A recent UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report on world heritage sites in danger from climate change received widespread media attention after the Australian government requested the removal of a chapter on the Great Barrier Reef.
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.
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.
Henry Prince has lived in this fishing village for more than six decades. Prince, 67, who depends on the sea for his livelihood, said he has been catching fewer and fewer fish, and the decrease is taking a financial toll on him and other fisher folk throughout the island nation of Grenada.
Caribbean nations have begun work on a plan to ‘climate smart’ the region's fisheries as part of overall efforts to secure food supplies.
A recent study suggests that one of the multiple threats to coral reefs contains both the problem and solution.
Home to the second longest barrier reef in the world and the largest in the Western Hemisphere, which provides jobs in fishing, tourism and other industries which feed the lifeblood of the economy, Belize has long been acutely aware of the need to protect its marine resources from both human and natural activities.
Fermín Gómez, a 53-year-old Panamanian fisherman, pushes off in his boat, the “Tres Hermanas,” every morning at 06:00 hours to fish in the waters off Taboga island. Five hours later he returns to shore.
Local fishermen are singing the blues over a sweeping set of new ocean management regulations, signed into law by the Barbuda Council, to zone their coastal waters, strengthen fisheries management, and establish a network of marine sanctuaries.
Increased effort is needed to protect Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, which is in serious decline and will likely deteriorate further in the future, according to a new report.
Marine environmentalist Eli Fuller, who for the past two decades has been exploring the coastline of Antigua and Barbuda, warns that while there has been “dramatic changes” to coral reefs since he was a little boy, “it’s getting worse and worse.”
A marine biologist has cautioned that the mass deaths of starfish along the United States west coast in recent months could also occur in the Caribbean region because of climate change, threatening the vital fishing sector.
The lionfish, with its striking russet and white stripes and huge venomous outrigger fins, wasn’t hard to spot under a coral reef in 15 feet of clear water. Nor was it a challenge to spear it.