The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and the Caricom Development Fund (CDF), two sister Caricom institutions have formalised their cooperation via the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The short virtual signing ceremony signalled the start of deeper commitments that the two agencies have said allows them to continue delivering on their respective mandates to Caricom while leveraging the partnership to improve climate resiliency in the region.
Speaking at the signing, Rodinald Soomer, chief executive officer of the CDF, described the signing as “timely,” especially given the recent passage of Hurricane Elsa on Barbados.
“What I like about our agreement is the simplicity, the sharp focus,” Soomer said.
“The MoU is reflective of our common understanding of our respective mandates, and we have identified the areas where they intersect, and where in our execution, our actions can be complementary,” he also said.
The MoU further epitomised one of the key objectives of integration which is “in working together, the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts,” Soomer said.
While the CDF has recently developed a financing instrument that facilitates a structured approach to climate mitigation through a credit risk abatement facility, the formal agreement will focus more on climate adaptation.
“Perhaps this represents the biggest gap, in terms of the unsatisfied needs of the region,” Soomer added.
Executive director of the centre Dr Colin Young agreed that the MoU can not only assist in developing respective mandates, but also leverage the expertise and experience of each of the institutions to improve the quality of lives as it relates to climate change adaptation and resilience.
“I believe there will be natural opportunities for us to work together to continue to leverage public and private finance to create long term sustainable impact on the ground and in the lives of Caribbean people,” he said.
The MoU sets out the strategic areas to guide collaboration in key areas that include pursuing climate change adaptation strategies in member states, mainstreaming climate-proofed development within Caricom, promoting climate resilient investments in key sectors that include coastal infrastructure, water, coastal and marine ecosystems, agriculture, health and tourism and developing innovative financing mechanisms to foster growth and improve resilience.