Tourism is seen worldwide, particularly in developing countries as a vehicle to generate employment as well
as foster economic growth. Worldwide, the sector employs over 200 million people, approximately 8 % of
SIDS are highly dependent on the revenues generated by the tourism sector and tourism related activities.
However the sector is highly sensitive to the adverse impacts of climate change and global warming. Such
climatic impacts on the sector include increased temperatures, precipitation changes, biodiversity loss, sea
level rise, disease, changes in travel costs and destination choice, economic impacts, coastal erosion, and the
intensification and frequency of weather related extreme events.
Given the importance of the tourism sector to address poverty reduction and foster economic growth in
many SIDS, there is an urgent need to adopt social, economic and climate responsive policies that will
encourage sustainable tourism. Such adaptation measures include diversifying a tourism portfolio of a
country in order to increase their adaptive capacity to the anticipated changes in the climate. Other measures
are targeted at restoring tourism driven products, such as coral reefs, fishing, beach nourishment and
mangroves. The case study of Belize is presented below highlighting efforts taken by the government of
Belize to respond to the adverse effects of climate change within the sector.
Tourism diversification in Belize
Stakeholder engagement: Ministry of tourism, business owners
Background: Belize economy is highly driven by tourism. The
sector generates approximately 17% of its GDP and indirectly supports other sectors from inter-industry
trade. However the sector is extremely vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate
change. The threat of rising sea levels, increased temperatures, tropical storms and
hurricanes, coral bleaching and over fishing, all of which are associated with climate change, have
affected large number of people visiting the country as well as the tourism employed population within
Belize. These findings are supported by a survey conducted in 2006 by the Ministry of tourism
which assessed the vulnerability of climate change on the tourism sector as well as examined adaptation
strategies to revive the products that drive tourism within the country.
Progress made and still on going: As of 2005, the government of
Belize has been targeting policies that focuses on reducing the exposure of the tourism sector to the
impacts of climate change. Such measures include the construction of sea walls to stem coastal
erosion, mangrove rehabilitation, beach nourishment and greater emphasis towards disaster preparedness
planning. Efforts will also be taken to preserve coral reefs, reduce agricultural pollution
and place fishing quotas off the coast of Belize.
The government of Belize is preparing to modify marketing strategies to promote inland attractions for
tourists in order to further diversify the tourism portfolio. These strategies include the
promotion of Mayan archaeological sites, limestone caves and tropical rainforests. Greater
emphasis will also be made on raising public awareness of the vulnerability to climate change as well
as the impacts of climate change on the business plans and strategies.
Lessons learned: Tourism is a key sector in driving the economy
of Belize. However, it is extremely vulnerable to the adverse affects of climate change. To
date the government of Belize has initiated several adaptation activities to respond to the growing
threat and recover tourism dependant products and the tourism employed sector. However, high levels of
public debt that has consumed greater portions of the national economy and limited access to capital
have constrained the capacity of the country to support and initiate costly and sustainable adaptation
measures to revive the tourism sector.
The adverse affects of climate change on agriculture have become a major concern for all countries. The
length of the growing season and the type of crop grown are both affected by changes in temperatures.
Climate change will also modify the availability of water, which will have a profound effect on agricultural
productivity. Poorer countries with predominantly rural economies and low levels of agricultural
diversification will be at most risk.
Adaptive approaches to minimize the adverse effects of climate change on agriculture, include initiating
reforestation and afforestation activities, improving irrigation efficiency, conserving soil moisture through
appropriate tillage methods.
Another adaptation strategy taken by farmers is crop diversification that has proven to be one of the most
popular farm level responses to climate variability and change. Several countries have successfully
made efforts to initiate crop diversification activities. These include: Mozambique , India , Sri
Lanka and Canada . The case study of Kenya is presented below.
Crop diversification in Kenya
Stakeholder engagement: The government of Kenya, farmers,
Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the World Bank.
Background: The Kenyan economy is highly dependant on
agriculture, it is one of the country’s main economic activity. Between 1996-2000
agriculture contributed 24.5% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and accounts for approximately
70% of the country’s export earnings. Maize is Kenya’s most stable crop, however
coffee, tea, and sugar cane are also grown and sold commercially. The agricultural sector
however, is extremely vulnerable to the adverse effects and impacts posed by climate change, especially
during the summer season. A reduction in water availability triggered by higher temperatures
during the summer months (March - May) have greatly reduced crop yield and as a result reduced net crop
revenue, leaving the Kenyan economy vulnerable.
Progress made and still ongoing: The growing threat of
the adverse impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector has prompted the government of Kenya
to initiate economic diversification adaptation strategies at both national level and micro
level. Such initiatives taken by the government to promote crop diversification at a national
level include the removal of agricultural subsidies, encouraging land use zoning and introducing
differential land tax systems for promoting crop diversification. At a local level, farmers are
encouraged to diversify their crop portfolio to increase their adaptive capacity to climate
A survey was carried out in 2006 by the World Bank/GEF and interviewed 800 farmers from different
climatic farming zones in Kenya. The study focused on the potential impacts of climate
variability and climate change on farmer households and agricultural production. The
purpose of the survey was to also identify micro-level adaptation strategies adopted by farmers to
significantly reduce the vulnerability of the sector and their associated livelihoods to the
anticipated future impacts of climate change. Such strategies included the diversification and
intensification of crop production, changes in land use and well as altering the timing of operations
that were adopted to address the long-term climatic variations such as increased temperatures and a
moisture reduction. The most popular adaptation measure adopted by farmers was crop
diversification, which was adopted by 37% of the households, followed by tree planting 16%.
Lessons learnt: Kenya has an agriculture driven
economy. However, the sector and the country’s economy is highly sensitive to the adverse
affects of climate change. In the last decade the government has been playing a critical role in
initiating and encouraging polices targeted at farmers to diversify their crops to adapt to the
anticipated effects of climate change. According to a GEF/ World Bank study in 2006 the main
constraints for the farmers to the government policies has been lack of information about short-term
climatic variations, lack of knowledge of appropriate adaptations, lack of credit or savings or lack of
The energy sector is highly sensitive to the adverse effects of climate change. Climate change is expected to
affect both the supply of and demand for energy production. Energy diversification can be seen as an
adaptation measure to increase resilience within the energy sector in responding to the anticipated impacts
of climate change. One approach would be to further expand the portfolio of energy sector (adopting new
forms of energy production such as solar, wind and hydro power).
Solar power is one of the attractive options for energy diversification because one billion people currently
reside in areas suitable for its utilization. Concentrating solar power plants (CSP systems) has proved
to be cheaper than photovoltaic technology, and fossil fuel back-up or heat storage guarantees sustain
power. New technological concepts, such as the integrated solar combined cycle, direct steam generation
and molten salts for heat storage and continuous power production, are in place already. Wind energy is
already a major energy resource in some countries like Morocco, Egypt and Oman. Geothermal power is
available in Turkey, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. There is a huge potential
for harnessing energy from water and biomass resources in Egypt, Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and
Climate change could also affect the supply of and demand for energy produced from renewable sources of
energy, as was highlighted in Albania’s first national communication to the United Nations.
Approximately 80% of Albania’s energy is generated by hydropower. However, this form of renewable
energy is extremely vulnerable to the anticipated decrease in precipitation rates associated with future
climate projections. The World Bank together with the Albanian government conducted a workshop in 2009
in Tirana. The purpose of the workshop was to understand the potential risks and management of the
adverse effect of climate change on the energy sector.