary team conducted the assessment, which included a literature review, a two-day stakeholder workshop, field visits and follow up meetings with key institutions. The assessment recommendations are structured in two phases: 1) support ongoing agricultural activities to increase climate change resiliency and improved planning at the policy and project level, and 2) develop a replicable program that models integrated watershed management for cross-sectoral climate change adaptation in one or two sub-watersheds. Jamaica is a small island developing state and requires investment to sufficiently prepare for climate change including improvement of its risk information framework, climate data and data management systems, physical planning system and land use practices, and more.
Excerpt from the report:
The team identified a number of gaps that inhibit Jamaica’s ability to adapt to climate change. The most relevant are the following:
- A lack of clear coordination between key actors and a poor synthesis, dissemination and use of existing climate information. As a result, global climate change concepts and adaptation strategies are not consistently integrated into relevant policies and activities.
- Insufficient understanding of how climate change will impact different sectors. For example, key government personnel lack the capacity to plan and implement adaptation strategies.
- Disjointed research efforts, uncoordinated data management, and inadequate access to information by farmers. Weather forecasts and climate projections need to be improved and made actionable for farmers.