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one more minute and then we’ll start thank you for joining us um as we’re getting started i’ll just say my name is Todd Eisenstadt i’m a professor of government at american university in the school of public affairs and also a research director at the center for environmental policy which is sponsoring this event and we’re sponsoring it also along with the uh environmental science department and we have a speaker who will introduce the the rest of the panel from the department of environmental science that is professor Dalia Abbas who is a natural resources scientist at american university’s environmental science department she works in forest operations and management natural resource economics and carbon emissions she’s worked as a technical expert in monitoring and evaluation of logistics uh and wood supply and value chains um i should also just say as i introduce her that this is part of an ongoing series the next version of this uh of this webinar will be on december 2nd at 6 00 p.m eastern standard time and that’s because we will have speakers also from brazil and australia as well as uh Dan Fiorino who’s the director of the center for environmental policy they will be speaking on populism democracy and climate adaptation in politically sensitive environments so i will leave the the floor now to dr abbas and thank you all for for joining us thank you Todd very much it gives me great pleasure to moderate this session on climate change and communities building back better in a small and hurricane-damaged economy with very unique representation on the domenico’s quest to become the world’s first resilient nation on the 18th of september 2017 at 9 35 pm maria a category 5 hurricane with 160 miles per hour wind speed and higher gusts hit the southeast southwest coast of dominica the hurricane impacted every aspect of the island many other devastations followed suit the damages and losses cost billions and it has become clear that climate change is indeed a reality and can impact every aspect of the economy recovery as it is mandates resilience among those efforts is dominica’s quest to become the world’s first resilient nation through ambitious yet eminent plans and strategies it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you honorable Francine Baron as our first speaker honorable Baron is a former attorney general and minister for foreign affairs of dominica in august 22 2020 she has been given the challenging task and opportunity to serve as the interim chief executive officer of the climate resilience executing agency of dominica creed was set up to assist the government in the pursuit of its climate resilience vision the role of francine as she puts it is to climate proof the dominica honorable baron the floor is yours thank you very much uh dalia and thank you to the american university for putting this together and inviting me to participate in this session today um i’m going to share my screen right now um ah yes so in in five years between 2005 to 2010 over 700 000 people have lost their lives over 1.4 million have been injured and approximately 23 million have been made homeless as a result of disasters and because of the intensity and frequency of disasters in recent times i am sure that when the assessment is done we will see that the statistics are much worse than those i have just quoted tropical storm erika in 2015 and hurricane maria in 2017 caused the death of 95 persons in dominica and loss and damage equivalent to 90 percent and 226 percent of gdp respectively we have had a record 30 name storms this year in our region and as we speak central america is being bartered by one system for the second time in a few weeks these more frequent and intense storms are not the only evidence of climate change we have seen we have droughts fires coastal erosion coral bleaching among other things so the devastation of maria as um delhi has indicated led the government of dominica to express a vision to build the world’s first climate resilient country we began the journey to build a climate resilient country in 2017. after hurricane maria there was no blueprint for making a country resilient so we had to chat our own course um i’m having a difficulty here with the sharing of the screen but um if we can have just a moment there we go um sorry about that yes so we have the challenge how does one build a climate resilient country we had to come up with a uh a model and um we had to uh

determine what constituted a climate resilient country so we looked at an overarching approach to national development which makes society um an economy sustainable and protects our natural and built environment and uh looks at inclusive growth and how we can climb climate proof the country as far as is possible so that the gains that we have made are not undone by climate change we had to develop a strategy for the building of resilience and this was done by development of a national resilience development strategy this we’ve done in we did in in 2018 and it’s a high-level policy approach of government to the development agenda and the achievement of the sdgs so a strategy for the transformation of dominica that integrated climate resilience disaster risk management into our national growth and development planning strategy we haven’t developed the developed the national resilience development strategy this was translated into climate resilience and recovery plan the following year and it is an action plan for the strategy that is based on three pillars which are climate resilience systems prudent disaster risk management and effective disaster response and recovery we we knew that the recovery process and transition to a climate resilient country would not be an easy task given our capacity constraints so we created a statutory corporation to lead the process the climate resilience execution agency or creed which i now work for was created by an act of parliament in 2018 and among the elements key elements that the creed was tasked to do was to promote the swift and cost-effective recovery of dominica from climate-related disasters to ensure that dominica would be more resilient to natural hazards and better able to respond to climate-related disasters to assist the public and private sectors and civil society to be better equipped to manage and recover from climate-related disasters and to support government ministries to enable them to implement climate resilient policies and priority recovery projects creed was instrumental in the development of our climate resilience recovery plan our crrp which among other things uses uh sets out metrics and targets and outcomes for resilient dominica it looks at priority initiatives that are based on the degree of impact and that is the contribution to this overall climate resilience of the country versus the cost of resilience and also a monitoring framework to track progress and help ensure the plan is executed efficiently using available resources we to see the crrp is based on three pillars the climate resilience systems which cover systems and processes having the capacity to adjust to and absorb the impacts of climate change the second pillar would be prudent disaster risk management systems this focuses on minimizing and managing the tasks and the risks associated with climate related disasters and the third pillar is effective disaster response and recovery and this speaks to the post-disaster phase and reducing the pain and the period of recovery so the these three pillars are which which are um have been developed into result areas look at the question of building strong communities robust economies and well-planned uh and durable infrastructure uh a climate resilient country requires a whole of country effort it has to be done in a holistic way so the crrp takes into account the voices of dominicans as it sorry as it as it um derives the resiliency it drives a resiliency agenda which includes a focus on gender vulnerable groups and consultations with key stakeholders so a resilient dominica will have a stronger overall socio-economic development trajectory

it will reduce impact from climatic and other environmental shocks and reduce the time to recover from climatic and other environmental shocks our crrp is organized into 10 priority areas which are guided by the overarching objectives which are at the core of climate resilience and that is the building of strong communities as i said a sustainable robust economy and well-planned and durable infrastructure so strategic actions in different sectors have been identified with priority based on cost and impact of the strategies so for strong communities for example we look at communities having the capacity to absorb stress and be able to bounce back so you’re looking at key elements like access to shelter food water power telecommunications our disaster preparedness and response the other result area would be robust economy which is looking at limiting our production losses and our ability to be able to reconstruct and recover quickly so the elements are such elements such as access to skills access to finance diversification and risk transfer and the other core climate resilience dimension would be the well-planned and durable infrastructure so we’re talking about infrastructure that’s able to absorb shocks and you you look at your roads your bridges your utilities your ports your airports homes shelters schools being able to withstand extreme weather events and and being able to uh be up and running in very short space of time and then we have we we take that into the hard wiring of resilience so we’re looking at enhanced collective consciousness of all dominicans so everybody is aware that they have a role to play in resilience building for the country protected and sustainably leveraged natural and other unique assets so we want to ensure that we protect the um our natural assets um and we use them to uh help build uh our resilience and strengthen is institutional systems we have committed ourselves to achieving 20 climate resilient targets by 2030 and those are promised on us being able to minimize losses from extreme weather events and the ability to recover and bonds forward quickly now we have an ambitious set of targets that we we want to achieve by 2030 which includes uh our 90 of our housing built or retrofitted to resilient building codes the result resettlement of individuals living in physically vulnerable locations we’re looking at having a robust economy where um our losses as a percentage of gdp contribution would not be more than 50 where we have sustained unsustainable and inclusive growth of minimum of five percent achieved uh we look at our durable infrastructure that we would have primary roads and bridges open within three days that we would have communications restored within three months and and and and so on we we’re looking at the um ninety percent of our population able to identify the pillars of resilience because part of what we we need to do is to ensure that our population is on board with the idea of becoming resilient and they know what is required to be resilient and for them to be individually resilient um and of course um protecting our our natural assets we’re looking at um our agricultural land being cultivated organically 60 of it um increased healthy coral coverage um and being becoming carbon neutral uh which is an important thing for us uh where we have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and that will be achieved through 100 domestic renewable energy production and um we’re also looking at increasing our protected forest areas to 67 percent of dominica’s land mass so uh some of the initiatives that creed is undertaking include a community emergency readiness initiative in pursuit of targets one two and four from our 20 targets that speaks to making communities safe and self-reliant during a disaster event and in the ensuing period thereafter so this initiative will

seek to ensure that there are disaster management committees in each community we undertake a physical vulnerability assessments of communities develop a comprehensive community disaster management plan and provide all the necessary infrastructure supplies equipment required for our community to be able to manage post-disaster for a period of 15 days in the event that this community is cut off for a period of time we also one of the other initiatives that we are currently engaged in developing is a resilient dominican physical plan we must ensure that our physical infrastructure can withstand uh or recover quick quickly from a natural disaster so the the resilient dominican physical plan will be a comprehensive plan that addresses all infrastructure and the standards that we are required to achieve the resilience so it has to be prepared um so that a structured approach to creating a resilient country can be implemented the plan will address uh the critical areas of utilities ports roads bridges drainage housing schools health centers shelters coastal and rivers it looks at all these aspects and it will also emphasize asset maintenance and consider the life cycle cost of the investments there will also need to be a legislative framework to institutionalize the resilient dominican plan and that has to be established and special development areas be prepared for roseau and portsmouth which are the main city centers in the brazilian dominican physical plan will also include a hydrological survey and flood landslide risk management plan dominica is very mountainous and has numerous rivers streams and waterways that make the island prone to land slippages and flooding so the survey that will be done is a mandatory precursor to the preparation of a flood mitigation plan during both erica and maria flooding had a significant impact on our infrastructure um there was housing damage as a result of landslides and flooding and significant economic loss it is the fact that hydrological events which often include flooding and landslides frequently influence livelihoods and the continuity of basic services so a hydrological survey will identify the main drivers of adverse hydrological events and threats both to our watersheds and water supplies and threats posed by human and climatic activities and it will provide a more informed data-driven and evidence-based foundation for mitigating our risks improving environmental economic and social protections and critical information towards water resource management in general the risk mitigation plan will also detail activities actions procedures for the cause and policies to mitigate the frequency and impacts of flood and landslide events um we’re also looking at an innovative approach to insurance where we look at um educating the public of the importance of insurance strengthening our regulation and facilitating facilitating a dialogue between insurance companies and credit unions on affordable home insurance and also leveraging the new thinking in insurance including the use of blockchain and other technologies to increase dominicans um access to appropriate affordable products the we will also be looking at the establishment of a blue economy investment fund and this is this is to leverage private sector investment um and in the blue economy and at the same time steer towards initiatives which are key to support overall climate resilience um ambitions of the government of dominica uh i know that i’m running out of time so i’ll just go quickly um the journey to resilience that we have embarked on is no doubt an ambitious and costly one but it is one that we remain focused and steadfast on since the storms of 2015 we have resettled two communities in resilient purpose-built communities that has integrated all aspects of resilience including hurricane and earthquake-proof buildings and protection for utilities underground government has built so far approximately fifteen hundred of a promised five thousand climate

resilient homes for the most vulnerable and public expenditures to support housing construction uh has um has totaled 15 percent of gdp through 2017 to 2019 we have rehabilitated 7 000 homes uh in five years uh we are also ensuring that national budgeting policies and performance measurements frameworks are informed by resilience targets so um in conclusion our small island developing states and the caribbean continue to be disproportionately affected by climate change and we must take the steps that are necessary to build resilience and climate proof our countries so domnica hopes to become a model of resilience that can be replicated in other states that face similar challenges like we face and just to say to you you may wonder why i have this last slide with pictures of whales the sperm whales are also our constituents they live in the waters of dominica throughout the year i invite you to come to dominica to view them but we must also take them into account when we think of resilience dominica is pursuing an audacious project with common earth and the cloudburst foundation to study and decode the communication of sperm whales in the hope that it will inspire new generation to conserve and regenerate life above and below the surface of the sea thank you for your attention many thanks this was very interesting and very informative and and the measures taken are really very impressive and a lot of lessons to learn from many of the areas in in the caribbean and dominica thank you so much honorable Baron um i’d like to introduce our next speaker our next speaker is Dr Emily Wilkinson Emily is a senior research fellow in the overseas development institute global risks and resilience program she leads research on risk and uncertainty in development and disaster recovery her current research focuses on disaster and climate risk management state responsibility anticipatory action and effectiveness and accountability in public policy emily has worked with governments non-government organizations and scientific agencies in latin america and the caribbean east africa south asia and the pacific dr wilson this floor is yours thank you very much uh Dalia good afternoon everybody um let me share my screen i’m going to um situate uh dominica’s resilience uh agenda within in in history um in the literature on small island developing states and the constraints on development um and within the kind of international postcovid recovery agenda so i’ll try and cover all of those things in the next um ten minutes or so i can’t seem to move um so so why resilience why are we talking about it now um as as has just been described by ambassador barron um the caribbean has faced um a series of major impacts from climate extremes but also economic and financial shocks and now covet going back as as far as records began and there’s increasing recognition of the need to rethink development to adopt a new paradigm i think academics and policy communities alike even economists would accept that development models are not working well that development is not linear and the risk and uncertainty needs to be better understood and managed in development um and i think there are some important um signs now that um the international community is taking resilience seriously um there’s lots of um sustainable development goals that focus on the need to strengthen resilience it’s in the past agreement um and is the focus this year or next year on cop 26 will be around adaptation and resilience and there’s a push from the uk uh alongside the the race to net zero and that zero carbon emissions there’s a race to resilience as well um and a lot of discussions around green resilience recovery which which suggests that this is not a really a key issue on the international agenda resilient imperative um emerged um after hurricane maria as was just described um but we can go further back um in history and to see that there were there have been frequent hurricane storms flood events landslides and other shocks over time which have severely set back development gains it’s dominica is a small open economy um making it more exposed to uh a number of these shocks

and the high levels of debt of course um mean that it’s harder to address these shocks but also um there’s less fiscal space um in order to respond um and i want to join your attention to a couple of structural factors as well that you may not be aware of which i think are kind of really critical the importance of resilience here 70 percent of the land base in dominica is unsuitable for modern agriculture that severely limits the extent to which kind of more productive agricultural technologies can can be used and 50 of the population approximately is located in high hazard areas and constructed a map to demonstrate how that has changed over time using historical records of population settlements in dominica going back to 1493 when columbus first set site on dominica to demonstrate how this exposure to multiple hazards has increased over time the um the macroeconomic impacts of um of climate shocks um are particularly critical and um of course hurricane maria’s is won in a series of extreme events over the last 30 40 years to have had a really significant impact on the economy um but i want to go again back even further into history to to demonstrate that um there has been this sort of cycle of boom and bust in in agricultural production um due in large part to the monocrop agricultural model applied in dominica during the colonial period and really demonstrating that there are kind of the multiple uh shocks of different varieties really affect productivity and food security so um the building back better and imperative and resilience agenda dominica come from a recognition of these vulnerabilities and the exposure to to hazards and the civil impacts of of these shocks um but i want to draw your attention to what’s really um i think innovative about it and um and building on um what you’ve just heard this is a locally driven agenda it’s been produced by dominica by um creed and the government of dominica this is not an agenda that’s written by external consultants or by the world bank which i think is really important it’s it’s tailored to the specific geographical and geophysical and social economic context of this small island um so the the measures and the metrics which i will talk about in a second um are very much um tailored to to that context it’s focused on self-sufficiency there are a lot of targets and um initiatives that aim to make um to help communities to be self-reliant and to cope with um with hurricanes and other shocks and without the need for external assistance in immediately which i think is really critical given the topography of the island and the way in which communities can easily be cut off by landslides and flooding and um there are transformative really important transformative aspects of this agenda including around agricultural systems critical infrastructure protecting and and leveraging natural resources to boost the economy but also protect the population from extreme weather events and um the the resilience agenda really puts people at the center which is uh absolutely critical so how how thinking about how to measure resilience and why it’s so important um i wanted to just just to as a sort of side note to mention that there have been ongoing discussions in the academic community for quite some time about indicators what to measure is resilience and end goal this step process is it about the resilience of a system or a particular group should it be a subjective or an objective measure what what constitutes a kind of resilience quality or characteristics so these discussions have been going on for quite some time and academics certainly don’t agree about these things but there is now a time the time has come to draw a line in the sand to to take some decisions about measurement um particularly at the national level um because because of the need to attract investment because of the need to actually have projects financed to have a

global commitment around adaptation and resilience and there’s there are efforts to establish now a global goal on adaptation which has a resilience component to it um and there’s development um by the eu of a sustainable finance taxonomy which doesn’t at the moment have enough about resilience and it just it is more focused on mitigation but that there’s a real need now to um to establish um some agreement around brazilians measurements and here i think um dominica has a lot to offer you’ve seen this chart before so i won’t dwell on it but um just to say that the way that dominica’s thinking about resilience is very much in line with um thinking and um frameworks that have been used elsewhere in development humanitarian communities with thinking about stronger overall socioeconomic development but also a reduced impact and reduced time to recover and this is from multiple shocks not just climate change these are aspects of resilience that will help dominica to address lots of different external shocks and pressures here is an example of some of the metrics or some of the the 2030 targets that you that you saw before but i just wanted to use this to demonstrate um how we’re thinking about the um the contribution that these outcome level targets will make to resilience and there they can be thought about across these three um characteristics um there are some there are some targets that are very much more focused about long-term um socio-economic development and others that are more focused on how um different shocks the impact of different shocks and the ability to recover from them so there’s there’s amongst the 20 targets there’s consideration of all of these aspects of resilience and for each of the targets um there are uh intermediate outcomes and um output level indicators so um thinking has gone into how dominic is going to measure progress towards its overall resilience goal and this is my last slide um really just to to to summarize that there are um options coming on stream now and a lot of discussion around scaling up climate finance green recovery and um and debt relief and how um debt relief can be used to stimulate and encourage investment in in resilience and green um green recovery initiatives um and lots of other sort of financing instruments which will be available to countries that have a kind of clear agenda around resilience and that have identified the targets and what resilience means and how it’s going to be implemented i think dominique has a a really credible plan um with a set of initiatives attached to it and quite an impressive level of transparency around what’s going to happen over the next 10 years and i think this provides an important demonstration effect for certainly other small island developing states of um what can be what can be set out and what targets should look like and and how to measure progress um and and in addition i think this makes an important contribution to global resilience knowledge to what resilience building looks like in practice um and and how it can be achieved so thank you very much thank you very much emily thanks a lot excellent timing and it’s great thank you so much for enlightening us also about the indicators and actions that are on the ground and happening this is very very promising our next speaker is uh Dr Stacy-Ann Robinson Dr Robinson is an assistant professor of environmental studies at Colby college in waterville maine um she has expertise in the field of small islands global climate change multi-level governance and environmental stewardship she has over 10 years of experience in working in the government nonprofit and private sectors including representing the government of jamaica in the economic and financial committee to the united nations general assembly and the international seabed authority the floor is yours thank you

thank you so much dahlia it’s a pleasure to be here and just to share some perspectives on what i’ve titled my presentation to be and that’s vulnerability to extreme weather events in the caribbean so one of the things i’ll start off by saying is that this talk is not very specific to dominica we had two very excellent presentations before me that really spoke to the nuances of dominica so i thought my contribution could speak a little bit more to the broader or the wider caribbean region so in the time that i’ve been allocated i hope to cover four things first i want to give you a little bit of context around climate change and extreme events in small islands then i want to talk a little bit about vulnerability to extreme weather events in the caribbean i then want to focus on the 2017 north atlantic hurricane season and to then segue into responding to disasters in the caribbean and i’m hoping to highlight a couple points that will segue nicely into a discussion now you’ve heard many terms already and i will add to the number of terms that you’ll hear today but one of the things that is really important for following my talk is just understanding just the diversity of terminologies that i will use so i thought a good place to start would be to explain some of the things that i’ll be talking about so these definitions have been taken from the fifth assessment report annex to glossary to the ipcc uh report that was uh released in 2014 ipcc intergovernmental panel on climate change so already i’ve mentioned extreme weather event and this is an event that is rare at a particular place and time of the year i will probably mention risk and by that i mean the potential for consequences where something of value is at stake and risk reader results from the interaction of vulnerability exposure and hazard so what is vulnerability very broadly it’s that propensity or predisposition to be adversely affected in terms of exposure this is where the presence of people infrastructure livelihoods ecosystems in places and settings that could be adversely affected and this is connected to sensitivity and sensitivity refers to the degree to which a system or species uh is affected either adversely or beneficially by either climatic variability or climatic changes then i will probably talk about hazards and that is the potential occurrence of a natural or human induced physical event it also refers to loss and damage where it concerns property infrastructure livelihood service provision etc and then i’ll mention disaster and this is where there have been severe alterations in the normal functioning of a community or society as the result of a hazard now another term that i will use and we’ve heard uh previously from the two speakers is small island developing states sids now i consider this my area of expertise once it interacts with climate change adaptation but one of the things that i want to say is that there’s no agreement on which countries constitute sids the number of sids so broadly in my research i look at 58 countries that are spread across three main geographic regions one of them is the caribbean and in this you will see with the blue dots then you have the atlantic indian ocean mediterranean and south china sea region and this is denoted by the red dots and you have the pacific uh that is denoted by the green dots in this illustration so in the caribbean there are 29 sids if you are considering 58 countries that might constitute constitute this grouping of sids it’s important for me to clarify that sids are different from small islands i should point out as well that sids tends to be a political classification that came about out of advocacy by these countries at the united nations but

if we’re talking about small islands specifically that might be based on their size these countries might not all be countries or states some persons consider them the real islands so in the context of the caribbean this could include for example san andreas which is one of the colombian islands but would exclude guyana which is considered one of the sids in the caribbean sids certainly are different from small island states or nations where this categorization could be based on size their states in some instances it considers income so could include countries such as antigua and barbuda or dominica or could exclude areas such as puerto rico this is also different from small states which can be based on size their states but not all of them are islands so this could include countries such as belize and suriname but could exclude cuba because cuba is a pretty big small island all right so now i want to take us back to the ipcc fifth assessment report chapter 29 that focuses exclusively on small islands and here i want you to denote the difference between small island and sids now when it comes to the interaction of climate change and coastal environments coastal communities and small islands it’s important for the ipcc for example to have a very high degree of confidence in terms of the detection of a climate impact as well as a very high degree of confidence in the in in the attribution of that impact to climate change so when you take a closer look at this illustration which i took from page 16 27 number two is that factor uh that the ipcc has a very high degree of confidence in terms of detection and attribution and if we’re to look closely number two is sea level rise consistent with global means so this is one of the things that i’ll always say in the context of small islands not necessarily seds sea level rise is that most obvious climate impact so you’re thinking but what about the other things right so look again at this chart and you’ll notice that number five is that impact that the ipcc has high confidence in terms of detection and high confidence in terms of attribution and number five is coral bleaching in small island marine environments so you’re thinking now that we’re talking about hurricanes here so where do hurricanes fit into this i want to bring your attention to number 14 and number 17 on the diagram so number 14 refers to general environmental degradation and loss of habitat particularly in urban locations and number 17 is casualties and damage during extreme events so what we’re seeing there is that the ipcc actually has very high confidence in the detection of casualties and damage associated with um climate change however the attribution to climate change is the problem that exists so what we can take from this is that there is evidence of casualties and damage during extreme uh events but that the science is not at the place where we can exclusively attribute this change to climate change so what does that mean it means that there’s actually increasing evidence that climate change is causing hurricanes to grow stronger and more destructive so i want to be very clear here that this is actually a case for intensity but not necessarily frequency so we’re seeing now where hurricanes are producing heavier rain their storm surges are riding at top higher sea levels and in many cases they’re lingering longer over land causing increased flooding and infrastructure damage but the five costliest u.s earth system hazards have all been hurricanes so we’re not talking about earthquakes we’re not talking about volcanic eruptions we’re not talking about bush fires the big ticket items are hurricanes so these five costliest hazards have all occurred in the fact in the past 15

years so here we have hurricane katrina in 2005 hurricane sandy in 2012 and hurricanes harvey irma and maria all in 2017. so the point i want to make here is that these systems all pass through the caribbean before they went on to cause significant damage in the united states so taking a closer look at the 2017 north atlantic hurricane season it’s been the costliest on record to date in terms of type of tropical system we had 18 depressions 17 storms 10 total hurricanes and six major hurricanes we’re talking about categories three four and five in terms of loss and damage we had almost 3 500 fatalities and close to 300 billion us dollars in total damage now the point i want to make here is that sids broadly but specifically in the caribbean these countries are disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change to the impacts of extreme weather events now when i’m talking about disproportionately vulnerable i’m looking at it in three ways i’m talking about high exposure and one of the ways we can think of high exposure is the density of coastal populations uh for example the percentage of the population living within x kilometers of the coast or the percentage of the population living below x meters another way that i’m looking at it is high sensitivity we’re looking at heavy economic reliance on coastal systems particularly particularly tourism and fisheries and i’m also considering low adaptive capacity so here i’m thinking about things like narrow range of political institutions colonial legacies restrictions on access to finance and the ability to invest in response and recovery now there are three photos that i want to share with you this photo is actually a section of barbuda post-hurricane irma still on the 2017 uh season now about 82 percent of the population in antigua and barbuda lives within five kilometers of the coast but this density of coastal populations is not unique just to antigua in countries such as the bahamas it’s around 97 in dominica in grenada it’s probably somewhere around 80 percent as well now this second photo is of a section of tortola which is in the bvi british virgin islands post hurricane irma again and sensitivity from my perspective is illustrated in the fact that this is a tourist area and about 80 percent of bvi’s gdp comes from travel and tourism but again this is not unique to bvi and we’re seeing across the caribbean where the share of total employment is around 14 when it concerns tourism and the total share of gdp across the caribbean is probably somewhere around 15 uh percent now here we have a section of northern cuba and this in my mind illustrates low adaptive capacity because here you’re thinking about the average wages in cuba being around thirty dollars per month uh gdp per capita in countries such as haiti is around 750 u.s dollars a year in dominica it’s probably somewhere around 300 us dollars for the year so considering the the level of resources at the at households uh how can these communities respond now i realize i’m running out of time so i will skip uh just a brief discussion on the 2020 uh season and i want to move just finally into how our countries can respond to disasters in the caribbean now one of the important things is to understand the constraints or the barriers and this list is not exhaustive i think it’s super important to think about the frequency of the events in dominica for example we saw them uh being impacted by tropical storm erica into in 2015 and then uh almost quickly again by hurricane irma in 2017. we see the the same uh trend with countries such as the bahamas

that uh in 2017 also hit by irma and again in 2019 by a hurricane dorian an important consideration is also the availability of insurance some of the trends across the caribbean are indicating that the tourism sector tends to be very well insured but not the residential sector in terms of limits we’re thinking about small size right the physical geography of these countries and the narrow range of their institutions another consideration is political status not all the countries in the caribbean are independent there are many uh dependent uh territories in the in the caribbean and then you have countries such as puerto rico that have a unique colonial-like uh relationship with a metropolitan in this case the united states but access to financing is a critical issue uh one thing that i’ll point out is that there are probably about five countries in the region that are classified as high income economies so countries such as antigua and barbuda bahamas and kits and nevis will all have trouble accessing concessional financing because of their economic classification so lastly i will say that there are opportunities and this from my perspective rests in regional governance and coordination the work of the five c’s that’s located in belize and sidima which is in barbados and these regional organizations can access financing for the countries uh in the region that might have a difficulty directly accessing these resources thank you thank you stacey very much thank you everyone this is a very um very informative and very exciting session to to moderate honestly i mean going from all the the current uh efforts and resiliences in the dominica to the really the outlook and the understanding of the targets and what has already been achieved so far and then understanding the resiliency and the islands and how more of the technical difficulties of of reaching out with with the message of whether or not it’s accepted that it’s climate change or not and what are the efforts and what is the role of the small island uh versus uh sids in this in this context so um i i would like to open up the floor now uh for questions um i do have a few questions that i have written up and we have a few members of the audiences from the caribbean which is very exciting um is it okay if i read out the questions and you could let me know if you would like to answer it one question is how do you focus attention and reach out in the community to have policy changes targeting resiliency when other issues of employment and immigration receive a much higher attention would you like us to respond are you going to this i think francine it might be best this probably is for you you came right after your talk so you could start and okay uh for us and dominica i think resilience has taken center stage uh after 2015 and the damage caused us by tropical storm erica uh we resolved then to build back better and so um and then after maria came two years afterwards when we had the significant devastation then um i think the prime minister led the way by um his speech to the u.n shortly after maria within four or five days of of maria where he said that uh dominica will become the first climate resilient country so since then our focus has been on building resilience and um resilience is not only about our physical infrastructure it’s it’s resilience generally so looking at a stronger economy looking at issues of uh social resilience environmental resilience so when you when you look at the overarching um idea of resilience it encompasses all of the issues so the question of employment is part of it because you you want your people to be resilient you want your economy to be thriving so um i i i think when you um for us it was pretty clear that um we had to go on the path of building resilience and the resilience looks at everything holistically so even where we’re facing a situation of covid19 now for example um if you have a an economy that is diversified and and therefore more resilient then you’re better able to withstand uh uh a disaster like kovid which is not climate related but has significant impact on the economy thank you

thank you very much indeed it is all connected um and this kind of also feeds into the next question which is moving citizens from climate vulnerable locations where they have long group and history can be challenging how do you manage to get citizens on board again for us um uh that i approached this from two ways uh we had to uh relocate two communities that were damaged as a result of tropical storm erica for us it was easier to get people to go along because the disaster was fresh in their minds they saw um their neighbors and family their homes were basically washed away by the um by the sea and and and um landslides and land slips took away whole houses and families so it was it was very clear to them that this was not an area that they they wanted to reside in any longer so taking the pitted savan community for example we had over 20 persons died in that area in some instances whole families and because the communities are so tight-knit everybody knew everybody and is unless related um and so in instance some instances people’s homes still remained in the village but the entire village was considered to be a disaster zone and no longer safe to live in so even though you had um challenges with people who still had mortgages on homes that still existed but they could no longer live in that community they they understood that they needed to move and so um the the transition was made easier by the government providing housing support uh to them until they were able to government was able to rebuild not to rebuild but to build a new community for them and um because of the particular circumstances the housing was given to them free of charge so it was easier for them to make that decision but we do have other areas in dominica that are considered vulnerable and that people will have to be relocated uh the the experiences again of 2016 and 20 2015 and 2017 has shown them that where they live is very vulnerable so it’s a question of um educating the community to let them understand that they are in a vulnerable area and that and and the potential of them either losing their lives or their property and making available to them alternative sites at a reasonable price so that they are able to to take the decision to move thank you thank you francine very much and building on this question uh there is a question that says is there a way for caribbean nations to coordinate resilience efforts or is it necessarily a country-specific challenge i i think that um dr robinson spoke to the fact that um this we are all facing similar challenges in the caribbean and all of us as a caricom community has we’ve all resolved to become resilient countries um we’re not all sids as a doctor robinson has pointed out for guyana guyana is it is a low-lying state but has similar issues with with flooding and and storms so we we as a caricom community are uh engaged in resilience building measures uh the the challenge that we face is that the building resilience is a very expensive exercise and because some of our countries are rated as high and middle income with the access to concessional and grand financing is not always available um and in some instances not available at all to to some of all countries so it is very challenging um to come up with the money up front to to put in the resilience building measures that are necessary but we have reached the realization that we do not have a choice we have to try to do it thanks can i add something to that of course yeah i just i wanted to mention another kind of cross-border issue which comes is coming up a lot and sort of prompting um countries to think about um uh that the needs to kind of develop adaptation plans resilience plans that uh um have a kind of a regional dimension to them um is the issue of food security and i think i had somebody um say on a webinar last week that dominica and jamaica could together provide enough um agricultural produce for the rest

of the caribbean if if it was kind of well organized enough and if the distribution and production was organized in that way um hence like reducing the need to import um many kind of food stuff particularly in an emergency from outside the region so i think there are definitely aspects of this issue which are fundamentally regional and require that level of kind of coordination and solidarity and um and certainly in the kind of coveted response um that that coordination that solidarity has been impressive i would say compared with many other regions in the world and exactly the kind of thing that we need um when multilateralism fails so i think there are definitely aspects of this which are really uh require that kind of regional uh support um uh so yeah so i think it is it’s it’s definitely a very important dimension thank you dr wilkinson this is very uh very pertinent um i do have two questions that are kind of building off some of the the points that dr wilkinson had mentioned earlier uh there is a question specifically saying that it’s encouraging to see intermediary outcomes against existing indicators and what is the plan to share performance against targets with the population with the dominican population i guess it’s one of those you know the work has been done how do you report it back to stakeholders thank you yes that’s a very good question and the the starting point really for this is um to establish a baseline so we’re in the process of collecting data um that’s that will be we’ll be able to give a picture of where dominica is at at the moment and some of that information comes from understanding the impacts of hurricane maria and some of the kind of post disaster needs assessment and damage assessments that were done but there’s definitely a few gaps to fill there and when we have a very clearer picture of the starting point um then that’s that’s a great moment to then set out uh publicly the goals and the targets um and the um the outcomes that are expected along the way and and hopefully set up some kind of dashboard so that people can actually follow that um because it’s a great way of also getting people engaged and on board with the with the resilience agenda thank you thank you so much uh one more question dr wilkinson uh since it’s um you mentioned that there’s difficulty in measuring resilience and adaptation what are the de facto measures being used to assess progress in dominica and uh where they have had to bracket this problem and move forward thanks yeah i mean we probably passed a little bit quickly over some of the um the targets in the climate resiliency recovery plan but there there are 20 targets and they’re focused um across these um different um outcome areas and there are targets around strengthening the economy there are targets around more resilient infrastructure stronger communities um and and around the environment and so they’re sort of divided across those areas and and they’re all equally important so we want to see progress on all of those indicators um what i will say is that looking at the um oh there’s a working paper that’s been produced around a global adaptation goal and the discussion in there and the kind of indicators that they’re proposing are very much um output indication indicators so there are things being done rather than what happens as a result of those things being done so um which is why i’m very sort of keen to emphasize um the the um how advanced really um dominica’s resilience plan is in setting out those those outcomes things that we want to see change on the ground by 2030 so i’m not seeing that across um any of the sort of national adaptation plans that i’ve looked at or as i said this this national this isn’t a global adaptation target um so yeah it’s pretty impressive many thanks many thanks uh one question to dr robinson what is i mean since it’s not really widely accepted that resilience efforts are attributed to climate change do you find that this is impacting disaster prevention measures sorry can you read the first part of the question again yeah i guess in your presentation you mentioned at some point that it’s not widely accepted that resilience efforts are attributed to a changing climate or even the disasters are attributed to a changing climate in the community and that was a problem do you think this impacts the prevention measures or the disaster uh prevention measures or recovery measures

okay so one of the things that i want to clarify is the information i presented from the ipcc report was from the first release in 2014 right so a sixth assessment report is due to be released in 2021 and i assume that there will be like a shift in in the body of knowledge in terms of how we’re understanding uh detection and attribution so that data was as current as uh the release in 2014 uh so one of the things i think it’s important to consider is how science is communicated and i think this links into the question that we had gotten earlier about how do you communicate the need to relocate so i think once there isn’t that direct communication line from scientists to persons implementing on the ground there will always be a disconnect but in the case of the caribbean where there is evidence year after year of the impacts of these hurricanes and like i said uh in the fifth assessment report there was strong evidence in terms of intensity i think the 2020 season is actually showing us something new in terms of frequency so i’m personally interested in understanding how the science has advanced in terms of connecting the frequency of hurricanes to climate change that hasn’t been made public yet but the fact that we are now tied in some respects uh to the 20 of 2005 season is really a cause for a concern thank you [ __ ] um i do have a couple of questions here one is about uh plastic pollution in london ocean and uh can you say anything about that sorry in relation to what sorry plastic pollution it wasn’t uh i mean is this an issue to what extent and is it impacting the island right in terms of jamaica just broadly in the caribbean um probably korea i would say yeah well this is not my research era per se um but definitely throughout the caribbean land-based sources of pollution is really a challenge especially to local governments so in jamaica for example the kingston harbor you know happens to be one of the most polluted harbors uh in the region and that has a lot to do with uh the layout of kingston and how that facilitates the uh transportation of plastic bottles and and other debris into the harbor but i would say that perhaps there is a hierarchy of environmental threats and right now based on what we’re seeing the region is very concerned about hurricanes and about the ability uh to recover from hurricanes especially uh when countries such as dominica and the bahamas are you know repeatedly impacted in such a very uh short uh space of time but like i think one of the earlier questions is that there are so many development challenges in the region it’s hard uh to determine which one is most critical but what i can say is that many of them are very much interrelated and any climate change considerations are connected to development challenges are connected to resilience and connected to another buzz term which is transformation how do we change our societies in such a radical way that can make us resilient to climate threats and other threats sorry indeed and this takes us back also to what francine had had uh you know mentioned the importance of education and awareness raising and you know working on the indicators and criteria uh one more question for dr robinson mentioning how you’ve mentioned how departments and pr have a different outlook on resiliency any advice for the islanders who are within departments like my family in guadalupe to gain footing on resiliency without taking on something like french politicians all right so one of the things that i’ve gleaned from my research where it concerns resilience and and transformation especially those actors that are working on climate adaptation whether in the region or for the region is that there’s no general or common understanding of what resilience is so my takeaway from that is that resilience means different things to different people

so i would argue that it’s very much context specific and that might be one of the reasons why it’s challenging to implement a caribbean wide resiliency program because what i would say is that in dominica uh resilience is going to look different from resilience in jamaica in the bahamas so i would encourage persons to have a think about what resilience would mean uh for them as individuals as households as communities because as i said before you know resilience in a guadalupe or martinique is going to be different but the political status overall can also be a driver of change and also a barrier to change and that again is gonna you know vary between the french departments or the british departments so just uh underscoring that it’s very context specific and it’s important for individuals and communities on you know other social groups to determine what resilience would mean for them and how that can be the basis of transformation thank you everyone um i i believe we might have one more question for if if that’s okay um well one is really about whether or not the cause of what’s happening is related to economics or the question is majority are believing that going solar energy and wind energy our best solution to climate change but i think differently i think economic development is the cause of the climate change because economic development brings more asphalt and concrete which it brings the heat island effect or urban heat effect and this phenomena makes unable to cool down at night from daytime heating from black surfaces from this standpoint economic development and saving environment are completely 180 degrees are we misled or misinformed by energy industry all right i mean i have a go at responding to that i mean i don’t i don’t think there are kind of opposing views so the um the desire to increase um use production of renewable energy in the caribbean is both one of um reducing uh environmental impacts and contributing to the kind of um climate change mitigation goals but it’s also one of resilience as well and um having locally produced if you like um sources of of energy um is is good when there’s a crisis and um and and reduces reliance on on imports which is good for all of these economies um with the exception of trinidad perhaps um so so i i mean i think i don’t think it’s a sort of it’s an either or but one thing that we’re seeing a lot more of and i hopefully will continue to expand is um nature-based solutions to to strengthening resilience and reducing risks and release you know that that’s an area that’s growing very rapidly there’s a lot of innovation there and thinking about how to use kind of natural barriers to um storm surge um in coastal areas and and flooding rather than you know building a a concrete wall so there are lots of initiatives like that which i think you know small scale still but um there’s real potential there and i think um a lot of this is happening in the caribbean there’s a real kind of innovator in that space thanks of course many thanks for bringing this up and really the last question is really emphasizing more and more that you know if no action is taken immediately you know uh more catastrophes are to be expected um thank you everyone uh todd i don’t know if you would like to end the session it’s been a very informative and great session from everybody thank you very much to our speakers um honorable baron dr wilkinson and dr robinson and todd thank you very much for coordinating and managing this whole agenda thank you you’re mute goodness excuse me i want to thank our speakers who came to us i believe from from russo dominica from outside of london uh great britain from waterville maine in the u.s from washington dc in the us and thank you for all of you for to to you for joining us it was a very interesting discussion and really it seems that we need to pay more attention to bellwether

cases like dominica and other cases in the caribbean because they will be and have been some of the first tests of of climate adaptation and it’s very important for us to understand how to take a holistic view of this and and a broad approach so we really do appreciate the experience of dominica and other caribbean islands and i will continue to follow those very closely thank you again please join us on december 2nd at 6 pm for the next in a series we will have another talk in february um and but on december 2nd it will be populism democracy and climate adaptation in politically sensitive environments again just to thank our speakers and um and all of all of you for joining us thank you very much thank you

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