Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Capacity building programme launched for CIMH

The United States Government continues to emphasise its commitment to working with the region to strengthen it against the impact of climate change.

US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Larry Palmer, noted this weekend that this commitment to co-operation was part of President Obama’s Global Climate Change Assistant Programme, which aims to strengthen national and regional institutions around the world as we collectively strive to address the serious impact of climate change.
US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Larry Palmer.

Speaking at the launch of the capacity building programme for the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), in which that entity has received an investment of over $10 million through the US AID development programme, the Ambassador remarked that the impacts of climate change were expected to worsen in the coming years, meaning the likelihood of more storms, hurricanes, droughts and other extreme weather events to which the region was already vulnerable, and of which we currently had limited ability to predict.

He said: “The availability of accurate, consistent data on how the climate is changing in the Caribbean, represents a huge and critically important need, as does establishing stronger capabilities to analyse climate data and produce information that people can use to understand what is coming, to effectively prepare for it and to respond strategically.”

Collecting data

Ambassador Palmer stated that the US Government intended, through its partnership, to strengthen the capacity of CIMH and national institutions across the region, to monitor the changing climate and to convert data into products that would better inform decision-making in climate sensitive sectors such as tourism, agriculture and fishing.

He said that a Caribbean Environmental and Empowerment Computational Centre would also be established to provide regional scientists with the resources they needed to better understand and predict climate change impact.

“This information will feed into early warning systems so that people in the region can be alerted earlier and receive more reliable information... before [any event] hits,” Palmer said. (RS)

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