For the small island developing states of the Caribbean, there is nothing more important than the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP19) taking in Warsaw, Poland from Nov. 11-22.
In the last two decades, the 10 most affected countries have without exception been developing nations. Haiti leads the list of the three countries most affected by weather-related catastrophes in 2012.
As a region of small-island developing states, the Caribbean has always faced a host of challenges, including limited infrastructure, reliance on agriculture and tourism, and high vulnerability to natural disasters.
But in recent years, climate change has superimposed another layer of risk, bringing sea level rise, flooded wetlands, higher temperatures, changes in precipitation and more intense hurricanes, and threatening coral reefs and fish stocks.
Much of the world’s most interesting work in adapting to climate change, adopting clean energy and coming up with plans to stem deforestation has its roots in the developing world, where climate change impacts are in many cases being felt first and strongest.
Thanks to a partnership with Caribbean Aqua-Terrestrial Solutions IPS looks at the wide variety of local, national and regional initiatives in the Caribbean that offer creative solutions to these problems. Key will be better natural resource management, and giving small farmers and rural communities the tools to climb out of poverty and feed a growing population even as climate change disrupts their environment.
More about: climate change, North America and the Caribbean