BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The European Union (EU) and the Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) have partnered to support the countries in the Caribbean in their efforts in building resilience and adapting to the impacts of climate change. This assistance is being provided through a new grant agreement recently signed between the EU and the CMO on June 1, 2021, for a regional initiative to be implemented by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH).
With a budget of €9 million, new climate products and data platforms will be developed to improve access to and uptake of climate information, which will benefit practitioners in the region in climate-sensitive sectors as well as citizens across the Caribbean ACP countries. These improvements will support more targeted use of climate data in a number of sectors that are key to addressing the needs of vulnerable communities in the Caribbean including health, water, and agriculture.
The initiative will also accelerate the adoption and implementation of the emerging Caribbean Framework for Climate Services (CFCS) at the regional and national level. Led by the CIMH, the CFCS will improve climate forecasts and strengthen the capacity of Caribbean countries to deliver sector-specific climate services and information. This user-driven information will support actions to reduce vulnerability the tourism, energy and other key sectors.
CIMH principle, Dr David A. Farrell noted: “This Action will advance climate services value chains in the agriculture and food security, water and health sectors in three selected countries, Guyana, Jamaica and Dominica respectively. However, all CMO Member States will benefit from the transfer of knowledge and know-how from these pilots. The action will also promote exchanges among producers and end users of climate information and services and will expose both CIMH and NMHS’s staff to capacity building opportunities and new partnerships with international research and development institutions.” Dr Farrell added: “The investment will ultimately enhance the competence of regional professionals to develop, deliver and utilize climate services to advance the region’s climate resilience.”
During her visit to the CIMH EU’s ambassador, Malgorzata Wasilewska stated: “The provision of sector-specific climate information builds the resilience of vulnerable groups. For example, climate services for the agriculture sector provides the foundation for vulnerable groups to make risk-informed decisions that safeguard their livelihoods in a context of increasing climate variability, extremes and change”. She added: “This project is in line with the support that the European Union is offering to the Region to increase the resilience and capacity of the Caribbean. Therefore, coordination between the different organizations is key to achieving our common goal.”
The CIMH provides climate services, and In some cases co-produce and co-deliver, to technical organizations such as 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 Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).
Since 2010, with the re-establishment of the Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum, the climate-sensitive sectors have been better able to access and integrate sector-tailored climate early warning information to enhance their decision-making processes.