Information on climate, including climate change, came in for discussion recently, when representatives from six regional climate sensitive sectors met with officials from the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH).

The meeting, which was held at the CIMH???s headquarters, Husbands, St. James, brought together representatives from the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute, the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association, and the Caribbean Public Health Agency.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association was also represented at the meeting.

The officials explored avenues for new and improved transformational partnerships to support the development and delivery of sector-specific early warning climate information.

Participants from the Jamaica Meteorological Service, the Barbados Water Authority, the Barbados Coastal Zone Management Unit, and Barbados??? Ministry of Agriculture also demonstrated the development and use of sector-specific climate products and services at the national level.

Participants agreed to the establishment of a consortium to champion the design, development and delivery of tailored climate products and services to inform planning and decision-making in their respective sectors.

It was also decided that specific actions would be supported by the consortium over the next 18 months, including the initiation of plans to develop climate early warning information systems; increasing institutional capacity and infrastructure to enhance climate service development and delivery; and enhancing capacity in the targeted sectors to absorb and effectively utilise climate services.

The work of the Consortium will be supported under a new initiative, the Programme for Building Regional Climate Capacity in the Caribbean (BRCCC). Under an agreement signed in January 2014, the United States Agency for International Development will provide USD$5.085 million over three years (2014-2017) to the World Meteorological Organization, which will work in partnership with CIMH to implement the BRCCC programme.

Also present at this inaugural meeting were representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, the Climate Studies Group of the Mona Campus at the University of the West Indies, the Barbados Office of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations??? Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean.

Author: Aisha Reid/CIMH

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