Barbados’ coastal experts will soon be in a better position to make more informed decisions relating to climate change and its ocean space.
That’s because the island was one of three countries selected to be a part of the Climate Risk Rapid Assessment Project, which got under way in December 2021 and runs until March 2022.
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy has partnered with the Stimson Centre and Commonwealth Blue Charter, to conduct the assessment, which is designed to help Barbados determine vulnerability and prioritise investments in protecting coastal communities.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Sonia Foster, said as a participating country in the project, Barbados will trial the Rapid Assessment, receive the results and work with expert analysts over the four-month period.
Ms. Foster made these comments during her welcome address at the start of the first of two virtual Barbados CORVI (Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index) Rapid Assessment workshops entitled: Introducing CORVI and Indicator Selection workshop.
“By the end of the project, there should be a better understanding of the information, options, and next steps that can be taken in order to make climate-smart ocean and coastal decisions,” she stated.
She added that the project was also welcomed by the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), as it would enhance work presently being undertaken, and complement that work completed through the National Coastal Risk Information and Planning Platform (NCRIPP).
Ms. Foster explained that the CZMU had already made significant advances in integrated coastal zone management in the areas of coastal erosion, resource conservation, institutional strengthening and capacity building.
She added that the NCRIPP study examined well known natural hazards such as hurricanes, tsunamis, landslides, marine oil spills and the effects of climate change.
“We are currently looking at ecosystems services valuation and incorporating that into national budgeting and we therefore look forward to the results generated by this CORVI rapid assessment project,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary also shared that the Unit recently concluded the process of updating its Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan.
Ms. Foster expressed her appreciation to the Commonwealth Blue Charter and the Stimson Centre for choosing Barbados for the project.