Climate services in the Caribbean takes a step forward

Representatives from the Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI), the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC), the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), representing six regional climate sensitive sectors, recently met with officials from the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) at the Institute’s Husbands, St. James, Barbados headquarters.

The representatives explored avenues for improved, new transformational partnerships to support the development and delivery of sector specific early warning climate information that will inform sector planning and decision-making. Also present at this inaugural meeting were representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), the Climate Studies Group of the Mona Campus at the University of the West Indies (UWI/CSGM), the Barbados Office of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean.

As part of the meeting, representatives from the Jamaica Meteorological Service, the Barbados Water Authority, the Barbados Coastal Zone Management Unit, and the Barbados Ministry of Agriculture demonstrated the development and use of sector specific climate products and services at the national level.

As part of the meeting, representatives from the Jamaica Meteorological Service, the Barbados Water Authority, the Barbados Coastal Zone Management Unit, and the Barbados Ministry of Agriculture demonstrated the development and use of sector specific climate products and services at the national level.

Meeting participants agreed to the establishment of a Consortium to champion the design, development and delivery of tailored climate products and services to inform planning and decision-making in their respective sectors with specifics on the functioning of the Consortium to be finalized. Specific actions to be supported by the Consortium over the next 18-months include;

(i) the initiation of plans to develop climate early warning information systems,

(ii) increase institutional capacity and infrastructure to enhance climate service development and delivery and

(iii) enhance capacity in the targeted sectors to absorb and effectively utilize climate services. Building and sustaining the actions of the Consortium will enhance the resilience of the participating sectors to long-term climate change and increasing climate variability.

The work of the Consortium will be supported under a new initiative- Programme for Building Regional Climate Capacity in the Caribbean (BRCCC Programme). Under an agreement signed in January 2014, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide USD 5.085 million over three years (2014-2017) to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which will work in partnership with CIMH to implement the BRCCC Programme.

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