Regional Climate Centre for Caribbean Launched

WMOusaid27 March 2014: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), with funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), launched a Regional Climate Centre (RCC) for the Caribbean aimed at helping the Eastern Caribbean improve its ability to understand and predict current and future climate-related issues and build capacity for adaptation.

The launch ceremony was held in St. James, Barbados, on 27 March 2014, with remarks from US Ambassador Larry Palmer, WMO Representative Wayne Elliott and CIMH Principal David Farrell.

RCC's establishment results from a September 2013 rapid climate analysis for the Eastern Caribbean undertaken by USAID, which identified a number of climate change vulnerabilities and constraints to effective adaptation, including the lack of accurate and consistent climate data to understand climate changes, predict impacts and plan adaptation measures. To address these constraints, USAID signed an agreement with WMO in January 2014 to provide US$5.085 million over three years to create the Centre at CIMH.

The RCC will seek to improve regional climate climate and weather data collection to fill key information, monitoring and forecasting gaps. The USAID-WMO agreement also will create a Caribbean Environmental and Climate Computational Centre to provide CIMH, regional scientists and end users with resources to better understand and predict climate impacts. The agreement further calls for building capacity at both national and regional levels to access, analyze and use climate data to inform decision making in climate-sensitive sectors. [WMO Press Release] [USAID Press Release] [CIMH Website]