CCRIF Issues Briefing on Impact of Climate Change on Caribbean Economies

May 28, 2009

Against the background of the impending Atlantic Hurricane Season, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) has released a briefing document outlining the role of risk management in the region’s adaptation strategy in the face of climate change.

“The briefing was prepared by Caribbean Risk Managers Ltd in support of the CCRIF Chairman’s contribution to a discussion session forming part of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Board of Governors’ meeting in the Turks & Caicos Islands,” said the bulletin. “The purpose of the document is to examine ways in which the region can implement best practice in sovereign risk management to continue in the proactive management of natural hazards risks. It also explores the inter-linkages between many aspects of the region’s risk landscape both at a national and regional level.”

Warren Smith, the CDB’s Director of Finance and Corporate Planning, stated: “As a strong supporter of risk mitigation as a way to achieve economic targets, the Caribbean Development Bank takes much interest in the effects that natural disasters can have on the sustainable development of the region. The Caribbean’s high exposure to hurricanes and other climate-related hazards, the specific natural and social conditions which many small island states operate within, as well as the increased loss tally due to natural disasters over the past 15 years, point to a continued need for climate change adaptation within a holistic sovereign risk management framework.”

The study urged that several steps be taken to meet the challenge posed by the threat. These included: “the development of national risk registries and risk ‘maps’ which detail the likelihood and potential severity of all risks faced by an individual country, along with their interconnectivity, as well as the potentially critical role of a ‘Country Risk Officer’ in coordinating risk management activities throughout the government and with regional counterparts.”

In his presentation at the CDB board meeting, Milo Pearson, Chairman of the CCRIF board, summarized the key findings of the report: “Investing in adaptation initiatives that reduce the impact of climate change is absolutely essential for the future viability and sustainability of the economies of the Caribbean. Risk management and, by extension, the utilization of risk management tools and mechanisms, will be critical in ensuring that effective adaptation measures against climate change are made, even within the context of constrained resources and budgetary pressures. Although risk management is not the complete solution to the problems being created for the Caribbean people and economies by climate change, it does provide an important framework within which more informed decisions can be made regarding investments in adaptation and mitigation measures.”

The entire report is available online at: under ‘Reports’

Source: Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility –

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