The coastal area of ​​Havana prepares to adapt to climate change

Creation date: 14 Dec 2022

December 2022 - More than 700,000 inhabitants of the communities in the coastal zone of Havana will have a climate change adaptation plan which identifies the specific risks and vulnerabilities of each sector and population group, as well as integrates protection measures, and adaptation and investment decisions in the development planning process. 

With the participation of the key national and local entities, the project will cover the areas from Bajos de Santa Ana in the Playa municipality to Rincón de Guanabo in the Habana del Este municipality, including six coastal municipalities (Playa, Plaza de la Revolution, Havana Center, Old Havana, Regla, Eastern Havana). 

The project aims to help close gaps that currently inhibit the development of comprehensive climate change risk and vulnerability analyses, as well as the corresponding formulation of viable proactive solutions that can be coherently integrated into existing development plans. 

Through these objectives, an emphasis will be placed on vulnerable groups and women, decision-makers of the Government of Havana and its six municipalities, as well as the priority sectors at the participating provincial and municipal levels. They will be able to count on a favorable environment to remove existing barriers and promote adaptation planning.

With 37 percent of the population of the main city of Cuba living near the sea, cultivating its natural, aesthetic, cultural, social and economic heritage is key for the sustainable development of both the city and Cuba as a whole. The area is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and extreme weather events.

The National Adaptation Plan initiative has the support of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and will be implemented by UNDP in Cuba in partnership with the Environment Agency (AMA) of the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment. Environment (CITMA), with an implementation period of 4.5 years and financing of US$3 million.

In a workshop in December, Tatiana Viera, coordinator of objectives and programs of the government of Havana, highlighted the value of the project for the city, within the framework of multiple actions that are carried out for adaptation to climate change and attention of vulnerable areas, as well as the innovative drive that their development can generate.

The first deputy minister of CITMA, José Fidel Santana, pointed out that the formulation of the Adaptation Plan for the Coastal Zone of Havana constitutes an opportunity to materialize the priorities contained in the Life Task, create synergy and complement the analyzes and results of the Third National Communication of the Framework Convention of Nations for Climate Change.

UNDP's Resident Representative for Cuba, Fernando Hilraldo, highlighted the importance of an innovative and comprehensive approach to adaptation and disaster risk reduction, including an integrated assessment of current and future risks for the identification and prioritization of adaptation measures. This allows the articulation of already existing mechanisms and solutions, such as the Articulated Platform for Local Development (PADIT) and the environmental information system, managed from INFOGEO. 

Click here to learn more about the GCF-funded project 'Supporting Cuba to advance their NAP process'.

Read the original news release in Spanish on the UNDP Cuba website here.

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