Caribbean Transport

Making Caribbean Transport Climate-Resilient

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - July 31, 2016

The Caribbean Development Bank has approved funding to address the high incidence of damage to the road infrastructure in Caribbean countries by natural hazard events and the potential for loss of roads by rising sea levels.

The Bank will fund a study on approaches for mainstreaming climate resilience into the road transport sector in its Borrowing Member Countries.

The threat to road transport infrastructure in the region is heightened by the increased intensity of rain storms, sea level rise, and high temperatures.

The Bank is providing $768,000 for the project, which aims to develop and pilot approaches for constructing road systems that are resilient to natural hazards and climate change.

CDB will conduct the study in two countries, which will be selected on the basis of location and risk profiles that would allow for the findings of the study to be transferable to other countries.

The Bank’s Director of Projects, Daniel Best, noted that most of the road agencies across the Bank’s BMCs have not mainstreamed changes in their approaches or requirements for the design, construction and management of road infrastructure that enhance resilience to the threats from natural hazards and climate change.

“This is, in part, due to the limited availability of tools tailored for their particular use, as well as the limited data and capacity within the responsible agencies with regard to the assessment of the vulnerability of infrastructure to climate risks and the determination of appropriate response strategies,” Best noted.

“The differential impacts on women and men, youth, the aging population and persons with disabilities arising from the vulnerability of road infrastructure have also not been adequately considered across the BMCs. Issues of inclusivity and gender must be integrated into the operation of the road transport sector, in infrastructure and in road transport services,” he said.

The project will entail: a sector-wide, gender-sensitive climate risk and vulnerability assessment; the assessment of relevant policies, plans, strategies, legal and regulatory frameworks and proposals to build capacity to implement resilience measures; the development of an index to measure the level of resilience in the road transport sector; and the development and piloting of the application of adapted decision support instruments for climate change adaptation and resilience building climate; among other initiatives.

The study will draw on established adaptation approaches and tools as well as other instruments to contribute to a systematic framework for strengthening the region’s transport sector.

— Dana Niland, CJ Contributor

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