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Aug 9, 2011

CCCCC and CCRIF partner to tackle climate change risks

Still reeling from the effects of hurricane Richard in 2010 and with an active projected hurricane season, the need for insurance to reduce costs from hurricanes and earthquakes in the Caribbean is higher than ever.  The Caribbean region, with a number of small developing territories in the hurricane belt, has been pursuing a number of initiatives to ameliorate the impact of climate change. The CCCCC, a CARICOM Institution and CCRIF, a risk pooling facility for Caribbean Governments, partnered with a Memorandum of Agreement to limit the financial impact of disasters to Belize. News Five’s Andrea Polanco covered this story at the 5 Cs Center, as it is called.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Center today signed an MOU with the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility. The MOU is expected to alleviate and manage the projected impacts of natural disasters:

Dr. Simon Young, C.E.O., CCRIF

Simon Young

“This MOU affirms our mutual commitment to finding solutions that will enable the countries within the region to better manage the risk caused by natural hazards and climate change and to minimize the social economic physical and environmental damage caused by these events. For countries with small economies like those in our region, it’s well documented that a single event category such as a hurricane can have a devastating effect on physical infrastructure, livelihoods and the social economic fabric of the country. In essence the CCRIF has three main aims: first to cover the post disaster equity gab faced by governments between immediate emergency aid and long term develop assistance. Two; to enable governments to receive money quickly with the payout calculated completely objectively and three; to minimize the burden of governments to provide exposure information prior to coverage being initiated and wants information after disaster.”

Dr. Ulric Trotz says that the collaboration with CCRIF is a worthwhile partnership for the development of Belize and the wider Caribbean.

Ulric Trotz

Dr. Ulric Trotz, Science Adviser, CCCCC

“Since the appearance of CCRIF this has started. At the moment, their work at introducing new insurance mechanism example; their parametric insurance scheme for countries which ensures early disbursements to governments after catastrophe is a step in the right direction. We also welcome their present initiatives to explore new avenues like index insurance the provision of access to insurance for the agricultural sector inclusive of small farmers. Our work together with CCRIF, McKenzie and Swiss Wear on determining the economic cost of adaptation and to provide governments with a quantitative decision making tool for adaptation promises to be of great value of the region. We would hope that this Memorandum of Understanding which we are about to sign will strengthen our collaboration and we look forward to the productive partnership which would help our two organizations to work together to better define a risk profile for the Caribbean a risk profile that can form a basis for the design and provision of a range of affordable insurance instruments for the region.”

Natural disasters that struck the region just a few years back highlighted the need for CCRIF and climate change continues to underscore its value:

Dr. Simon Young

“We only need to look back a few years to hurricane Ivan in 2004 which caused damage to almost two hundred percent of domestic products in two Caribbean islands—Grenada and the Cayman Islands—as well as significant damage to Jamaica. In fact it was hurricane Ivan that led to the genesis of the Caribbean catastrophe risk insurance facility as CARICOM heads of government came together to discuss critical issues surrounding the need for the provision of catastrophe risk insurance for its members. As we all realize, climate change is expected to exasperate risks to countries in the region by causing extreme weather events that will occur with greater intensity and frequency—further increasing the existing vulnerabilities of these islands. In fact preliminary results of the study on the economics of climate adaptation in the Caribbean conducted last year indicates that annual expected losses from wind, storm surge and inland flooding currently amount to up to six percent of GDP in some countries in the region.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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