CDB boosts climate adaptation and capacity building projects
Posted in: Regional News | 18 May 2016 | 2218
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) increased its capacity-building work in the Region in 2015 focusing on climate adaptation, renewable energy, public sanitation, environmental awareness and sustainability programmes.
In this regard, financing was provided to help Haiti improve its population’s access to sanitation services. The Bank is also collaborating with the National Directorate of Water Supply and Sanitation (DINEPA), the agency charged with reforming this sector, to co-ordinate the Governance and Sanitation Training Programme, which began in December 2015 and will continue to April 2016.
The Programme, being conducted in French, comprises the delivery of The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR’s) 12-week Governance and Urban Sanitation online course and a five-day workshop to 41 technical- and management-level sanitation professionals from DINEPA, the ministries responsible for environment and health, and two non-government organisations.
In its 2015 Annual Report, the Bank notes that to ensure that environmental sustainability considerations are fully integrated in its operational work programme, CDB is promoting growth by investing in renewable energy (RE), strengthening critical infrastructure to withstand weather disasters, and the building of more robust communities. It is also strengthening environmental governance, management capacity and public awareness, at national and regional levels.
In compliance with the requirements of its Environmental and Social Review Procedures (ESRP), all investment projects were screened and categorised for potential impacts, to ensure that identified environmental and social risks were effectively managed.
CDB has also moved to prioritise the financing of climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives as well as ensure that these considerations are a central part of the Bank’s investment operations.
The John Compton Dam Rehabilitation Project in St. Lucia, the Anguilla Solar Photovoltaic Project and the Bahamas Water Supply Improvement Project for example, were screened and subjected to detailed vulnerability assessments and adaptation measures, which were explicitly incorporated in their design.
Given the significant investment in the St. Lucia Water and Sewerage Company’s (WASCO) capital programme, a similar approach is being taken to help strengthen WASCO’s capacity to withstand climate risks.
The Bank says climate risk assessments and the use of related screening tools are now mandatory in the preparation of country strategy papers (CSP) for each Borrowing Member Country (BMC). These were included in the CSP for the TCI, which was approved in October 2015.
In the area of disaster relief, CDB provided USD30 million to assist with immediate recovery efforts in Dominica response to the severe damage caused by Tropical Storm Erika. The funds were also to help with long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation. Emergency supplies and services were financed through a grant of USD200,000.
In addition, the Bank facilitated an Emergency Assistance Relief Grant of USD200,000 to Dominica from the IDB. An allocation of USD2.4 million helped the Government of Haiti to meet its annual insurance premium to the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility.
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) also received technical assistance support of USD98,313 to improve its procurement and contract administration systems.
To help with capacity building, CDB’s staff and technical personnel from several BMC institutions participated in a range of training activities designed to strengthen skills, improve knowledge and facilitate the dissemination of information to enhance awareness of climate change and disaster risk reduction issues.
These initiatives were targeted to achieve environmental sustainability outcomes.
In collaboration with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), 133 persons from public sector and non-governmental organisations in Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines were trained to use the CCCCC’s Online Risk Assessment Tool (CCORAL), which was developed to guide related decision making.
The Bank also updated the 2004 Sourcebook on the Integration of Natural Hazards into the Environmental Impact Assessment process, and hosted a workshop on this subject for environmental professionals from 12 BMCs and three regional institutions.
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