IDB: Over 4mn people in the region at risk from climate change

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Over 4.2mn inhabitants of the Caribbean and small islands on the Pacific Ocean live in areas prone to flooding caused by rising sea levels, a study published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) reported.

According to the report "A Blue Urban Agenda: Adapting to Climate Change in the Coastal Cities of Caribbean and Pacific Small Island Developing States", aside from coastal erosion, rising sea levels could also have a negative impact on inflation, and also increase government debt on the Caribbean and in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific.

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On top of that, it is estimated that one in five inhabitants of these regions live at low elevation areas near the coast (less than 10m above sea level).

The IDB highlighted that both the local and national governments of these countries have partnered with international donors to implement over US$55bn in development programs, many of which are focused on climate change adaptation.

The report also included policy recommendations for making towns and cities more resilient to climate change, which include improvements to coastal planning, reclamation of land, strengthening of building regulations, surveying coasts, and making climate-proof infrastructure, among others.

The report analyzed more than 50 projects in SIDS financed by the IDB and other international financial institutions, among them the World Bank.