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An assessment of the economic impact of climate change on the Agriculture, Coastal and Human Settlements and Health Sectors in Guyana

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An assessment of the economic impact of climate change on the Agriculture, Coastal and Human Settlements and Health Sectors in Guyana

Corporate author: NU. CEPAL. Sede Subregional para el Caribe Physical Description: 18 p. Editorial: ECLAC, Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean Date: October 2011 ECLAC symbol: LC/CAR/L.337


This report analyses the agriculture, coastal and human settlements and health sectors in Guyana to assess the potential economic impacts of climate change. The fundamental aim of this report is to assist with the development of strategies to deal with the potential impact of climate change on Guyana. It also has the potential to provide essential input for identifying and preparing policies and strategies to help bring the Caribbean sub-region closer to solving problems associated with climate change and attaining national and regional sustainable development goals. Some of the key anticipated manifestations of climate change for the Caribbean include elevated air and sea-surface temperatures, sea-level rise, possible changes in extreme events and a reduction in freshwater resources.
The economic impact of climate change on the three sectors was estimated for the A2 and B2 IPCC scenarios until 2050 (agriculture and health sectors) and 2100 (coastal and human settlements sector). An exploration of various adaptation strategies was also undertaken for each sector using standard evaluation techniques.
The study of the impact of climate change on the agriculture sector focused on three leading sub-sectors namely: sugar-cane, rice-paddy and fisheries. In estimating costs, the sugar sub-sector is projected to experience losses under A2 between US$ 144 million (at 4% discount rate) and US$300 million (1% rate); comparative statistics for rice are US$795 million and US$1577 million, respectively; while for fisheries, the results show that losses range from US$15 million (4% rate) and US$34 million (1% rate). In general, under the B2 scenarios, there are gains for sugar up to 2030 under all three discount rates while for rice the performance is somewhat better with gains realized under all three discount rates up to 2040. For fisheries, gains are forecasted under all three rates up to 2050, following marginal losses to 2020.
In terms of the benefit-cost analysis conducted on selected adaptation measures under the A2 scenario, there were net benefits for all three commodities under all three discount rates. For the sugar-cane sub-sector these are: drainage and irrigation upgrade, purchase of new machinery for planting and harvesting, developing and replanting climate tolerant sugar-cane. The rice-paddy sub-sector will benefit from adaptive strategies, which include maintenance of drainage and irrigation systems, research and development, as well as education and training. Adaptation in the fisheries sub-sector must include measures such as, mangrove development and restoration and public education.
The analysis of the coastal and human settlements sector has shown that based upon exposed assets and population, SLR can be classified as having the potential to create catastrophic conditions in Guyana. The main contributing factor is the concentration of socioeconomic infrastructure along the coastline in vulnerable areas.

Table of contents

.--Executive Summart.--1. Introduction.--2. Brief review of the Sectors.-- 3. Fututre Climate Scenatios.--4. Methodologies.--5. Economic Impact Assessment of Climate Change on the Agriculture, Coastal and HUman Settlements Sectors and Health.--6. Adaptation Strategies.--7. Conclusions and Policy Recommendations.