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Stakeholders Assess Regional Climate Change Adapation Project

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Bridgetown, Barbados, January 27th 2012 (CDEMA) – Representatives from a sample group of more than 140 persons who were actively engaged in the Mainstreaming Climate Change into Disaster Risk Management for the Caribbean Region (CCDM) Project met recently at the Courtyard by Marriott, Bridgetown, Barbados to assess the results of the project and to discuss plans for Phase 2.

The CCDM project was financed through the Austrian Development Agency and implemented by CDEMA with the overall goal of strengthening regional, national and community level capacity for mitigation, management and coordinated response to natural and technological hazards and the effects of climate change. In effect, the project sought to promote and advance the integration Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) at all levels.

An evaluation of the CCDM project was undertaken by the University of the West Indies (UWI), Department of Management Studies on behalf of CDEMA with the main purpose of assessing the progress made towards the achievement of the project’s objective. Participants at the meeting reviewed the findings and analysis and made recommendations for refining the Evaluation Report to make it a more instructive analysis.

Over the two year period of implementation,(June 2009 –October 2011) consultations among community based organisations, disaster management practitioners, scientific academia, climate change adaptation advocates and disaster risk proponents, resulted in the development of several integrated Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction systems and tools. A key achievement is the blueprint for a regional programme and plan of action that will also guide national level design and implementation of programmes and projects. This intervention has also seen the strengthening of emergency response systems capacity and the establishment and strengthening of partnerships for CCA and DRR. The guidance tool for integrating CCA into the National DRR work programme has already been utilised by the Virgin Islands for developing “A Climate Smart National Comprehensive Disaster Management Work Programme”. Community awareness and knowledge will be enhanced through “A Climate Smart Handbook” for use in workshops by participants and facilitators and a 28 minute documentary for radio and television and seven modules entitled “Climate Change, Let’s All Adapt” are available for use across the CDEMA Participating States.

It was recognised that there was much more work to be done in the mainstreaming of climate Change into Disaster Risk Management. Moreover in an economic climate of downswing and austerity measures and the additional threats posed by climate change, the involvement of new partners as well as new levels of engagement was necessary.

In discussions on Phase 2 of the project, the participants identified areas for sustainability and those that need further advancement. Priorities for action were centred on establishing a governance mechanism for the implementation of the Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programming and capacity building for preparedness and response at the regional, national and community levels.

The meeting’s participants included representatives from national disaster organisations, civil society partners such as the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, community leaders, development partners and the UWI, Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES). Participants also included some potential partners important for the advancement of the work in CCA and DRR.

CDEMA extended special thanks to representatives involved in the project implementation including the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) who has been critical in steering the project.

CCDM project resources will be available on the CDEMA website. The film Climate Change Let’s All Adapt! is available to the public on Youtube. For more information, please contact:

Ms. Andria Grosvenor Technical Manager Preparedness and Country Support Caribbean Disaster Management Agency (CDEMA) Bldg #1, Manor Lodge Complex Lodge Hill, St. Michael, Barbados Tel.No. 246-425-0386; Fax no. 246-425-8854 E-mail: cdema@cdema.org Website: www.cdema.org