Online climate risk assessment tool for the Caribbean

Online climate risk assessment tool for the Caribbean

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

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BELMOPAN, Belize — The Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) says it will launch a seminal on-line support tool in St Lucia on Friday in keeping with the thrust to promote a culture of risk management across the region.

St Lucia's Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony will address the launch of the Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation TooL (CCORAL) that will also be attended by various stakeholders from across the region.

The new initiative, which has been endorsed by Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, will promote climate smart development by helping to embed a risk management ethic in decision-making processes across the region.

"The development of the risk assessment tool [is] an extremely important asset in assessing the risk from the impacts of climate change in the Caribbean region," said Dr Pachauri.

The CCCCC said that the Caribbean countries and the 40 million people who live there, are in a state of increased vulnerability to climate change.

It said higher temperatures, sea level rise, and increased hurricane intensity threaten lives, property and livelihoods throughout the region.

"Against this background, CCORAL will help to boost the capacity of these countries to assess their risk amidst a variable and changing climate, while creating pathways for the identification and implementation of adaptation and mitigation options."

CCCCC executive director Dr Kenrick Leslie said CCORAL is a practical approach to cost-effective climate-resilient investment projects.

"CCORAL will aid the region in defining approaches and solutions that will provide benefits now and in the future by adopting 'no-regret' actions and flexible measures."

He said it is intended to be used primarily by agencies at the regional and national level with responsibility for development, planning and finance, the private sector and non-governmental organisations.

"Ministries of finance and/or planning are central to the initial efforts to anchor this tool in climate resilience-building decisions. Notwithstanding, civil society organisations, universities, financial services and development partners, local communities can also use CCORAL to inform actions that must embed climate considerations. The tool is available to all member countries through an open source online platform to be unveiled at the launch," said the CCCCC.

CCCCC Programme Development Specialist, Keith Nichols, said "the development of the risk assessment tool emerged after an extensive consultation process with regional stakeholders to ensure authenticity, relevance and ownership".

It is a direct response to the requirement of the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change and the landmark Implementation Plan (IP) that were endorsed by Caricom Heads in 2009 and 2012, respectively.

"The IP acknowledges that a transformational change in mindset, institutional arrangements, operating systems, collaborative approaches and integrated planning mechanisms are essential to deliver the strategic elements and goals of the Regional Framework and to enable climate smart development by embedding a risk management ethic in decision-making," the CCCCC said.

The CCORAL has been developed by the CCCCC with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development and the Climate Development and Knowledge Network.

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