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Policy Brief: an assessment of the economic and social impacts of climate change on the coastal and marine sector in the Caribbean

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  • NU. CEPAL. Sede Subregional para el Caribe
UN symbol.: LC/CAR/L.409 6 p. : figures, tables. Editorial: ECLAC, Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean June 2013


Caribbean policymakers are faced with
special challenges from climate change and
these are related to the uncertainties
inherent in future climate projections and
the complex linkages among climate
change, physical and biological systems
and socioeconomic sectors. The impacts of climate
change threaten development in the Caribbean
and may well erode previous gains in development
as evidenced by the increased incidence of climate
migrants internationally. This brief which is based
on a recent study conducted by the Economic
Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
(LC/CAR/L.395)1 provides a synthesis of the
assessment of the economic and social impacts of
climate change on the coastal and marine sector in
the Caribbean which were undertaken. It provides
Caribbean policymakers with cutting-edge
information on the region’s vulnerability and
encourages the development of adaptation
strategies informed by both local experience and
expert knowledge. It proceeds from an
acknowledgement that the unique combination of
natural resources, ecosystems, economic
activities, and human population settlements of the
Caribbean will not be immune to the impacts of
climate change, and local communities, countries
and the subregion as a whole need to plan for, and
adapt to, these effects.
Climate and extreme weather hazards related
to the coastal and marine sector encompass the
distinct but related factors of sea level rise,
increasing coastal water temperatures, tropical
storms and hurricanes. Potential vulnerabilities for
coastal zones include increased shoreline erosion
leading to alteration of the coastline, loss of coastal
wetlands, and changes in the abundance and
diversity of fish and other marine populations.
The study examines four key themes in the analysis: climate, vulnerability, economic and
social costs associated with climate change
impacts, and adaptive measures.

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