The flagship report released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) outlines some of the current climate change phenomena such as drought, ocean acidification, rising sea levels, and devastating floods, as unequivocal evidence that human activities are creating planetary scale changes on land, in the water, and in the atmosphere, with detrimental and long-term repercussions for sustainable development and ecosystems. A report such as this is of frightening concern to the Caribbean, a region already bearing the brunt of the impacts of climate change. In order to ensure continued economic viability and cultural continuity, this is not a situation that can be ignored, and calls for a positive, solution-oriented approach.
According to Raquel Moses, the CEO of Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator, “We can’t get different results by continuing to do the same thing. What we’ve decided to do as a result is work even more in parallel with the private sector and matching them with entrepreneurs with solutions. We’re calling all large regional entities to support the transition by working with us to get involved and be a part of the implementation process.”
It is of primary importance to engage all stakeholders across multiple levels to facilitate the implementation of innovative solutions, such as investing in regenerative tourism experiences. These are characterised by the aim of not just avoiding damage, but actually creating a positive impact on destinations and communities. This also involves decreasing activities with negative environmental impacts, and including local residents and the indigenous community when evaluating potential ecotourism development.
Other issues such as food security and coastal protection can also form points of focus for Caribbean climate strategies, and can be addressed by meaningful collaboration between the public and private sectors. The Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator is driving climate action by supporting initiatives across the region and driving investment, such as at the recent Investor Forum that brought together senior government officials from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States with major financial institutions.