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Document Abstract
Published: 2017

Climate impacts on agriculture and tourism: the case for climate resilient investment in the Caribbean

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For the Caribbean, climate change is not tomorrow’s problem. The threats it poses are neither distant nor abstract – they are already apparent. In recent years, hurricanes have caused major damage in countries such as Jamaica, Grenada and Cuba; severe flooding has hit Belize and Guyana; and droughts affect much of the east of the region.
The small island state of Saint Lucia alone has faced 27 natural disasters between 1980 and 2008, with total economic damage  reaching an estimated US$2.5 billion. The need for investment to build climate resilience in the Caribbean has never been greater.
Key messages:
  • climate variability and change are already having severe impacts on key sectors including agriculture and tourism
  • these impacts are reversing economic growth, exacerbating poverty and undermining the future prosperity of Caribbean countries
  • CDKN research has provided locally appropriate climate change projections that give fresh insight into the vulnerability of key sectors
  • adaptation investment in the agriculture sector is needed to account for projected changes in rainfall and growing seasons, and
    occurrence of extreme events, especially drought
  • adaptation investment in the tourism sector is also needed to build resilience to rising seas, bleached coral reefs, water scarcity and gradual temperature increase
  • there are many potential adaptation measures that can be applied by governments, businesses, individuals and development
  • financial support is needed to support adaptation action as high up-front costs are a barrier to local adaptation efforts
  • effectively prioritising adaptation options can maximise their value and lead to positive co-benefits for individuals, businesses and society
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