In 2015, the Caribbean was “the region that could” on the climate change scene. Countries rallied under the ‘1.5 to Stay Alive’ banner, in the face of an existential threat. The now former Sustainable Development Minister of Saint Lucia Dr. James Fletcher emerged as a climate change champion at the time. But now, three years on, the scientist is giving regional climate action a C- in an assessment.
Trinidad and Tobago unveiled its monitoring, reporting and verification system in mid-March with a flourish, with government authorities underscoring the launch of the Monitoring, Reporting, Verification as a milestone in that country’s efforts to reduce its emissions in line with its commitments under the 2016 Paris agreement.
From an influx of sargassum in near-shore waters, to fish venturing further out to sea to find cooler, more oxygenated water, fishers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are battling the vagaries of climate change. The country is doing what it can to respond.
Karlis Noel spends his days in his lab in the small, picturesque community of Laborie in St. Lucia. The former fisherman’s story might sound like an overnight success, but his present accolades in the field of engineering are the result of years of hard work and an unceasing drive to make life easier for communities in the throes of a water crisis.
For several decades, Guyana has been using mangroves to protect its coasts against natural hazards, and the country believes its mangrove forests should be included in programmes like the REDD+ of United Nations, in order to access financing to continue their restoration and maintenance, as they complement miles of seawalls that help to prevent flooding.
In the tiny eastern Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, proverbs relating to the weather are very common.
Everyone knows that “Who has cocoa outside must look out for rain”, has nothing to do with the drying of the bean from which chocolate is made or the sudden downpours common in this tropical nation.
Caribbean countries have been signalling their willingness to dedicate time and resources to implement and sustain effective multi-hazard early warning systems.
The Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator launched last year June with the backing of Virgin’s Richard Branson has given itself five years to help the region become climate resilient.
In recent years Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have experienced escalated climate change impacts from hurricanes, tropical storms and other weather-related events thanks to global warming of 1.0 ° Celsius (C) above pre-industrial levels. And it has had adverse effects on particularly vulnerable countries and communities.
A group of youngsters in the Caribbean who promote environmental protection in the region is on a drive to empower other youth to address some of the big issues facing their generation.
The Caribbean will not be left out of the negotiations at COP24 – the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – that will take place from Dec. 3 to 14 in Katowice, Poland.
Water-scarce Grenadians will soon get some relief through a Green Climate Fund-approved project to be launched next year that will make Grenada’s water sector more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
As the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – is set to take place from December 3-14 in Katowice, Poland, the Caribbean insists on a seat at the table of negations.
As a child growing up in Mayreau four decades ago, Filius “Philman” Ollivierre remembers a 70-foot-wide span of land, with the sea on either side that made the rest of the 1.5-square mile island one with Mount Carbuit.
If there is one lesson that Dominican Reginald Austrie has learnt from the devastation Hurricane Maria brought to his country last September, it is the need for “resilience, resilience, resilience”.
And it is not just because he is his country’s minister of agriculture.
Recent research at a centre in Guyana shows that some types of butterflies and lizards in the Amazon have been seeking shelter from the heat as Amazonian temperatures rise.
In the face of the many challenges posed by climate change, Panos Caribbean, a global network of institutes working to give a voice to poor and marginalised communities, says the Caribbean must raise its voice to demand and support the global temperature target of 1.5 °C.
Caribbean leaders want larger countries to pick up the pace at which they are working to meet the climate change challenge and keep global warming from devastating whole countries, including the most vulnerable ones like those in the Caribbean.
In one of Belize’s forest reserves in the Maya Golden Landscape, a group of farmers is working with non-governmental organisations to mitigate and build resilience to climate change with a unique agroforestry project.
Recent huge offshore oil discoveries are believed to have set Guyana– one of the poorest countries in South America–on a path to riches. But they have also highlighted the country’s development challenges and the potential impact of an oil boom.
Guyana is forging ahead with plans to exploit vast offshore reserves of oil and gas, even while speaking eloquently of its leadership in transitioning to a green economy at a recent political party congress addressed by the country's president.