Every Member State within CARICOM is vulnerable to the effects of climate change and poor environmental management. Climate change is a significant threat to Member States within the Community and the Caribbean Sea itself. The Region is prone to an increased incidence of severe weather, coastal zone erosion, effects on flora, fauna and agriculture and other concerns. In that regard, CARICOM will strongly advocate for the Region’s special needs and considerations as it relates to building environmental resilience, in the context of the global discourse on SIDS (in 2014) and the UN Post 2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals.
Further, over the plan period, the following strategic initiatives will be pursued:
- Advancing Climate Adaptation and Mitigation;
- Advancing Disaster Mitigation and Management;
- Enhancing Management of the Environment and Natural Resources.
To reduce vulnerability to disaster risk and the effects of climate change and ensure effective management of the natural resources across Member States.
- ENV 1 – Advance Climate Adaptation and Mitigation viz.
- Ensure the periodic updating of the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change and the Implementation Plan 2011 – 2021 to guarantee continued currency with national and regional development imperatives;
- Pursue the full operationalization of the Implementation Plan and secure complete integration of its elements into national and regional development agendas;
- Prepare Member States to be in a state of climate finance readiness;
- Support the development of a compendium of projects of Member States for action by the CCCCC and its partners to leverage the financing to support implementation of national resilience-building initiatives;
- Promote actions to derive benefits from the international response to climate change.
- ENV 2 – Advance Disaster Mitigation and Management – Focusing on a comprehensive approach to disaster management which involves the management of all hazards, throughout all phases of the disaster management cycle and involving all peoples and sectors of the economy. This integrated risk management approach will center on:
- Integrating Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) into national policies, strategies and legislation;
- Strengthening national and regional institutional capacities for effective support of CDM implementation, monitoring and evaluation (including mobilisation of resources);
- Enhancing preparedness and capacity for effective and efficient coordination of response and recovery at the national and regional levels (including public awareness and education);
- Building an infrastructure for fact-based policy and decision-making;
- Improving integrated risk management at the sectoral level for key priority sectors.
- ENV 3 – Enhance Management of the Environment and Natural Resources – Legal and Regulatory reform to improve land use planning and management; pollution prevention and control; waste management; building national and institutional capacities to conduct and use environmental and social impact assessments (including climate change screening/proofing); promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy options (linked to Climate Adaption interventions above); promoting sustainable use and management of biodiversity; promoting integrated Coastal Zone Management; promoting conservation, management and sustainable use of the marine living and forest resources; and enhancing regional capacity to address ocean governance issues associated with, inter alia, proliferation of alien and exotic species, marine litter and biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction.
- Building capacity of critical skills will remain a focus over the Plan period. Gaps in expertise still exist in Member States; for example, as it relates to change adaption, natural resource and environmental management in public sector and resource mobilization. These gaps will be addressed through training and development as well as improved transfer of skills from Community Institutions.
- Climate change and environmental and natural resource management present a significant opportunity for the Region to access resources for development. Building capacity for, and adopting a coordinated approach to, resource mobilization as a Region, will be important in the Plan period.
- The Region needs access to appropriate technologies that will enhance climate change adaptation, resource efficiency and measuring and monitoring of environmental changes. The issue of transfer of, and access to, affordable technology is critical in this regard.