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Document Abstract
Published: 2017

Driving, connecting and communicating: the many roles of national government in climate adaptation planning

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Climate change is one of the most significant challenges to the Caribbean’s future prosperity. The impacts of climate change on economically important sectors such as tourism, agriculture and fishing threaten Caribbean nations’ ability to achieve their economic and social development goals. By 2050, the costs to the region are expected to reach US$22 bn each year; this represents 10% of regional gross domestic product, based on 2004 figures.
 
Paying for recovery efforts after natural disasters causes significant budgetary  pressures and diverts funds from other pressing development issues such as health and  education. However, responding to climate challenges is highly complex. Climate change has cross-cutting impacts that span sectors and spatial scales, and involves multiple stakeholders. Delivering effective climate change adaptation is therefore a question of governance.
 
Key messages:
  • policy and governance arrangements at the national level are vital for climate adaptation. Local action is important but is insufficient in isolation
  • national governments provide strategic oversight and access to climate finance, and have the capacity and authority to drive climate action
  • climate change considerations should be integrated into policies and plans across government departments. The CCORAL tool allows decision-makers to do this
  • iInstitutional arrangements are vital to help translate government policy into action. Governments can use the ARIA toolkit to assess their institutional adaptive capacity as a first step to strengthening these frameworks
  • government institutions are vital in stimulating action at the local level. Networked governance arrangements can help to build movements for climate resilience that translate national priorities into local action and integrate local needs into national policy
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