Informing Risk Management and Agricultural Decisions in the Caribbean
In the Caribbean, the economic importance of agriculture and tourism—combined with rural poverty and widespread vulnerability to climate-related hazards like hurricanes and drought—makes planning for climate impacts an urgent necessity. USAID and NOAA are working together on multiple fronts to connect climate research with risk management, climate-resilient development, and adaptation challenges in this region.
For example, the USAID- and NOAA-supported International Research and Applications Project (IRAP; to learn more, visit: http://goo.gl/XqmehJ) is linking physical climate data—including USGCRP agencies’ monitoring and prediction capabilities—with applied research on impacts, vulnerabilities, and decision making throughout the Caribbean. To this end, IRAP works with academic institutions, development programs, and resource management organizations to translate climate information, develop applications and tools for decision support, and build adaptive capacity among decision and policy makers. Additionally, through their support for the Climate Services Partnership, USAID and NOAA recently helped Jamaica’s Meteorological Service and Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) create a climate information tool for farmers. The tool, supported by additional technical input from Columbia University, provides seasonal forecasts and early warnings, including seasonal drought projections. RADA uses this information to guide farmers in their agricultural practices—for instance, recommending seed varieties and pest management techniques that are most likely to succeed under projected climate conditions. To learn more, visit: http://go.usa.gov/8pRY
Finally, USAID and NOAA are working with partners in the Caribbean on enhancing the availability of climate information for decision makers through the Caribbean Regional Climate Outlook Forum and the development of a Caribbean Regional Climate Center. All of these activities serve as significant contributions by the U.S. Government to the WMO’s Global Framework for Climate Services. To learn more, visit: http://goo.gl/SPsVNJ