Drought early warning and risk reduction: a case study of the Caribbean drought of 2009-2010

Drought early warning and risk reduction: a case study of the Caribbean drought of 2009-2010

While droughts are a frequent occurrence in the region, the region’s adaptation to such events is quite poor. This paper illustrates the impacts of the most recent drought in the Caribbean through specific examples.

The examples show the sensitivity of key economic sectors (in particular water and agriculture) to drought and the low resilience of the region to drought. This low resilience is due to limited national and regional capacity in key areas, systemic problems within count ries that limit information sharing between key stakeholder institutions, inadequate policies, and limited finances to implement and sustain key activities.

Researchers conclude that unless more is done to increase the region's resilience to drought, th e region will be challenged to sustain and enhance its socio- economic development under range of future c limates and increasing climate variability currently being forecast.

Areas where more needs to be done include:

  1. enhancing the quality, delivery and targetting of climate services to national and regional stakeholders,
  2. increasing data sharing, enhancing collaborations between national, regional and international stakeholders,
  3. policy reform with respect to Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), and
  4. public education.

The researchers conclude that if significant improvements are not made with respect to adaptation to drought, many Caribbean SIDS will find it difficult to adapt to future regional climates which are expected to be marked by on average longer drier conditions than present

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