Caribbean Experts Study Climate Change in Pacific Atoll Countries
29 May 2012: Two Caribbean climate experts are visiting the central Pacific island of Kiribati to study and learn lessons from the climate challenges faced by atoll countries. The visit was arranged as part of the UN Development Programme's (UNDP) project on “South-South Cooperation between Pacific and Caribbean small island developing States (SIDS) on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management."
David Farrell, Caribbean Institute of Meteorology, and Lorna Inniss, Barbados Coastal Zone Management Unit, visited sea level rise monitoring gauges and a sea wall constructed to protect an airport runway from the ocean, and spoke with a technical team testing drinking water for salinity. They also met with officials from several government ministries about how climate change is already affecting Kiribati residents and government responses to manage these impacts. They also discussed with the Education Ministry its efforts to educate children on climate change.
The South-South project promotes sharing of knowledge and experiences between the Caribbean and Pacific SIDS on responding to climate change and building resilience to natural hazards, while identifying possible areas of cooperation between the two regions. It is supported by UNDP's Special Unit for South-South Cooperation and the UNDP-Japan Partnership Fund.
The coordination for this visit on the Caribbean side was undertaken by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). CDEMA is a regional inter-governmental agency established in September 1991 by an Agreement of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to be responsible for disaster management. [CDEMA Press Release]