CLIMATE CHANGE AND DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
Climate change and biodiversity in the insular Caribbean (2007-2009)
This project forms part of an initiative by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to identify the actual and potential impacts of climate change in a number of biodiversity hotspots around the world.
CANARI was selected by MacArthur to carry out a study in the islands of the Caribbean, focusing on increasing understanding of and consensus on what is known, and perhaps more importantly what is not known, about the predicted climate change trends and their impact on biodiversity in Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS). The aim was to develop a regional research agenda and capacity needs assessment to address identified gaps and to consider how protected area management, biodiversity protection, and conservation policy could best address climate change in the region.
The project was guided by a multidisciplinary Steering Committee, coordinated by CANARI and chaired by Professor John Agard, Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad, and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Other members included climatologists, biodiversity experts, and policy analysts from academia, civil society, government agencies throughout the Caribbean as well as representatives of the inter-governmental institutions and international organisations.
Three expert working groups were formed to undertake the assessment of the state of knowledge on the expected impacts of global climate change on Caribbean biodiversity, producing the following reports:
A regional conference was held on 24-25 September 2008, to analyse the working group findings, identify the gaps in knowledge and develop a regional research agenda, and discuss the implications for policy.
Following the regional conference two documents were produce to summarise the findings of the research and the policy implications, each in English, French and Spanish:
The project has identified a number of research areas which CANARI intends to take forward, notably in the areas of:
- evaluating the effectiveness of regional climate change communications efforts, with the view to developing a communications strategy which utilises the most appropriate tools and approaches to effect behavioural change; and
- research into the linkages between climate change, biodiversity and tourism, with a focus on increasing the resilience of the sector and the many livelihoods that depend on it.
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