economy and politics

The complexity of the climate crisis in the Caribbean demands a data-driven response at the global, regional, national and local levels

The complexity of the climate crisis in the Caribbean requires a response based on data at the global, regional, national and local levels, agreed today specialists gathered at the subregional seminar Strengthening information on the environment, climate change and disasters in the Caribbean, organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in collaboration with PARIS21.

During the event, which ends on Wednesday the 24th, representatives of the national statistical offices and the Ministries of the Environment of the Caribbean countries, as well as international specialists, underlined the urgency of implementing concrete actions that allow the Caribbean region to advance to firm step towards mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The opening of the seminar was led by Mario Cimoli, Interim Executive Secretary of ECLAC; Johannes Jütting, Executive Director of PARIS21; Reena Shah, Chief of the Environment Statistics Section of the United Nations Statistics Division; Faustina Wiggins, specialist in environmental statistics from the Secretariat of the Community of Caribbean Countries (CARICOM); Chamberlain Emmanuel, Head of the Environmental Sustainability Division of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); Muhammad Anwar Baksh, Planning and Development Officer of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and Rolando Ocampo, Director of the Statistics Division of ECLAC.

At the meeting, the participants warned that the countries of the subregion not only need high-quality data to monitor, report and analyze climate changes, they also need data to inform and accelerate mitigation and adaptation actions.

In response to this need, the experts highlighted that several countries in the region are already working to strengthen the production and use of quality data on climate change to inform decision-making through the development of statistical compendiums on the environment and climate change and the implementation of data platforms.

Despite these efforts, they warned, development is sporadic and uneven, and critical challenges remain in maintaining and developing current initiatives.

They specified that some of the most pressing problems in the region are the lack of coordination within the national statistical system and with the broader data ecosystem -which includes civil society, the academic world and the private sector-, the exchange protocols established data, sustained resources and strategic capacity building for climate change data.

During his opening speech, Mario Cimoli, Acting Executive Secretary of ECLAC, stressed the urgency of placing the situation of the Caribbean countries at the center of the regional and global agenda.

“Caribbean countries are suffering the effects of climate change, but they also face difficulties in obtaining support instruments to mitigate and confront this problem, as well as difficult access to financing for development. They face a huge asymmetry,” he stated.

Johannes Jütting, Executive Director of PARIS21, warned that the urgency of action on the climate crisis is really critical and urged partnerships to unlock data for climate change.

He also called for ensuring better funding for data on climate change.

Faustina Wiggins, for her part, stressed that CARICOM will continue to support the efforts of Caribbean countries to produce statistics on the environment, climate change and disasters, in order to mitigate the impact of these problems and build resilience.

He specified that, at the center of all these efforts, is the CARICOM Regional Strategy for the development of statistics, which is the strategic roadmap for statistical development towards 2030.

Chamberlain Emmanuel stated that environmental management and sustainable development planning require an understanding of complex island ecosystems and territorial systems to ensure that decisions and strategies have the desired effects in the short, medium and long term.

“This understanding must be based on robust, objective, data-driven models that, in turn, inform decision-making. The availability of reliable, up-to-date and comprehensive data sets is therefore critical for environmental planning and management and resilience,” he highlighted.

Muhammad Anwar Baksh, meanwhile, agreed on the need to better equip the Caribbean countries so that they have more effective information that allows them to undertake evidence-based climate action.

“We recommend that solutions be developed within a global framework that examines challenges and good practices related to these systems in the context of collecting and sharing other hazard and risk data,” he noted.

Source link