Climate change continues to be a priority for environmentalists and even a number of governments. More information being released though indicates that the Caribbean countries are among the first to feel the effects of climate change. In an article published on November third on the Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the UN warned that small islands in the Caribbean will be the first territories in the region to suffer the effects of rising sea levels due to climate change. The predictions as reported before are grim; Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program, Achim Steiner, said climate change threatens the Caribbean’s tourism industries and, eventually, their “very existence”.  The report indicates that sea-level rise will have an “immediate impact in economic terms” on the Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and Steiner added that the Caribbean’s tourism infrastructure is 99 per cent along the coastline. In a clearer synopsis Steiner explained that small island nations are sometimes only six to thirteen feet above sea level therefore their very existence is being threatened. Coral reefs are dying leaving countries more vulnerable to the impact of more intense hurricanes and other extreme weathers. As we have reported before, Belize has been listed among the many Caribbean countries that will see the imminent negative impact of climate change. But over the weekend, in speaking with representatives from environmental conservation groups, we understand that there is work afoot to help dealing with this impact. The Alliance for Conservation and Development, a community based nongovernmental organization focused on promoting conservation and sustainable development in Corozal is heading the work. Joel Verde, Executive Director of the group says that they are working with the Chunox, Copper Bank and Sarteneja communities to develop an adaptation plan on Climate change.


Screen_Shot_2014-11-04_at_7.38.34_PMJoel Verde – Executive Director, Alliance for Conservation and Development


“We know that its predicted that the northern portion of  Belize where northern Belize is the more vulnerable to climate change, is predicted that this part of the country would be the most impacted by a series of things, increase in temperatures, increase intensity of thunder storms and flooding and the project is basically trying to do some awareness programs based on the community knowledge we want to extract information so that we can create a plan for encouraging people to really implement those things that we will identify along with those same things we are doing a lot of monitoring activities so we will be establishing like weather stations, we will be doing water quality just to get a sense of how water temperatures are varying as time goes and we are going to use all these information to come up with a really reasonable plan and to also inform the community about how these things are changing and these things will affect their likely hoods and so we can be more aware of climate change and adopt to it.”


Several other countries in the region are engaging in similar efforts. In Barbados for example, conservation groups are engaging in energy efficiency efforts and renewable deployment are now on the agenda of investment and national development planning. Their efforts have been recognized by the UN which decided to mark 2014 World Environment Day in Barbados.

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