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Vulnerability of the Caribbean to Climate Change. The Coastal Zone of Belize Carlos Fuller Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). Projected Temperature Rise. Annual mean temperature change, 2071 to 2100 relative to 1990: Global Average in 2085 = 3.1 o C.

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Vulnerability of the caribbean to climate change l.jpg

Vulnerability of the Caribbean to Climate Change

The Coastal Zone of Belize

Carlos Fuller

Caribbean Community

Climate Change Centre (CCCCC)


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Projected Temperature Rise

Annual mean temperature change, 2071 to 2100 relative to 1990: Global Average in 2085 = 3.1oC


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Projected Change in Precipitation

Annual mean precipitation change: 2071 to 2100 Relative to 1990


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Impacts of Climate Changein the Caribbean

  • US Country Studies Programme

  • GFDL, CCC, UKMO, GISS

  • Temperature rise (1-2°C)

  • Change in rainfall patterns (±10-20%)

  • Sea level rise (4-50 cm)


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Erosion

Coastal flooding

Inundation

Saltwater intrusion

Mangroves

Tourist destinations

Human settlements

Water supply

Agriculture

Aquaculture

Fisheries

Sea Level Rise


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Socio-economic Importance of the Coastal Zone to Belize

Adapted from a presentation by:

Ms. Tanya Williams


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The Coastal Zoneof Belize

Complex system comprised of:

  • the barrier reef

  • the three offshore atolls

  • hundreds of patch reefs

  • extensive seagrass beds

  • mangrove forests

  • >1,000 cayes


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The Coastal Zone

  • Home to several endangered species such as:

    • the West Indian Manatee

    • American crocodile

    • marine turtles and,

    • several birds


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Socio-economic Importance of the Coastal Zone

Tourism

  • 60% of the estimated 172,300 tourist arrivals in 1999 visited sites in the coastal zone.

  • Approx. 7,000 employed in the industry.

  • Single largest contributor to Belize’s economic growth.


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Branching coral

Brain coral

Coral bleaching events are expected to increase


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Socio-economic Importance of the Coastal Zone

Fishing

  • Direct employment 2000 – 3000 employed per year.

  • Indirect employment through processing, sales and maintenance.

  • Subsistence fishing

  • In 1999, total financial value was Bz$19.4 million


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Socio-economic Importance of the Coastal Zone

Aquaculture

  • Eight farms in operation 3,000 – 4,000 acres on pine ridge coastal lands.

  • Generates approximately Bz$62.5 million


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Socio-economic Importance of the Coastal Zone

Human Settlements

  • Six of the ten major residential centers are located on the coast. (Belize City, San Pedro, Corozal, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, Ladyville)

  • 45% of the population resides in coastal areas (1999).


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Water Supply

  • San Pedro

    • Desalination plant

  • Placencia

    • Piped across lagoon

  • Belize City

    • Supply located 17 miles inland

    • During drought, pumping limited to high tide

    • Salt water intrusion?


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AVVA Vulnerability Analysis

  • Entire coastline videotaped and analyzed in 1995

  • Sea level rise of 4, 30 and 50 cm.

  • Time periods of 25,50 and 100 yrs.

  • Little impact in 25 yrs

  • 50-100% of beaches lost in 100 yrs


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Ultimate Adaptation Option

  • Belize City destroyed in 1931 and 1961 by hurricanes

  • New capital (Belmopan) created 50 miles inland


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Socio-economic Importance of the Coastal Zone

Agriculture

  • Small scale farming on riparian lands, coastal plains, etc to meet local needs.

  • Sugar generated approximately Bz$84.5 million (2000).

  • Citrus farming (Mullins River to South Stann Creek) Bz$76 million in 2000.

    Picture: Government Press Office


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Socio-economic Importance of the Coastal Zone

Agriculture continued

  • Banana (Sittee, South Stann Creek, Swasey and Bladden Rivers) Bz$65 million.

  • Coastal communities of Corozal, Dangriga and Independence heavily rely on these sectors


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Vulnerability Studies in Agriculture

  • 1995

  • DSSAT

  • Beans, corn and rice

  • 1-2°C rise in temp

  • ± 10-20% change in precip

  • Result: 10-20% decline in yields


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Socio-economic Importance of the Coastal Zone

Industry and Commerce

  • Major centres located in the coastal zone (main centers – Independence, Belize City, Ladyville and the Corozal Commercial Free Zone).

  • Employ a national total of approximately 5,600.

  • Garment industry generated approximately Bz$40 million in 2000.


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Socio-economic Importance of the Coastal Zone

Ports

  • Three main ports: Belize City, Commerce Bight and Big Creek.

  • Commerce Bight – citrus products

  • Big Creek – banana


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Socio-economic Importance of the Coastal Zone

Marine Dredging

  • 1999 = 168,010 cubic yards of dredging. Primarily for landfill or for navigational purposes.(State of the Coast Report 1999)

  • Most operations are related to tourism or real estate developments. (State of the Coastal Zone Report 1995)


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Socio-economic Importance of the Coastal Zone

Oil Drilling

  • No major commercial fields for oil found.

  • Exploratory wells have been drilled, both inland and offshore.

Bioprospecting

  • Exploration and extraction of biological diversity to be used for genetic and biochemical resources.

  • Possible multi-million dollar industry

  • Amendment to Fisheries Act Chapter 210 of 2000 includes bioprospecting.


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Requirements/Suggestions

  • Downscaling of global climate models

  • Vulnerability studies of other economically important crops – bananas, citrus, sugar

  • Integrated vulnerability studies - salt water intrusion

  • Improve data collection

    • Topography, bathymetry, microscale monitoring

  • Implementation of “no regrets” adaptation measures

    • IWRM, ICZM, EIA, Disaster mitigation


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Other Concerns

  • Forestry

    • 1999-2000

    • Pine bark beetle infestation

    • 75% of pine forest destroyed

    • High temps & high humidity

    • Poor management

    • Climate change signal?

    • Needs analysis

    • Impacts on timber industry and biodiversity

    • Contributes to emissions