Barbados stands to benefit significantly from climate change impact modelling tools which can guide decision-making during hazard assessments.
And, over the next two weeks, stakeholders from across the various sectors, including the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Tourism; the Department of Emergency Management, the Fisheries Division and the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, will undergo training in the use of the tools.
The national training workshop in the Use of Climate Change Impact Tools and Models for Decision-Making was launched today in the Shell Suite of the University of the West Indies, by Project Manager in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, Rickardo Ward.
Speaking during the ceremony, Mr. Ward said the workshop, which was developed by the Caribbean Weather Impacts Group, presented a “much needed and long overdue effort” to address the challenge of climate change.
He noted that the 2017 Commonwealth Caribbean Marine Climate Change Report Card reaffirmed that Caribbean states were vulnerable to climate change, which could also have a significant negative impact on the quality of life of their people.
In addition, the Project Manager stated that the sea, reefs and coasts throughout the Caribbean were also under threat from coral bleaching, ocean acidification, rising sea temperature and storms, and more therefore needed to be done.
“The re-occurring impacts associated with the now seemingly annual episodes of drought and flooding that are experienced nationally and regionally, provide clear evidence of our climate risk exposure, the urgency with which adaptation actions are required to safeguard our limited socio-economic asset base,” Mr. Ward said.
However, he noted that exposure to the new and innovative tools would equip participants with the ability to perform hazard assessments under a range of climate scenarios and generate the kind of data that is vitally needed for long range planning and climate resilience efforts.
Deputy Executive Director and Science Advisor with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Ulric Trotz, explained that the tools were developed through a USAID-CCAP (Climate Change Adaptation Project) which was started last year.
Mr. Trotz explained that the tools were the result of a joint project between a number of entities, including the Climate Change Centre; the Climate Studies Group at UWI Mona; the Computer Studies Group at the Cave Hill Campus, the University of Suriname and the Institute of Meteorology in Cuba.
Scientific Officer with the CCCCC, Ottis Joslyn, explained the training, which would be conducted in the lab of the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), would expose participants to the Tropical Storm modelling tool, which is coupled with a hydraulic and hydrological model; the weather generator and the Caribbean drought assessment tool.