Barbados to Host Severe Weather Conference

16th Jul 2003

On the heels of a drought, which gripped the Caribbean in the first half of this year and forecast for a very stormy second half of the year, experts from the region and Asia will be meeting in Barbados to examine the impact of severe weather on three critical economic engines of Caribbean states. The sectors are: water, tourism, and agriculture/fishery.

A distinguished list of participants from the Caribbean and Asia will be meeting in Barbados on July 24 and 25 at the Grand Barbados Beach Resort for a seminar on Climate Change and Severe Weather Events in Asia and the Caribbean.

Hosted by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) in collaboration with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center and with the support of the Japan Programme of the Inter-American Development Bank, the seminar will see a sharing of information between Asian and the Caribbean. Both regions are tropical regions, they both have small island states, they both are in the tropical cyclone belt, and both experience the same problems.

“This seminar is an extremely important one that should interest all members of the public,” said CDERAs Program Manager of Mitigation and Research, Liz Riley.

“Studies in the Caribbean show that severe weather events have devastating and ripple impacts on the tourism, water, and agricultural/fishery sectors. When you look across the Caribbean, as much as 80 per cent of the work force in some states are employed in the tourism industry while in others agriculture and fishery contribute substantially to the economy, and of course we are all affected by the effects of drought on water availability,” Ms Riley added.


Glenn Dolcemascolo, Technical Advisor of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center said that this interregional comparison of best practices in climate change adaptation is especially well timed.

“As the 9th Conference of Parties to the Climate Change Convention is fast approaching and the International Panel on Climate Change is preparing to initiate the Fourth Assessment Report, it is important that we reflect on current trends in adaptation and strengthen our capacity to support policy makers. Applications of climate change projections is integral to climate science; and, seminars such as this offer a valuable opportunity to critically examine best practices through dialogue with decision makers in vulnerable sectors” said Mr Dolcemascolo.

Six case studies, three from each region, will be presented at the seminar and then participants will compare how the sectors in both regions have been impacted, how they dealt with the impacts, the forecast for severe weather impacts, and finally how to deal effectively with these hazards.

The case studies to be presented cover: the Impact of Severe Weather Events on Water Resources in Urban Centers in Jamaica; Impact of Severe Weather Events on Tourism in the Bahamas; Vulnerability of and Adaptive Capacity of the Belize Fisheries Sector to Severe Weather Events; Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation for Tourism in Phuket, Thailand; Climate Risk and Agriculture in Timor Loro’ Sae; and, Vulnerability of Urban Water Supply to Severe Weather Events in the Philippines.

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