CARICOM countries are meeting in Belize to look at the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC Special Report. The report provides the latest scientific knowledge on the ocean and land as it relates to climate change. IPCC is a part of the United Nations and it focuses on the scientific findings of climate change. The Caribbean countries are expected to make recommendations during the two-day meeting that will be included in the IPCC final report. Carlos Fuller, the International and Regional Liaison Officer, at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre told the media that the recommendations will be adopted at the 50 Session of the IPCC which will take place on August 2, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Carlos Fuller – International and Regional Liaison Officer: “Today we have brought all the CARICOM member states together to look at the government process in how we will be reviewing this special report so the report itself is still embargoed, we are now getting into it to see what it says, is it addressing the issue of the Caribbean? So that we can provide comments to the authors so that they can then take our comments into account so when the report is finally presented to the plenary to be adopted in August it will incorporate our concerns and it can then be adopted. We cannot speak about the report yet because it is still embargoed but indeed the concerns of the Caribbean need to be in there, that is what we are seeing significant sea level rise now at a rate of about five millimeters per year, we are seeing more erosion, we are seeing our coastal aquifers being salinized as saltwater intrusion goes into aquifers, we are seeing much more bleaching of our coral reefs and indeed if temperatures rise about 1.5 degrees celsius towards 2 degrees celsius coral bleaching which actually becomes the dominant issue and our reef will not be able to survive. That could mean the death of our Fishing Industry totally in the Caribbean as the fish would then have to migrate to cooler waters. We are also seeing a lot of acidification of our ocean, our seas are getting too acidic and in fact so we will find that our conch, our lobster and our shrimp their shells get weaker and weaker so all aspects of it are under threat now.”
The meeting is being held at the Biltmore Plaza.