Sunday, January 18, 2009

Caribbean to assess climate change impacts on groundwater

Jamaica Observer: The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has secured funding from the UNESCO to begin a regional project to, among other things, assess groundwater vulnerabilities in selected pilot sites in Jamaica's Rio Cobre basin as well as sections of Trinidad.

The announcement was made by the CCCCC's director Dr Kenric Leslie at the New Kingston Offices of the Water and Housing Ministry last Tuesday. The programme, which is being financed through UNESCO's International Hydrological Programme, is expected to cost 250,000 euros (J$26,839,719.11). A special meeting will be held in February to decide a start-up date for the project.

Leslie said that along with identifying groundwater vulnerabilities in sections of the region, the project would look at existing and future impacts of their sustainable use, particularly those related to climate change and human activities.

…Meanwhile, Leslie said climate change, as projected, will exacerbate development challenges and make it harder to achieve sustained millennium development goals and other development objectives. Speaking at the Ministry of Water and Housing last Tuesday, he noted that economic, social and environmental sensitivity to climatic conditions and poverty, driven by low adaptive capacity, compound the region's exposure and amplify its existing challenges. Leslie said it is therefore critical that climate change adaptation measures be put in place in order to assure sustainable development…