MFFSD Launches Climate Change Integrated Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment

18 Sep 2013

The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (MFFSD) on behalf of the Government of Belize will be launching the Integrated Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment on coastal development, water, agriculture, tourism, health and fisheries sectors. The MFFSD invites all stakeholders to attend the launch on Wednesday, September 25th and Thursday, September 26th, 2013, starting at 8:00 AM at the Belize Institute of Management in Belize City. The sessions will include a synopsis of what the assessment is aimed at, the advantages of these studies to, and the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders.

The Ministry is executing the Launch and Assessment as part of two projects:
(1) The EU funded “Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change” project aims to increase Belize’s ability to respond to the threats of Climate Change as a means of ensuring sustainable environmental, social and economic development.
(2) “Enabling Activities for the Preparation of Belize's Third National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)” funded by the Global Environment Facility, will enable Belize to prepare its Third National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and will contribute to strengthening Belize’s technical and institutional capacity to facilitate the mainstreaming of Climate Change activities into sectoral and national developmental planning priorities.
The projects aim to build national capacities, both institutional and operational, and are expected to stimulate improved effectiveness of national actions and investments, which lead to better organization and coordination of stakeholders addressing Climate Change adaptation and mitigation in Belize.

Both projects have a component on vulnerability and adaptation which support more detailed assessments within priority development sectors such as coastal development, water, agriculture, tourism, health and fisheries. The projects favour an integrated approach including the use of accurate scenario predictions, developed by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the Republic of Cuba’s Meteorological Institute (INSMET), to support informed decision making on adaptation by policy-makers, businesses, resource managers and communities. This approach has gained prominence in international negotiations, and decisions have included the integration of adaptation actions into sectoral and national planning.

The need for these initiatives stem from the fact that Belize, though a minute contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, will be among those countries that will be severely impacted by global warming and sea level rise. Additionally, during the past decade, Belize experienced 4 major hurricanes that resulted in coastal erosion of beaches, severe forest damage, mechanical damage to the already stressed coral reefs, millions of dollars lost in agricultural crops and destruction of critical infrastructure and homes. Belize has also been impacted by periodic episodes of floods and droughts. Climate Change is very likely to increase the frequency and magnitude of these extreme weather events. Therefore, facilitating vulnerability assessments and promoting adaptation measures in sectors such as coastal development, tourism, water, agriculture, fisheries and health are crucial for building a resilient society and for achieving sustainable development.

The projects are being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Government of Belize, and are funded by the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance (EU GCCA) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (MFFSD) has been designated as the government agency responsible for the coordination and implementation of Climate Change policies in Belize. The National Climate Change Office within this Ministry is currently responsible for the development, coordination and implementation of national climate change programs, policies and initiatives in direct response to the need to address the specific vulnerabilities of Belize to climate change.

 

Contact Information

Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, National Climate Change Office, Programme Manager, Tel: 822-0401, 822-0810, Email-passt.cc@ffsd.gov.bz, OR
United Nations Development Programme, Environmental Programme Analyst, Tel: 822-2688, Email: diane.wade@undp.org