‘At the Water’s Edge’ project completes phase one
October 5, 2012
‘At the Water’s Edge’ project completes phase one

The first set of data from the “At the Water’s Edge” project was handed over to the relevant stakeholders on September 27.{{more}}

Ruth Blyther, the Eastern Caribbean Country Representative for the project, said the findings are based on data the group collected over the last year.

The project examines the threats of climate change, particularly in small island states, with the goal being to demonstrate that governments and communities of small states can enhance their resilience to climate change by protecting, restoring and managing their marine and coastal ecosystems.

“Where the impacts of climate change are significant … the impacts are affecting us faster and we can see them every day,” Blyther said, as she spoke at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Conference Room.

It is expected that the information gathered would be integrated into whatever processes the various governmental and non-governmental groups are working on.

“We will be passing it (information) back to you in a way that you will be able to use it for your different programmes,” she explained.

Blyther further explained that the information can be used in a number of ways and that it is dynamic, not static, so more information can be added.

The project started just over a year ago, Blyther said, after the Nature Conservancy signed Memoranda of Understanding with the government, in order that they meet their commitments to international environmental conventions.

She told SEARCHLIGHT that the project started with the collection of data regarding elevation of areas along the coastline.

“And those measurements are hard to come by, so we worked a lot of time to put together models that showed when the sea level rises, what impact it would have on the coast,” Blyther explained.

Additional data was added, such as the impact of the sea level, should it rise and the impact of strong hurricanes, she said.

National agencies are already working on projects relating to climate change, Blyther said.

The government is already part of a bigger project, the Disaster Risk Vulnerability Reduction project, funded by the World Bank.

“The information will feed directly into that process and they will also be able to utilize this information directly from this process.”

The group has been working with the statistics and census department and it is expected that when the new census data is released, it will be put into a spatial format and according to Blyther, this will help to identify on a map, where there are vulnerable communities.

That information will then be passed back on to the census office, so that other departments will be able to make use of it, she explained.

The next phase will be to take the information already gathered and demonstrate how to better work with nature to better adapt and for people to be less vulnerable to climate and climate change, Blyther said. (DD)