Caribbean climate adaptation – The role of government

The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) has been researching, advocating and publishing on climate change adaptation policy in the Caribbean for over ten years. Some of their findings and resulting resources are presented on this CDKN Caribbean climate adaptation website about the role of government - described as a “knowledge package.” This package which includes research papers, case studies, and decision-support tools, is the first of four planned knowledge packages on climate change in the Caribbean. The resources are aimed at Caribbean policy makers, researchers, and policy advocates, providing information about how national government can facilitate climate resilience in the region.

The following summary, slightly abbreviated, was provided by CDKN:

The research identifies best practice lessons on governance, highlights examples from applied case studies in Caribbean countries, and recommends tools and methods that can be applied to make governance frameworks more effective at delivering climate compatible development.

The resources give details of how to integrate climate resilience into national plans and policies, assess and strengthen institutional capacity at different scales, and build local networks to deliver climate resilience on the ground.

This new analysis of over a decade’s-worth of research on climate change in the Caribbean suggests that national governments are important drivers of coordinated climate change action in the region. The research acknowledges the importance of ‘bottom-up,’ community level approaches, but found that in isolation they are insufficient to meet the complex challenges posed by climate change. Delivering coordinated climate change action at the regional, national and local level, therefore was shown to require government to actively intervene to drive the process. To that extent, the research suggests that climate change adaptation is a question of governance.

The research shows that national governance frameworks must foster community action, but also provide the enabling environment for large investments, and transformative change at scale. The challenge national governments face is to coordinate adaptation interventions at both national and local levels by engaging multiple organisations and individuals.

Key findings from the research include:

1. Policy and governance arrangements at the national level are vital for climate adaptation. Local action is important but is insufficient in isolation.

2. National governments provide strategic oversight, access to climate finance and have the capacity and authority to drive climate action.

3. Climate change considerations should be integrated into policies and plans across government departments. The CCORAL tool allows decision-makers to do just that.

4. Institutional arrangements are vital to help translate government policy into action. Governments can use the ARIA tool to assess their institutional adaptive capacity as a first step to strengthening these frameworks.

5. Government institutions are vital to stimulate action at the local level. Networked governance arrangements can help to build movements for climate resilience that help translate national priorities into local action and integrate local needs into national policy.




Publication Date: March 2017

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Resource Types:

  • Best practice
  • Case study
  • Legal Analysis
  • Policy analysis/recommendations

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