Caribbean entrepreneur Shirley Lindo recieves support from the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre
“This meeting is intended to strategize the center's sustainability plans that will affect the face of green technology start-ups the entire Caribbean region for the upcoming year,” said Carlinton Burrell, CCIC CEO, “and we will be looking into new initiatives and programs that will directly impact all member CARICOM Countries.”
Since 2017 the CCIC, through its mitigation and adaptation efforts to reduce the threats posed by climate change, has assisted with the development and enabling of 'green' entrepreneurs and their entry into global markets.
Climate change significantly impacts the Jamaican economy
Jamaica, like most Caribbean states, is already experiencing the impact of regional climate change, most significantly in the frequent occurrence of drought, the frequency and magnitude of hurricanes, and associated secondary events such as floods, landslides, and seawater intrusion. With the recent elevated rainfall levels in rural and coastal areas that led to major flooding, infrastructure damage alone is estimated to cost the Jamaican government more than US$28.5 million.
Especially vulnerable as a direct result of climate change, agriculture will continue to play an integral role in Jamaica’s economic development, as this sector provides Jamaica with a substantial portion of its foreign exchange earnings and remains the primary source of employment in rural communities.
Several key predictions are daunting: According to the recent U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report on the impact of climate change and Agriculture in Jamaica (CIAT-OXFAM, 2011), the suitability of crops such as cabbage, carrot, ginger, sweet potato, and tomato is expected to decline by 2050. The Water Resources Authority of Jamaica reports that water demand in agriculture will increase by 18 percent by 2030 and the sustainable water yield may decline by 20 percent during the same period. As the agriculture sector is the major user of freshwater resources (75 percent), it will likely be affected severely. High-value crops such as coffee, citrus, sugarcane, and banana are highly vulnerable to extreme climate events as Jamaica experiences increasing temperatures as well as more frequent and intense weather phenomena such as hurricanes, drought, and floods. There will be a need, therefore, for a much greater push in the development of alternate solutions.
Real Climate-Change Fighters emerge from CCIC Bootcamp Series
One significant impact that ‘going green’ will have on the economy is the creation of new jobs and industries. To assist in the reduction of such long-term effects associated with climate change, the CCIC partnered with its regional hubs to host business development programs such as the Caribbean GreenTech StartUp Bootcamp. Preelabs, an energy conservation start-up came into being after conceptualization in the Bootcamp.
This type of initiative creates opportunities for sustainable growth through innovative business solutions, providing entrepreneurs with the knowledge and resources they need to prototype, develop, and market innovative clean technologies in sectors like sustainable agriculture, waste water management, and renewable energy.
The CCIC is a consortium of the Scientific Research Council (SRC) in Jamaica and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) in Trinidad & Tobago. CCIC’s primary focus is on the development of the Caribbean clean technology ecosystem. By assisting neighboring islands in adapting to and mitigating against the impact of climate change the Centre helps to empower each territory to develop innovative techniques and scalable businesses while strengthening several gaps across five priority areas: renewable energy, water/waste management, sustainable agribusiness, resource use and efficiency, and energy efficiency. With its hub located in Jamaica to execute a unified regional response to climate change, the centre has established twelve country ‘spokes’ in several other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) territories.
Services offered by the Centre include technology commercialization, market development, mentorship training, networking, business incubation support, as well as identifying/developing local, regional and international market opportunities.
Funded by the government of Canada through the World Bank’s global partnership development program, infoDev, CCIC is one of the three arms of the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC). The Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre is one of seven CICs established across the world with counterparts in Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Vietnam, Morocco, and Ghana.
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