Completion of The Bahamas Training on the Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation Tool

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Director of BEST Commission Philip Weech addresses the training session, March 23, 2018. (BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)

The Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission, representing the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Prime Minister, in collaboration with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) facilitated the final meeting of the Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation Tool (C-CORAL) technical working groups on March 22-23, 2018 in Nassau, Bahamas.  The working groups represented various Agencies of the Bahamas Government and NGO community. The BEST Commission was tasked by the Ministry of Finance to coordinate a training exercise on the Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation Tool (C-CORAL) Country Specific Training and Roll-Out Programme in September 2015.  The initial training workshop was held during the period September 7 to 11, 2015 at the Police Training College, Nassau, Bahamas. Funding was provided by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for this initiative.

The completion of the training was delayed by the passage of two major hurricanes in The Bahamas. The presentations of the training exercise to Senior Government officials were also delayed as The Bahamas managed the aftermath of the destructive hurricanes. C-CORAL is an online support system for climate resilient decision-making that helps users undertake quick screening to understand climate influence and apply climate risk management processes. The climate support system will ultimately help decision makers to view all activities through a “climate” or climate change’ lens, and to identify actions that minimize climate-related loss, build resilience to climate change and help to adapt to and/or mitigate its adverse effects across all sectors of the Bahamian economy.

Some 25 experts representing Government Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, Community Based Organizations and the Private Sector attended this Policy Level exercise at SuperClubs Breezes. In efforts to respond to high variability in the current climate, discussions were based on ways in which the C-CORAL tool can be used in the Energy and Housing sectors as well as within critical coastal works and waste management. The C-CORAL tool will assist users in taking appropriate ‘actions’, applying a risk management approach in decision making and ultimately deliver for The Bahamas, climate resilient development. Ms. Sharon Lindo and Ms. Diana Ruiz representing the 5Cs and the CDB attended the final C- CORAL workshop in Nassau. Ms. Lindo commented that the “delayed completion of the C- CORAL training is evidence of the many challenges the region faced in responding to extreme events linked to climate change over the past two hurricane seasons.”

She further expressed the thanks of the 5Cs and the CDB to the Government of The Bahamas and the participants for working to complete this important training exercise. Speaking on behalf of The Office of The Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance was Mr. Philip S. Weech, Director of the BEST Commission who noted “the efforts of the wide cross-section of participants to reach a consensus on projects linked to climate change adaptation.” He further added that the work was undertaken “puts The Bahamas in a position to better detail projects for which grant resources, for example from the Adaptation Fund (AF) of the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change can be accessed.”  He also stated that “These efforts build upon the work of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in helping to complete a National Energy Policy for The Bahamas.” With his final remarks, Mr. Weech noted, “Finding resources to respond to climate change adaptation challenges in The Bahamas, is one of the priorities set by the Government of The Bahamas, and is a challenge we face in detailing to the international community the climate change effects in The Bahamas.”

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