Friday, April 27, 2012

Low-cost adaptation measures needed

Patricia Grogg in Peace, Earth & Justice News via IPS: As a result of climate change-related extreme weather events like a rise in the sea level and increasingly intense storms alternating with drought, Caribbean island nations are facing the challenge of adopting adaptation measures that could be too costly for their budgets.
One important message from the report is that costly investments are not needed to mitigate the effects of extreme weather events; there are other ways of dealing with the impacts that do not involve major spending on infrastructure, he told IPS. That clarification is important because funds for climate change adaptation are scarce in this region, added the expert, who is co-chair of IPCC Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.
...Field was in Havana to participate in a workshop held to divulge the results of the IPCC "Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation", produced as a tool for climate adaptation policy-making.
...More than half of the population in the region lives less than 1.5 km from the coast. Ian King, an expert from Barbados with the United Nations Development Programme Caribbean Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative (UNDP CRMI), said the first challenge is to assess the threats, in order to decide on the most suitable adaptation policies.
...One of the ways is to model different scenarios of the risk of high-intensity storms and their impact on coastal areas, King said. Better adaptation policies can be established on this more scientific basis, he added, saying the decision of whether or not to pull out of at-risk areas largely depends on the communities themselves.
Although it is clear that adaptation to climate change is a pressing need, there is a problem of financing for programmes in countries with weak economies like the islands of the Caribbean....
Havana at night, shot by DominiqueMichel, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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