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WORLD BANK AND GEF SIGN US$2.1 MILLION GRANT TO PROTECT COASTAL AREAS IN THE CARIBBEAN

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) — The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has been granted $2.1 million US from the World Bank through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support a pilot adaptation program in three Caribbean Small Island States (Dominica, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines).

The CCCCC, a legal entity of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), will manage the grant resources as implementing agency, assisted by a national coordinator of each participating country. The agreement for the grant was signed on Wednesday, 3 October, for a project which seeks to reduce the impacts of climate change, including on biodiversity and land degradation along coastal areas.

The new pilot project intends to show how adaptation planning and assessment can be practically translated into national policy, sustainable development planning, and poverty reduction.

The Belize-based Centre, a key achievement of the previous World Bank projects on Climate Change in the Caribbean, is in the process of becoming a “regional centre of excellence” in capacity building, technical assistance, and coordination, as well as a support mechanism to the CARICOM countries in the areas of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“Adaptation to climate change is a critical economic, social and development issue in Caribbean countries,” said Caroline Anstey, World Bank Director for the Caribbean. “By enhancing climate change management, we will be able to better mitigate the adverse effects that small islands are particularly susceptible to, and, at the same time, make existing development investments more resilient to climate change and extreme weather events,” she added.

The new grant complements the goals of the Mainstreaming Adaptation to Climate Change in the Caribbean (MACC) Project, which is also based in Belize, and applies the lessons and information gathered through the Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change (CPACC) project by supporting targeted adaptation measures, which seek to reduce the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and land degradation.

Specifically, the project seeks to:

  • Preserve the ecosystem functioning in Morne Diablotin and Morne Trois Pitons National Parks in Dominica that are affected by climate change impacts.
  • Maintain the health of coastal ecosystems in the Vieux Fort area being affected by climate change and other stressors is stabilized.
  • Incorporate lessons from strengthening of key infrastructure into local hazards management plan and building guidelines in Saint Lucia.
  • Stabilize population of remaining Black Mangrove stands in Union Island (measured through area, density and productivity) affected by climate change impacts.
  • Complete Bequia island integrated natural resource management plan, including climate change concerns and incorporate into national planning process.
  • Stabilize diversity of coral reefs and associated species (measured by stability in the number and density of species over project lifetime) in the Spring Village area, affected by climate change.

The project activities will benefit from various partnerships undertaken to improve the access to climate change data and to facilitate the identification of adequate adaptation measures.

The project costs will be financed by this GEF grant of US$ 2.1 million, with co-financing from: (i) the three participating countries in the amount of US$1.5 million; and (ii) other donors (US$ 1.9 million), for a total of US$ 5.5 million. The project was approved by the World Bank’s Executive Board on September 8, 2006.

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