CDB approves grant to support climate change resilience in Caribbean tourism industry

The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved EUR460,000 in grant financing to enhance the resilience of the Region’s tourism sector to the impacts of climate variability and climate change, and extreme weather events.

The grant will provide resources to:

  • support policy formulation and implementation, and promotion of best practices in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA);
  • enhance tourism sector knowledge and awareness of DRR and the potential impacts of climate variability and climate change; and
  • strengthen the capacity of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) Secretariat to provide technical assistance to support the delivery of climate services.

CDB’s Cheryl Dixon, Coordinator, Environmental Sustainability Unit notes, “The tourism industry has become increasingly crucial for the growth of many of our Borrowing Member Countries’ (BMCs) economies. In 2015, travel and tourism contributed to over 14 percent of gross domestic product and 13 percent of total employment in the Region. The Caribbean tourism product depends largely on the environment and therefore focus must be placed on the development of a sustainable tourism industry. As such, the formulation, incorporation and implementation of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies into BMCs’ tourism policies, plans and operations is essential.

Planned activities under the grant include the revision of the 2008 Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework; development of a Caribbean Best Practices in Sustainable Tourism Manual; the updating and operationalisation of the Multi-Hazard Contingency Planning Manual; and the creation of Tourism-Climate Spatio-Temporal Statistical Modelling Frameworks for the Caribbean.

Funding will be provided under the African Caribbean Pacific-European Union-Caribbean Development Bank Natural Disaster Risk Management (ACP-EU-CDB NDRM) programme. It is being implemented in the Caribbean Forum of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, and aims to reduce their vulnerability to long-term impacts of natural hazards, including the potential impacts of climate change.

The Project aligns to CDB’s strategic objectives of supporting environmental sustainability and disaster risk reduction. It also complements the Bank’s Technical Assistance Policy and Operational Strategy, and Gender Equality Policy and Operational Strategy. It will be executed by CTO over a 19-month period.