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Caribbean Disaster Risk Management & Climate Change Adaptation: Data to Decision Making Workshop. A Region at Risk. Average Annual Losses as a % of GDP. Source: Germanwatch , 2012 . L osses from disasters are fiscal shocks, which often result in budgetary deficits & increased debt.

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Caribbean disaster risk management climate change adaptation data to decision making workshop

Caribbean Disaster Risk Management & Climate Change Adaptation:Data to Decision Making Workshop

Average annual losses as a of gdp

A Region at Risk Adaptation:

Average Annual Losses as a % of GDP

Source: Germanwatch, 2012

L osses from disasters are fiscal shocks which often result in budgetary deficits increased debt
L Adaptation:osses from disasters are fiscal shocks, which often result in budgetary deficits & increased debt

Data to decision making
Data to Decision Making Adaptation:

Problem Definition

Data Need Identification

&Data Development (Field Collection)

Decision Making

Visualization & Interpretation

Data/Risk Analysis


Risk Adaptation:Analysis is Data Intensive

Risk Analysis Output

Vulnerability Functions



Challenges persist
Challenges Persist Adaptation:

  • Not enough data to carry out relevant analysis

  • Existing data not readily available

  • Numerous data format

  • Poor or questionable data quality

  • Scale of the data not sufficient

  • Metadata non-existent or scant

  • Lack of a data sharing mechanism

  • Lack of capacity to generate and/or

  • interpret risk analysis

Building Capacity to

Performthe Data to

Decision Making


Open Data for Resilience Adaptation:

The Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) is a global partnership that aims to encourage and facilitate the sharing and use of climate and disaster data to enable more effective decision-making by providing the rationale, technical assistance, and tools for data sharing.

Data/Risk Analysis Adaptation:

Territorial planning

Visualization of hazard and risk

Scenario analysis for emergency preparedness

Infrastructure Design

Immediate damage


Climate Change


Set of Tools to Assist Decision Making

Land Use Planning and Zoning Adaptation:




Scenario Analysis Adaptation:for Emergency Preparedness - # of injured



The caribbean cannot build its way out of risk
The Caribbean Cannot Build its’ Way Adaptation:Out of Risk

Non-Structural Measures

Structural Measures

Immediate Damage Estimation Adaptation:

Physical damage

Human losses

Surface Response

Spatial Distribution

Damage Distribution


Working Together Adaptation:

  • Working with governments in the OECS

  • Complementing existing efforts

  • Building partnerships at a global level and with regional institutions like the CCRIF & UWI

  • Making the case for open data

  • Participatory technical assistance

  • Free open source software & tools

  • Community of Practitioners

UWI Adaptation:


Seismic RC






Regional Institutions


Data Management



Climate change adaptation
Climate Change Adaptation Adaptation:

  • The UNFCCC defines it as actions taken to help communities and ecosystems cope with changing climate condition.

  • The IPCC describes it as adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.

  • The UN Development Program calls it a process by which strategies to moderate, cope with and take advantage of the consequences of climatic events are enhanced, developed, and implemented.

  • The UK Climate Impacts Program defines it as the process or outcome of a process that leads to a reduction in harm or risk of harm, or realization of benefits associated with climate variability and climate change.


Early warning/early action

Disaster Preparedness

Environmental protection

Livelihood protection

Life-saving measures

Natural resource management

Capacity development of national/local authorities and communities

Response capacity

Income diversification

Temporary shelters


  • Urban Planning

  • Construction norms

  • Socio-economic stabilization

  • Livelihoods

Community-based disaster risk management/reduction

Greening the economy





Adapted from:

Adaptation Thematic Areas Adaptation:

Adaptation Processes

Public health

Water security



Capacity building/awareness

Food security

Information management

Coastal zones

Investment decisions


Practices/resource management

Adapted from UNDP

Adaptation dimension
Adaptation Dimension Adaptation:

  • Adaptive capacity – building the capacity for a population to adapt provides a foundation for anticipating and adjusting to climate conditions that will continue to change

  • Adaptive action – adaptive capacity must be applied to specific decisions and actions to directly reduce or manage the biophysical impact to CC or actions may address non-climatic factors contributing to vulnerability

  • Sustained development – successful sustainable development in spite of continuing changes posed by climate change

Broadening the climate Adaptation:adaptation toolkit to include protecting and restoring natural resources to help people


The definition of EBA from the Convention on Biological Diversity :

  • “Ecosystem-based adaptation may be described as the use of ecosystem management activities to support societal adaptation. Ecosystem-based adaptation identifies and implements a range of strategies for the management, conservation, and restoration of ecosystems to provide services that enable people to adapt to the impacts of climate change. It aims to increase the resilience and reduce the vulnerability of ecosystems and people in the face of climate change. Ecosystem-based adaptation is most appropriately integrated into broader adaptation and development strategies”

In the context of TNC’s work, this means:

  • EBA is the protection, sustainable management and restoration of natural systems to help human communities respond to climate change and to adapt to adverse impacts

  • EBA is:

    • A critical part of overall climate adaptation and climate-ready development strategies that include a suite of climate change adaptation responses, typically involving multiple sectors

    • A practical example of the benefits of conservation and restoration for human communities in the face of climate change

    • An opportunity to align conservation objectives with development objectives

  • EBA is not:

    • Simply an attempt to “climate proof” biodiversity in our sites or build climate resilience into conservation planning

    • A repackaging of our existing work to be more appealing to funders

Ecosystem-based adaptation (EBA)is a viable and cost effective way to reduce the vulnerability of human communities to climate change impacts and ensure the sustainability of our limited natural resources


Source: CBD, second ad hoc technical expert group on biodiversity and climate change, second meeting, Helsinki 18-22 April 2009; Document: UNEP/CBD/AHTEG/BD-CC-2/2/6, 27 May 2009

EBA projects must: Adaptation:

be implemented in a climate change-vulnerable place with socio-economically vulnerable communities and biologically significant ecosystems

address and offer solutions to specific human vulnerabilities to climate change

engage key communities, decision-makers, stakeholders

Coastal and Marine EBA Adaptation:

  • Coasts present a stark intersection of human needs and climate change effects

  • Coastal adaptation is more than one third of the total adaptation cost(1)

  • Coastal ecosystems include marshes, mangroves, coral and bivalve reefs, seagrasses, barrier islands and dunes which provide multiple and essential benefits to communities and have already been seriously lost and degraded. This measurably affects benefits to humans and the ability of these systems to help humans adapt

    • Both the impacts of climate change and potential responses to them have the potential for further degrading these systems and reducing or eliminating essential services to vulnerable human communities

  • In the Caribbean, flooding is of particular concern because a majority of people reside within a narrow coastal strip. A significant amount of tourism and fishing also occurs along this same strip.

Source: (1) “The Costs to Developing Countries of Adapting to Climate Change,” World Bank Aug 2010; (2) “Convenient Solutions to an Inconvenient Truth: Ecosystem-based Approaches to Climate Change.” Environment Department, The World Bank, June 2009; America’s Climate Choices: Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change, National Research Council

Mainstreaming of coastal eba
Mainstreaming of Coastal EBA Adaptation:

  • Enhance the understanding of and capacity to implement EBA through building the scientific and economic foundation, decision support tools and approaches and policy guidelines for EBA

  • Execute projects like “At the Water’s Edge”

  • Assist local communities with EBA by providing EBA guidelines and best practices documentation and outreach

  • Increase awareness and influence policy and public funding to incorporate EBA into policies and standards

  • Engage the hazard mitigation community (FEMA, insurance agencies, etc.) to use EBA approaches to jointly achieve hazard mitigation and conservation objectives

Coastal Defense Adaptation:

  • Grey Infrastructure

  • Seawall

  • Revetments

Spectrum of Adaptive Action

Ecologically active grey infrastructure
Ecologically Active (Grey) Infrastructure Adaptation:

Coastal Defense Adaptation:

Ecologically Active

Infrastructure (Grey/Green Infrastructure)

  • Grey Infrastructure

  • Seawall

  • Revetments

Spectrum of Adaptive Action

Turenscape Adaptation:


  • Multiuse Design Adaptation:

  • Ecosystem services

    • Coastal defense

    • Recreation

    • Providing food

Coastal Defense

  • Climate adaptive coastal management


  • Green Infrastructure

  • Vast mangrove tracts

  • Barrier reef

  • Large dune systems

  • Littoral forest – coral reef complex - beach

Ecologically Active

Infrastructure (Grey/Green Infrastructure)

  • Grey Infrastructure

  • Seawall

  • Revetments

Eco engineering

Spectrum of Adaptive Action


Ecosystem base adaptation

Community Vulnerability


Adaptation decisions being made
Adaptation Decisions Being Made Adaptation:


  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management/National Adaptation Programmes of Action

  • What is the potential loss and where?

  • How much loss can be averted and with what actions?

  • Where can adaptation actions be placed?


  • How adaptation sites are designed?

  • How the community capacity and awareness is increased?

Role of spatial data
Role of Spatial Data Adaptation:

  • Underpins and facilitates adaptation work

    • Outcome/output is not a GIS product

  • Multi-sector/themed layers needed

  • Assess risk and vulnerability

  • Raise awareness

  • Site EBA locations

  • Communicates issues of scale

  • Mapping ecosystem services