Grenada's Second National Communication - In Progress
The creation of a National Communication offers countries the opportunity to contribute with technically sound studies and information that can be used for designing mitigation and adaptation measures, and project proposals that can and will help increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change. Activities generally include: V&A assessments, Greenhouse Gas Inventory preparation, Mitigation Analysis or Education, and awareness raising activities. The ultimate goal is the integration of climate change considerations into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions.
Current projects are addressing many of the country’s priority areas of concern for adaptation as identified through the National Communication, including coastal zones, agriculture, freshwater, disaster risk management, and forming the policy structure for adaptation. Future activities may be expanded towards other areas of focus, including human health and fisheries. There is likely room for expanded efforts in the areas of coastal zones and agriculture given the country’s economic dependence on these sectors and their vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Grenada has been adversely affected by extreme weather events over the past several decades; two hurricanes in 2004 caused damage totaling approximately 2.5 times the country’s annual Gross Domestic Product, and damaged or destroyed 90 per cent of the island’s buildings.
To view progress on Grenada's SNC click here.
The state of Grenada consists of the islands of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique. Grenada is characterized by a humid tropical climate, with relatively constant temperatures throughout the year averaging 26 degrees centigrade. The mean maximum temperature is 31.4 degrees centigrade while the mean minimum is 24.0 degrees centigrade.The country’s 345 square kilometer land base is characterized by mountainous terrain and is ringed by coral reefs. Approximately 104,000 people live in Grenada (Charles, 2000; USDS, 2010). Grenada’s climate is primarily humid and tropical, with the country experiencing a dry season from January to May and a rainy season from June to December. Extreme drought conditions can be experienced during some dry seasons (Charles, 2000).
Grenada has a high rate of unemployment, at nearly 25 per cent. Economic activity in the country is dominated primarily by services (tourism and education) and agricultural production (nutmeg and cocoa) (USDS, 2010). Grenada has been adversely affected by extreme weather events over the past several decades; two hurricanes in 2004 caused damage totaling approximately 2.5 times the country’s annual Gross Domestic Product, and damaged or destroyed 90 per cent of the island’s buildings (USDS, 2010).
Over the last decade the annual rainfall ranged from 750 to 1400 mm. Two distinct rainfall patterns are evidenced. The dry season typically runs from January to May and the rainy season from June to December. Carriacou and Petit Martinique generally receive lower levels of rainfall and during the dry season can experience severe drought conditions.
There are a variety of coastal and marine resources in Grenada - coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangrove swamps, which have proven to be of crucial importance in the formation and sustenance of other resources as well as near-shore fisheries. The sea grass beds and mangrove wetlands are highly dependent on the presence of coral reefs (hydrodynamic barriers that dissipate wave energy) as it enhances the structure of the sea grass and mangrove communities. On the islands of Grenada and Carriacou, approximately 77% and over 54% respectively of the land area has slopes exceeding 20°. Approximately 3% of the land area is at sea level and these include the main towns and many of the key socio-economic facilities.
Adaptation Needs and Priorities
Grenada’s First National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (submitted in 2000) notes the following sectors as being particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change (Charles, 2000):
- Freshwater supply: Increased temperatures and reduced precipitation could lead to higher evapotranspiration and lessen the island’s water supplies; sea-level rise may also cause saltwater intrusion and reduce available groundwater.
- Agriculture: The impacts of climate change on agriculture will depend on its effect on precipitation; given that precipitation is expected to decline in the Caribbean, Grenada’s crop yields may be negatively affected.
- Fisheries: The breeding ground of the country’s 17 main fish species (which provide 43 per cent of the total catch) may be negatively affected by damage to mangroves and reefs through warmer temperatures and sea-level rise.
- Coastal zones: These areas may be impacted by flooding and sea-level rise, beach erosion, and damage to corals through higher ocean temperatures. These effects would also impact Grenada’s tourism industry through possible loss of and/or deterioration of beaches.
- Human health: Climate change is likely to cause an increase in the incidence of vector-borne communicable diseases; respiratory diseases may also become more common should regional dust storms increase during the hurricane season. The National Communication notes that further information is required in this area.
National Level Policies and Strategic Documents
Grenada has prepared a National Communication under the UNFCCC, which was submitted in 2000. More recently, the country has recently participated in the regional project “Mainstreaming Adaptation to Climate Change” through which Caribbean countries were encouraged to integrate climate change into national development planning process. It is therefore possible that Grenada is currently taking more significant adaptation action at the policy level than is represented.
Current Adaptation Action
Grenada is currently participating in a high number of regional projects relative to other Caribbean countries that address climate change adaptation. Projects are being funded by various multilateral and bilateral sources, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Bank, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Of note, Grenada is one of six countries receiving funding for pilot actions under the Red Cross/Red Crescent’s “Pilot Program for Climate Resilience.” Current adaptation projects in Grenada focus on the areas of agriculture, disaster risk management, coastal zone management, freshwater supply, gender and tourism; several are focused on enhancing the capacity of government to create an enabling environment for adaptation. Most projects support capacity building, knowledge communication and fostering policy formation and implementation.
Proposed Adaptation Action
There is no evidence of proposed adaptation programming in Grenada has been identified.
Grenada is currently benefitting from its participation in a number of regional adaptation projects. Of particular note are the FAO-funded “Assistance to Improve Local Agricultural Emergency Preparedness” and the “Pilot Program for Climate Resilience: Caribbean Regional Program.” The fact that Grenada was chosen as one of few Caribbean participants may reflect donors’ recognition of its vulnerability to climate change vis-à-vis its small island status, development challenges, proneness to natural disasters, and reliance on agriculture and tourism.
Current projects are addressing many of the country’s priority areas of concern for adaptation as identified through the National Communication, including coastal zones, agriculture, freshwater, disaster risk management, and forming the policy structure for adaptation. Future activities may be expanded towards other areas of focus, including human health and fisheries. There is likely room for expanded efforts in the areas of coastal zones and agriculture given the country’s economic dependence on these sectors and their vulnerability to the effects of climate change.
- Medeiros,Hove, Keller, Echeverría, Parry (2011) “Review of Current and Planned Adaptation Action: The Carribean.” Adaptation Partnership / International Institute for Sustainable Development.
- Charles, L. (2000). Grenada: First national communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. St. Georges (Grenada): Minister of Health and the Environment. Retrieved from http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/grnnc1.pdf
- United States Department of State [USDS] (2010). Background Note: Grenada. Retrieved fromhttp://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2335.htm
Key Results and Outputs
- Sustainable development and the integration of climate change concerns into medium- and long-term planning
- Inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases
- Measures contributing to addressing climate change
- Research and systematic observation
- Climate change impacts, adaptation measures and response strategies
- Education, training and public awareness
Potential Adaptation Measures:
Agriculture and Food Security
- Improve and conserve soils
- Enhance irrigation efficiency and/or expand irrigation
- Develop and introduce policy measures, including taxes, subsidies, facilitation of free market
Monitoring and Evaluation
In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.
Parties to the Convention must submit national reports on implementation of the Convention to the Conference of the Parties (COP). The required contents of national communications and the timetable for their submission are different for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. This is in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" enshrined in the Convention.
The core elements of the national communications for both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties are information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and details of the activities a Party has undertaken to implement the Convention. National communications usually contain information on national circumstances, vulnerability assessment, financial resources and transfer of technology, and education, training and public awareness.
Since 1994, governments have invested significant time and resources in the preparation, collection and validation of data on GHG emissions, and the COP has made determined efforts to improve the quality and consistency of the data, which are ensured by established guidelines for reporting. Non-Annex I Parties receive financial and technical assistance in preparing their national communications, facilitated by the UNFCCC secretariat.