It is important to note that the climate of a destination, whether a region or a country, is one of its major attributes.
SEVERAL articles have been written about the impact of climate change on factors such as food security, longevity of life, and the environment, but very few studies have actually examined climate change and tourism and the impact one construct has on the other. This relationship between both phenomena can be considered reciprocal; tourism impacts climate change and climate change impacts tourism.
Tourism activities are known to adversely impact the natural environment, consequently causing a change in climatic conditions. This is due to infrastructure and superstructure developments, water sports and transportation among other activities. This aspect of the relationship is reasonably examined, but what is missing from the literature is the influence the change in climatic conditions has on tourism. It is believed that tourism is climate-sensitive and this effect needs to be fully understood, especially since one of its greatest impacts has to do with tourism demand. It is important to note that the climate of a destination, whether a region or a country, is one of its major attributes. It is also a critical determinant in tourists’ decision to visit the destination. For instance, a decrease in snow coverage or melting of glaciers will reduce skiing activities in countries such as Switzerland, Austria and Italy.
The dilemma for tropical countries such as Jamaica, being a tourism-dependent country, is the eventuality of the prediction that cold countries will become colder and warm countries will become warmer/hotter. This suggests that destinations in the tropics could possibly be unattractive as the extreme heat can be a deterrent for some travellers.
There is yet another prediction that cold areas will become warmer. In this case, these previously ‘cold climate’ countries will have an increase in their domestic tourism as their residents will have little desire to travel to warmer countries unless motivated by other reasons than climatic conditions. There will also be an increase in international tourism for those countries as people will be motivated to visit due to the reduced “bitter coldness”. This shift in travel could result in a subsequent decrease in tourism number in tropical destinations.
Despite the mixed predictions regarding climate change, what is obvious is that tourism-dependent countries in the tropics will be affected either way. Thus, the need for more investigation in this area as this phenomenon of climate change has an obvious impact on international tourism, which can consequently determine the fate of any destination.
This article is a call for a more comprehensive approach in assessing the dynamics of climate change and its various impacts on tourism, especially as it relates to Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.
Gaunette Sinclair-Maragh, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Technology, Jamaica
Reposted from: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Tourism-and-climate-change–A-reciprocal-relationship_18434506]]>
Ground being broken for the BMR wind farm in Malvern, St Elizabeth. This Jamaica Public Service Company wind farm is just across the road from the planned BMR wind farm in Malvern, St Elizabeth
Ground being broken for the BMR wind farm in Malvern, St Elizabeth. (PHOTOS: GREGORY BENNETT)
Wigton Windfarm at Rose Hill in South Manchester has launched a third phase, Wigton III.
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Ground was broken for two major wind energy projects in south Manchester and south east St Elizabeth late last month.
First was Wigton III, a 24MW plant, part of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Wigton wind farm which currently produces just under 38.7MW of wind energy at Rose Hill in South Manchester.
The work on Wigton III will be carried out by Spanish wind energy company Gamesa under a US$45-million contract. Planners say 80 per cent of the funding is coming from the preferential Venezuela/Caribbean oil alliance, PetroCaribe, with 20 per cent from Wigton equity.
A few days later, a second project was launched in the hills of Malvern close to Munro College in St Elizabeth, across the road from an existing Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) wind farm.
That’s an initiative of BMR Jamaica Wind Limited, a subsidiary of the US-based BMR Energy.
The Malvern project is costing US$80 million with the bulk of the money coming from the US quasi government investment agency, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which promotes US overseas investment. OPIC has US$700 million committed to financing renewable energy investments in the Caribbean.
Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell said a third renewable energy project for south central Jamaica will be launched in Content Village, Clarendon soon. Paulwell said the solar project, worth $7 billion and providing 20MW, will also be developed by US investors.
Paulwell said the renewable projects formed part of a determination to reduce Jamaica’s US$2 billion oil import bill.
He also described as “music to my ears”, news that the Malvern project will provide direct and indirect employment of close to 200 people during the construction phase.
PCJ officials told Jamaica Observer Central that Wigton III will provide about 125 temporary jobs during construction.
– Garfield Myers
Reposted from: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/regional/Wind-and-more-wind_18522427]]>
WAHLSTRÖM…the report is a wake-up call for countries to increase their commitment to invest in smart solutions to strengthen resilience to disasters
UNITED NATIONS (CMC) — A new United Nations report says investing in disaster resilience is vital for sustainable development in the Caribbean and other places.
The 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction said that reducing poverty, improving health and education for all, achieving sustainable and equitable economic growth, and protecting the health of the planet now depend on the management of disaster risks in the day-to-day decisions of governments, companies, investors, civil society organisations, households and individuals.
“The report is a wake-up call for countries to increase their commitment to invest in smart solutions to strengthen resilience to disasters,” said Margareta Wahlström, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s Special Representative on Disaster Risk Reduction, whose office prepared the report.
Stressing that strengthened disaster risk reduction is essential to make development sustainable, the report comes just over a week before of the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan, where an estimated 8,000 delegates will be gathering from March 14-18 to adopt a framework to success the landmark Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA).
Born out of the World Conference on Disaster Reduction in 2005, the Hyogo Framework is a 10-year plan, the first to explain, describe and detail the work that is required to reduce disaster losses.
The UN said the Sendai conference will be the first landmark meeting of a particularly crucial UN year as the organisation is set to lead the global development and climate agenda at a number of major international events.
The UN will host an international meeting in Paris in December on the adoption of a universal text on climate change; a special summit in September for the adoption of a global sustainability agenda; and the financing for development conference in July in Addis Ababa to renew commitment to global development financing.
Wahlström told reporters the new framework to be agreed in Sendai would address technological categories, such as nuclear hazards linked to natural disasters, citing the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that occurred in wake of the earthquake-induced tsunami in northern Japan.
She also said the new framework would include heath and health hazards driven by global epidemics and pandemics in recent years such as SARS [severe acute respiratory syndrome] and the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Both Wahlström and the report’s author, Andrew Maskrey, spoke of the importance of investment with risk and resilience at the core.
“We need to look at how we can get risk management fully hardwired into the DNA of development,” he told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.
Maskrey said the world risks some US$300 billion from disaster losses, which he said translates into US$70 per working-age person on this planet.
The report said that an annual global investment of US$6 billion in disaster risk management strategies would generate total benefits in terms of risk reduction of US$360 billion.
This is equivalent to a 20 per cent reduction of new and additional annual economic losses, according to the UN.
Reposted from: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Investing-in-disaster-resilience-vital-for-region—UN_18518768]]>
Above: the launch ceremony in Kingston (JIS Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Jamaica is slated to launch a $6 million climate change resilience project in the greater Kingston metropolitan area, the government announced this week.
The project is called “Building Climate Resilience of Urban Systems through Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in LAC.” The latter refers to Latin America and the Caribbean, where Jamaica was one of three countries selected by the United Nations Environment Programme to launch such a project.
The objective of the project is to “increase the climate change resilience of vulnerable urban communities,” according to the government.
Jamaica will be launching the project alongside El Salvador and Mexico.
“[We] must begin to think and plan in concrete ways in order to integrate climate considerations in all relevant plans and projects, to deal with rising temperatures, rising seas, deadlier disasters, and changing economic circumstances,” said Jamaica Environment Minister Robert Pickersgill. “This presents new challenges and opportunities to city planners, environmental planners, the construction sector and to civil society. These are very practical matters – where to build, how to build, and the role that ecosystem services can play – in order to develop and prosper within the new climate reality.”
Reposted from: http://www.caribjournal.com/2015/03/04/jamaica-to-launch-6-million-climate-change-resilience-project/#]]>
Inter-American Development Bank
A total of $15 million has been budgeted for the Climate Resilience II Adaptation Programme and Financing Mechanism (pilot), as part of measures to bolster support for climate change activities.
This is outlined in the 2015/16 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The programme, which is expected to start in April 2015, will generate information on approaches to address climate change challenges, help mainstream climate change into development planning and process and disseminate results across sectors. The targets of the programme are: to mainstream climate change through sector strategies and action plans, climate change awareness and training programmes and climate change inputs for National Spatial Plan; implement adaptation measures in the sub-watershed through consultancy services – vulnerability assessment and aquaponics system; and procure office equipment for the Project Management Unit.
The project, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, is slated for completion in March 2020. It is being funded by the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB).
Reposted from: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/-15-million-allocated-to-climate-change-pilot_18497176]]>
Jamaica is one of three countries selected from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to benefit from a US$6 million regional climate change resilience project.
It is proposed that the project, dubbed ‘Building climate resilience of urban systems through Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in LAC’, will be piloted in the Kingston Metropolitan Area.
Expected to last 24 months, the project is to be executed in Jamaica by the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, with financing from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Special Climate Change Fund.
Implementation of the project is also being supported by the United Nations Environment Programme – Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC).
The objective of the project is to increase the climate change resilience of vulnerable urban communities in three medium-sized LAC cities in Jamaica, Mexico and El Salvador, through the application of EbA and its integration into medium-and long-term urban planning.
In Jamaica, it is anticipated that the project will respond to the limitations highlighted in the country’s urban sector by developing new policies or adapting to existing/new strategies that will promote the concept of a Climate Smart Urban Area. It is also expected to bring the use of innovative participatory methodologies for integrating climate change into urban systems.
A national workshop on the project was staged today (March 3) to provide relevant information as well as garner the input and recommendations of key stakeholders.
Addressing the opening of the workshop, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, welcomed the project, stressing that the issue of climate change must become a key factor in the future development plans for the country, particularly urban areas.
“(We) must begin to think and plan in concrete ways in order to integrate climate considerations in all relevant plans and projects, to deal with rising temperatures, rising seas, deadlier disasters, and changing economic circumstances,” he said.
The Minister noted that as the region and world become increasingly urbanised, cities are becoming the epicentres of many developmental challenges, including the challenge of building climate resilience.
“This presents new challenges and opportunities to city planners, environmental planners, the construction sector and to civil society. These are very practical matters – where to build, how to build, and the role that ecosystem services can play – in order to develop and prosper within the new climate reality,” he said.
In addressing these practical issues, the Minister stressed that climate change must move beyond mere awareness, but rather, “we must think creatively, constructively and very concretely about the future of our urban areas within a changed and changing climate.”
The findings of the pilots in the three countries will be used to develop local, national and regional approaches to up-scaling adaptation through ecosystem restoration.
Activities to be undertaken under this project are designed to benefit communities
Reposted from: http://jis.gov.jm/jamaica-benefit-climate-change-resilience-project/
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is set to receive over $58 million to boost the operational and financial sustainability of Jamaica’s system of protected areas.
As contained in the 2015/16 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives, the project is being jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica and the United Nations Development Fund, and is spearheaded by the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change.
The objectives of the project, which commenced in July 2010, are to: strengthen financial planning and revenue generation; increase the effectiveness of Protected Area Management; and rationalise and integrate the national protected area system.
The allocation for the new fiscal year will go towards finalising and disseminating business plans for five Protected Areas (PAs) and provide recommendations for sustainable financing; completing review of co-management contracts and disseminate the findings; and completing the management plan and Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) scorecard for the Discovery Bay Fishery Conservation area; and compiling Marine Spatial Planning for Pedro Cays.
The project has so far seen the installation of mooring buoys in the Negril Marine Park (NMP); development of educational materials for use in building Marine Protected Area and NMP’s; installation of 32 signs/labels in the Mason River PA; developing framework for structure of the National Protected Areas Trust Fund; designing of Public Awareness strategy for decision-makers (e.g. Judiciary); and preparing a draft user fee framework.
It has also seen the designing of project posters and billboards; completion of international and regional benchmark study on similar and/or related projects to include review of similar bilateral & multilateral programmes being simultaneously implemented; and the implementation of Projects Small Grants Initiative in five Protected Areas – Negril Marine Park, Blue & John Crow Mountains National Park, Mason River Protected Area, Hellshire Hills & Goat Islands, Gourie, & Clydesdale/Cinchona Forest Reserves.
Reposted from: http://jis.gov.jm/58-million-set-aside-boost-sustainability-protected-areas/
A sum of $11.2 million has been allocated for the hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) Phase out Management Plan Implementation Project, in the 2015/16 Estimates of Expenditure.
The proposed budget is now before the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives.
The project seeks to freeze importation of HCFCs at 2009 and 2010 average import levels (baseline consumption) and reduce baseline consumption by 10 per cent.
Anticipated targets for the new fiscal year include: hosting one 3-day training of trainers workshop on good practices on refrigeration and alternatives to HCFC in Westmoreland; hosting one 1-day good practice training workshop for technicians in the air-conditioning and refrigeration sectors in Kingston; procuring equipment for use during the train the trainers and technicians’ workshops and for distribution to 20 technicians.
Also, procuring consultant to revise code of practice for the refrigeration and air conditioning industry; engaging firm to do art work and print revised code of practice for the refrigeration and air conditioning industry; procuring refrigerant identifier for Jamaica Customs Agency; and conducting workshop on use of refrigerant identifier.
Some of the achievements of the project since it started in June 2012 include: the hosting of several workshops across the island; the hiring of local and international consultants; procuring of equipment, such as four multi-refrigerant identifiers, recovery machines, safety glasses and workman gloves, recovery cylinders, among others.
The project is being financed by the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Environmental Programme and is scheduled to end in March 2016.
It falls under the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, and will be implemented by the National Environment and Planning Agency.
Reposted from: http://jis.gov.jm/project-phase-hcfcs-gets-11-million/
(Reuters) The bottom of the Almaden Reservoir near San Jose, California, January 2014. Climate change is reshaping the planet in a big way.
Rising temperatures, melting ice, and surging seas are just a few of the obvious effects that we’re already observing.
And, according to recent climate reports, these events could bring on a whole host of other consequences, including bigger storms, increases in infectious disease, shifts in plant and animal life, famines, droughts, and even increased poverty and civil unrest.
In fact, climate change is threatening one of our planet’s most precious and necessary resources: our water.
We don’t mean the oceans, although climate-caused water warming and ocean acidification are going to be big problems too. We’re talking about our freshwater resources — the water we depend on for drinking, bathing, and nourishing our crops, which can’t grow in salt water.
Higher temperatures can increase the chance of drought, making water scarce. Hotter weather also means people, animals, and even plants need to take in bigger volumes of water to avoid dehydration, putting a strain on the water supplies that already exist. On top of that, sea-level rise in coastal areas can allow salty ocean water to contaminate freshwater aquifers, which many coastal communities rely on for their drinking water.
How serious the water problem gets — along with all the other climate-related effects — depends on whether humans can buckle down and start cutting the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases we use currently pour into the atmosphere.
In some places around the world, we’re already seeing the first examples of how climate change could leave us all thirsty. Here are just a few:
(Reuters/Axel Schmidt) Sunbathers in Berlin during Europe’s hottest recorded year. There’s no doubt that the planet is getting warmer. In fact, data from NASA and NOAA indicate that 2014 was the warmest year in recorded history. And some places definitely felt the heat more than others. 2014 was Europe’s warmest year on record as a whole, and it was Australia’s third warmest.
Higher temperatures have big implications for the amount of water we use. Hot weather makes people more likely to get dehydrated, meaning they tend to use more water than they would in milder conditions. People also often use more water in hot weather to water their plants or to irrigate crops.
As temperatures continue to climb, we could see an increased demand for freshwater, even as our supplies begin to dwindle.
Rising temperatures won’t only increase our demand for freshwater — they can also deplete our supplies of it. As the Earth continues to warm, scientists predict we’ll see an increase in droughts. To imagine what that might feel like, we can look back at 2014, which was a big year for drought around the world.
Not all of these past droughts can be definitively blamed on global climate change — for example, arecent study by NOAA suggests that California’s extended drought (currently in its fourth year) was not caused by climate change. But in the future, climate change is likely to bring on more of these same types of multi-year, or even multi-decade, droughts.
Other parts of the world that suffered from drought in the past year include Australia, parts of which are still recovering; the Middle East, which just endured its driest winter in decades, according to Reuters; and Brazil, which is still suffering through its worst drought in a hundred years.
(Nacho Doce/Reuters) Shells are seen on cracked ground as men fish at the Atibainha dam, as the lake dries up due to a prolonged drought in Nazare Paulista, Sao Paulo state, October 17, 2014. Rising temperatures can also deplete freshwater supplies in other ways. Some areas rely on mountain snowpack for some of their freshwater supplies. In parched California, for example, snow that accumulated in the mountains during the winter provides up to a third of the state’s water supply, melting in the spring and trickling down to lower areas.
But, according to California’s Department of Water Resources, climate change will likely result in smaller snow accumulations and cause any existing winter snowpack to melt earlier and faster in the future, making it harder to capture and store. The state expects to lose at least a quarter of its Sierra mountains snowpack by 2050, a major blow to California’s freshwater supplies.
Bangladesh The phrase “sea-level rise” tends to evoke visions of flooding and erosion. These are some of its major consequences, but other effects are more subtle.
One major concern about the rising seas is that they will start to intrude on coastal aquifers — the underground pockets of freshwater that many coastal communities rely on for their drinking water supplies.
Once the saltwater creeps in and contaminates the aquifers, the water either cannot be used or must be desalinated, a costly and energy-consuming process. This is a not-so-distant concern, either — the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that sea level could rise by a meter or more by the end of the century.
Bangladesh is a prime example of how rising sea levels are already threatening everyday life. A low-lying country prone to flooding, Bangladesh is one of the world’s most vulnerable nations when it comes to sea-level rise. A study from the World Bank concluded that the encroaching sea could significantly change the saltwater content of Bangladesh’s rivers, which could cut down on the nation’s drinking water supplies.
These are just a few examples of the ways climate change is already making itself apparent in our water sources around the world. As things continue to heat up on our warming planet, we could all end up very thirsty, indeed.
Reposted from: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/already-seeing-first-examples-climate-152527002.html]]>
The Villarrica volcano, in southern Chile, started erupting overnight, sending a column of fire and rocks into the dark sky.
The eruption started at about 3 a.m. local time (5 a.m. GMT, 12 a.m. EST).
Local news website Emol.com reports that the eruption was highly expected, after weeks of increasing activity. Local authorities called for a red alert in all the areas surrounding the volcano and nearby communities were evacuated.
The volcano has already experienced two major eruptions, in 1964 and 1971.
Reposted from: http://www.businessinsider.com/images-of-villarrica-volcano-erupting-in-chile-2015-3