Opinion / 04 Aug, 2014
Climate Change Impacts Caribbean Economy

Countries in the Greater Caribbean already vulnerable to climate change are increasingly feeling the economic effects, particularly on their agriculture and tourism industries.

Recent storms have wiped out the entire sugar cane production of Cuba, banana plantations in Jamaica, St Lucia and Dominica, and decimated nutmeg exports from Grenada, while the decrease in rainfall has in some cases destroyed entire food crops.

The tourism industry so valuable to these countries is also facing an uncertain future as a result of increasing extreme weather events and the loss of coral reefs from bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures.

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Adaptation strategies will be necessary to assure the sustainable development of the region.  View selected UNFCCC inspiring examples of adaptation action in the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

An important upcoming event is the Third UN International Conference on SIDS, taking place from 1 to 4 September, where governments, business leaders and civil society will gather to advance action for these vulnerable countries and communities. This includes identifying how small island nations will transition to a more sustainable development path by adapting to climate change.

Climate change adaptation plans need to be coordinated with disaster risk reduction measures. Recognizing the links between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) undertook a Special Report on "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)." The Special Report was included in the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report.

Read about the work of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) which serves as the focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction.