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OCT Environmental Profiles. Climate change in Greenland Source: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.

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Presentation on theme: "OCT Environmental Profiles. Climate change in Greenland Source: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment."— Presentation transcript:

1 OCT Environmental Profiles

2 Climate change in Greenland Source: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

3 Example of effect of sea-level rise Papeete, French Polynesia, with airport at present Same view, after sea-rise of 88 cm. Simulation for Papeete

4 What is an environmental profile? A concise (10 pages) document for each territory: describing the main environmental issues ; giving sufficient background to put these issues in context; giving basic data about the organisational infrastructure ; giving details of participation in international environmental agreements, cooperative partnerships and networks. Environment includes climate change and natural hazards. Special emphasis on socio-economic impacts, livelihoods, poverty.

5 Why an environmental profile? 1.To feed discussions on the environment and possible consequences environmental trends may have on OCTs socio-economic development. 2.More specifically, to assist the EU in programming its EDF assistance to the OCTs.

6 Methodology & Timing Basically a desk study Questionnaire Feedback JulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovember Drafting of EPs Feedback from OCTs, finalisation of EPs …………………………….. 2006 ………………………………… Draft EPs Final EPs

7 About the OCTs: Diversity Latitude……………………. Longitude…………………. Land area (x 1000 km 2 ) EEZ ……….(x 1000 km 2 ) Population....…(x 1000) Population density (/km 2 ) GDP/capita…… (000) Remoteness……(km.)…. No. of inhabited islands… FromTo GR83˚N90˚SBA W&F176˚E166˚WNC PIT0.052166GR SP&M125500FP PIT0.05275FP GR0.03538MAY BVI38.52.2MAY 242700 Aruba1113FP


9 About the OCTs: Commonalities (Small) islands or archipelagos Small population Vulnerable economies Natural hazards: incidence and vulnerability A number of factors are of disproportionate importance: biodiversity, endemism OCTs account for 0.02% of world population, 2.7% of area, but 16% of worlds freshwater strategic importance

10 Natural hazards and OCTs ANGARUBVICAYFLKFPGRMAYMONNCNLAPITSTHSTPMT&CW&F Cyclone/ Hurricane WIND Volcanic TDC Seismic ASC Tsunami Severe riskModerate riskLow risk

11 OCTs and the environment Environmental problems characterised by Complexity: long chains of effects Interrelatedness Between environmental aspects Between environment and economy

12 Services Tourist attraction Habitat for fish Protects spawning grounds Sand replenishment Extreme weather events Sea and wave damage Green- house gas emissions Rising sea and air temp. Sea level rise GLOBAL fossil fuel combustion GLOBAL Deforestation LOCAL Unsustainable tourism LOCAL Unsustainable fishing LOCAL Other pressures Mitigates Acidification Destruction, sedimentation, nutrients Bleaching Drowning Exacerbates Example of complexity: coral reefs Damage

13 Drivers: Population Traffic Development Industry Pressures: Sewage discharges Waste CO 2 emissions Overfishing State: Warmer air / water Polluted water Impacts: Loss of habitat, wildlife Coastal retreat Reduced fish catch Reduced tourism Responses: Designation protected areas Sewage treatment Recycling Adaptation Monitoring Measures Dealing with complexity: DPSIR model

14 3 major environmental issues in OCTs Climate change Solid waste Biodiversity

15 Issue 1: Climate change Climate change has following features which distinguish it from other environmental problems: Global Long-term Some of the science is uncertain Wide range of different effects Some scenarios are catastrophic

16 Climate change and small tropical islands Climate change Rise in temperatures Rise in sea level More extreme weather GHG emissions Deforest- ation degradation coral reefs salinisation of soils & groundwater coastal erosion, inundation health issues tourism fisheries disruption communities PRESSURES STATE........... IMPACTS............. PhysicalSocio-economic direct econ. costs agriculture

17 GHG emissions Global deforestation higher air and water temps Melting ice-sheet flux of (fresh) water Changes in drainage / hydrology Loss of sea-ice Changes in permafrost Changes in ecosystems / habitat Wildlife loss Impacts on fisheries Impacts on society, traditional customs Opening of new navigational possibilities Impacts on infrastructure Rising global sea-level Thermohaline circulation PRESSURES STATE PHYSICAL IMPACTS GLOBAL IMPACTS SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS Climate change in Greenland

18 Vulnerability to climate change Vulner- ability OCTsRemarks HighANG, ARU, BVI, FP, NLA, T&C, CAY, FP GR MAY MON NC PIT Low-lying areas, tourism-dependent Threats to sea-ice, fisheries, wildlife, permafrost Large population in low-lying areas More intense natural events Cyclone-prone, fishing industry Risk of drought MediumFLK STH STPM Fishery dependent Some threat to agric. & fisheries Flooding and erosion of low-lying areas

19 Issue 1: Climate change – CO 2 emissions OCTs account for <0.1% of CO 2 emissions, will bear disproportionate impact. But, look at per capita emissions. Source: US Department of Energy CO2 Information Analysis Centre (CDIAC)

20 Issue 2: Solid waste in OCTs Main challenges Lack of critical size to make modern WM facilities cost- effective Lack of facilities, critical size, markets to make recycling and composting feasible lack of public awareness Hazardous waste Problems noted in following: ARU, CAY, MAY, NC, NLA, PF, STH (+ ASC+TDC), W&F

21 Issue 3: Biodiversity Conservation The OCTs are very rich in biodiversity, including many endemic and endangered species: New Caledonia contains the highest number of endemic species in the Pacific: 2500 plants, 20 freshwater fish, 60 reptiles, 25 birds, 6 mammals The UK overseas territories contain at least 10 x as many endemic species as the UK itself. Gough Island, a WH site in TDC, is one of the most important sea-bird colonies in the world, with 22 species breeding on island, some threatened.

22 Issue 3: Biodiversity Conservation Why conserve biodiversity? Because of international obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Because the wildlife is one of the major assets of the islands, a source of actual or potential livelihoods and food (tourism, fishing)

23 Issue 3: Biodiversity Conservation Main threats to biodiversity: Habitat loss and fragmentation Introduced species Overharvesting MEAs such as the CBD, Ramsar, Convention on Migratory Species, CITES provide instruments to help conserve biodiversity (designation of protected areas, preparation of management plans), but these have not yet been properly implemented in law by many OCTs.

24 Some first tentative conclusions 1. Generally no conflict between general development objectives and environmental objectives. On the contrary, the protection of the environment, marine and terrestrial habitats and wildlife is crucial to the economic and social well-being of territories. 2. Most decision-makers are aware of the need to ensure their development is sustainable. However awareness needs to be translated into formal and legal safeguards: provisions for EIA, full implementation of MEAs, etc.

25 Some first tentative conclusions (contd.) 3. Climate change Some OCTs are amongst the most vulnerable in the world to climate change. All will be significantly affected. OCTs need to take all possible measures to impress on the world community the need for strong action to reduce GHG emissions. At the same time, adaptation needs to be mainstreamed into development planning. Possible actions include: - form alliances with regional and international groupings to make sure the voice of the OCTs is heard by the world community; - participate in research projects for which they are suited in regional or global partnerships, so as to reduce uncertainties; - maintain credibility by setting a good example; - public awareness campaigns.

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