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Policy Brief: an assessment of the economic and social impacts of climate change on the coastal and marine sector in the Caribbean



Caribbean policymakers are faced with special challenges from climate change and these are related to the uncertainties inherent in future climate projections and the complex linkages among climate change, physical and biological systems and socioeconomic sectors. The impacts of climate change threaten development in the Caribbean and may well erode previous gains in development as evidenced by the increased incidence of climate migrants internationally. This brief which is based on a recent study conducted by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (LC/CAR/L.395)1 provides a synthesis of the assessment of the economic and social impacts of climate change on the coastal and marine sector in the Caribbean which were undertaken. It provides Caribbean policymakers with cutting-edge information on the region’s vulnerability and encourages the development of adaptation strategies informed by both local experience and expert knowledge. It proceeds from an acknowledgement that the unique combination of natural resources, ecosystems, economic activities, and human population settlements of the Caribbean will not be immune to the impacts of climate change, and local communities, countries and the subregion as a whole need to plan for, and adapt to, these effects. Climate and extreme weather hazards related to the coastal and marine sector encompass the distinct but related factors of sea level rise, increasing coastal water temperatures, tropical storms and hurricanes. Potential vulnerabilities for coastal zones include increased shoreline erosion leading to alteration of the coastline, loss of coastal wetlands, and changes in the abundance and diversity of fish and other marine populations. The study examines four key themes in the analysis: climate, vulnerability, economic and social costs associated with climate change impacts, and adaptive measures.

Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL) - Biblioteca Hernán Santa Cruz

Héctor Aracena

Biblioteca CEPAL, Edificio Naciones Unidas, Av. Dag Hammarskjold 3477, Santiago, Chile

(+56-2) 2210-2337

Address: Av. Mariscal Antonio José de Sucre N58-63 y Fernández Salvador Edif. Olade - San Carlos, Quito - Ecuador.

Web: www.olade.org

Phone: (593 2) 259 8122 / 2598 280

Correo: realc@olade.org

Desarrollado por: Aikyu-Systems