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.
With less than six months to go before the next full United Nations Conference of the Parties also known as COP 21 – widely regarded as a make-or-break moment for an agreement on global action on climate change – Caribbean nations are still hammering out the best approach to the talks.
Despite its highly variable climate, Guyana is the only Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country that enjoys food security. But rapid climate change could pose a challenge not only for Guyana, but for its Caribbean neigbours who depend on the South American country for much of their produce.
For Jamaica, planting more trees as a way to build resilience is one of the highest priorities of the government's climate change action plan. So when Cockpit Country residents woke up to bulldozers in the protected area, they rallied to get answers from the authorities.
St. Lucian farmer Anthony Herman was hoping that next year he’d manage to recoup some of the losses he sustained after 70 per cent of his cashew crop withered and died in the heat of the scorching southern Caribbean sun.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have championed the phrase “1.5 to stay alive” in demanding that global temperature increases be kept as far below 1.5 degrees C as possible to limit the anticipated devastating effects of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable countries.