The Ministry of Local Government and Environment will host the expert meeting on adaptation for SIDS of the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean regions, which takes place from February 5 to 7, 2007, in Kingston, Jamaica. It is being organized by the UNFCCC in collaboration with the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Environment Programme. Participants will include experts from SIDS, developed countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.
Past and recent evidence continue to indicate that SIDS are particularly vulnerable to weather-related climatic and environmental natural hazards. Hazards such as tsunamis, tropical cyclones and sea level rise can not only cause damage to already fragile economies and reverse years of development efforts, but also poses significant threats to human lives and livelihoods. For example, Hurricane Ivan caused damage to almost every household in Grenada, Hurricane Jeanne caused over 2,000 fatalities in Haiti alone, and over 100,000 people were made homeless across the Caribbean. There is therefore an urgent need to assess and plan for the expected impacts of climate change.
The meeting offers participating experts the opportunity to exchange information on assessing the impacts of climate change and on their countries’ vulnerability to these changes. The experts will also identify possible areas where further action can be taken to address the adverse effects of climate change, including through planning and implementing concrete adaptation measures in the areas of water resources, agriculture, health, tourism, coastal zones and natural ecosystems. In addition, they will discuss opportunities for disaster risk management and reduction, for example through establishing insurance schemes.
Furthermore, available opportunities for collaboration within and outside SIDS will be discussed as well as the elaboration by representatives from the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Environment Programme on how adaptation measures can be supported in the SIDS’ overall efforts to achieve sustainable development.
This expert meeting on adaptation is part of a series of regional adaptation events mandated by the annual Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. The first workshop was held in Peru in April 2006 for the Latin American region. The second workshop was held in Ghana in September 2006 for the African region. During the course of this year, another expert meeting for the Pacific and Indian Ocean SIDS and a workshop for the Asian region will be organized. The results of all these events will feed into negotiations at SB 26 and COP 13 on what future action is necessary to advance adaptation in developing countries.
The background paper “Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in small island developing States” and the agenda can be found here.