As unusually heavy rainfall battered Trinidad's east coast a year ago, a lagoon here was overwhelmed, flooding a major access road to the island’s south-eastern communities. As the flood waters poured over Manzanilla beach, they washed sand away, caved in sections of road and collapsed a seawall at a tourist beach facility. Further damages were also incurred with the flooding of homes and agricultural plots.
Negotiators from the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are intent on striking a deal to keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels, but many fear that a 10-year-old agreement to buy cheap petroleum from Venezuela puts their discussions in jeopardy.
This past summer Jamaicans sweltered through their third consecutive year of reduced rainfall resulting in wild fires, a crop-killing drought and daily water cuts.
Climate change represents a clear and growing threat to food security in the Caribbean with differing rainfall patterns, water scarcity, heat stress and increased climatic variability making it difficult for farmers to meet demand for crops and livestock.
Award-winning St. Lucian poet and playwright Kendel Hippolyte thinks that Caribbean nationals should view the Earth as their mother.
A leading geothermal expert warns that the small island states in the Caribbean face “a ticking time bomb” due to the effects of global warming and suggests a shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy is the only way to defuse it.
With time running out for Jamaica's coral reefs, local marine scientists are taking things into their own hands, rebuilding the island’s reefs and coastal defences one tiny fragment at a time - a step authorities say is critical to the country’s climate change and disaster mitigation plans.
Thanks to its varied geography and climate, the Caribbean region is one of the world's greatest centers of unique biodiversity. With most people living near the coast, marine ecosystems, including mangroves, beaches, lagoons and cays, are essential not only for biodiversity, but as protection from storms. Many are now threatened, along with the coral reefs the region is famous for.
Threats from climate change, declining reefs, overfishing and possible loss of several commercial species are driving the rollout of new policy measures to keep Caribbean fisheries sustainable.
Fifteen years ago, Stephanie Browne, a former Member of Parliament in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, needed only to look at the beach outside her house to know why her community in Union Island was called “Big Sand”.
Guyana's new president, David Granger, sits down with IPS correspondent Desmond Brown to talk about how his country is preparing for climate change – and hoping to avert the worst before it happens.
The Eastern Caribbean nation of Grenada is following the example of its bigger neighbours Belize and Jamaica in taking action to restore coral reefs, which serve as frontline barriers against storm waves.
Despite being a relatively small source of greenhouse gas emissions, the Caribbean region has been taking steps to introduce renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal, which also reduce its dependence on expensive oil imports.
Starting in 1999, the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) of Trinidad and Tobago began a 10-year effort to map the country’s water quality. They started to notice a worrying trend.
From constructing barriers against rising sea levels to rehabilitating mangroves and providing agrometeorology services, the Caribbean isn’t waiting for a new international agreement on climate change to start implementing adaptation measures. But funding to roll out such projects on the necessary scale remains a key issue, and many communities remain desperately vulnerable to storms and flooding.