New website on climate change adaptation for coastal transport

31 August 2018

UNCTAD launched a web site on climate change impacts and adaptation for coastal transport infrastructure, such as seaports and airports, in Caribbean small island developing states.

UNCTAD has created a new website – SIDSport-ClimateAdapt – dedicated to the issue of climate change impacts and adaptation for critical costal transport infrastructure, such as seaports and airports, in Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS).

The web-based platform showcases the activities, findings and outputs of the UN Development Account project “Climate change impacts on coastal transport infrastructure in the Caribbean: enhancing the adaptive capacity of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) (UNDA 1415O)”, which UNCTAD  implemented in collaboration with a range of partners, including UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the UN Development Programme, the UN Economic Commission for Europe, UN Environment, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, and international and regional academic experts.


Drawing on earlier related work by UNCTAD, the project was initiated with the aim to strengthen the capacity of policy makers, transport planners and transport infrastructure managers in SIDS to, one, understand climate change impacts on coastal transport infrastructure, in particular seaports and airports, and, two, take appropriate adaptation response measures.

Key outputs include national case studies focusing on seaports and airports in two vulnerable SIDS in the Caribbean (Jamaica and Saint Lucia) as well as a transferable methodology for assessing climate-related impacts and adaptation options for coastal transport infrastructure in SIDS.

The case studies and methodology were presented and discussed at three workshops, bringing together key stakeholders from 21 countries and territories in the wider Caribbean region.

In addition to the case studies and methodology, the new website houses useful tools and guidance material, workshop materials, project documents and relevant information on the topic of climate change adaptation for coastal transportation infrastructure.

The web-based platform is intended to facilitate information sharing, communication and dialogue among relevant stakeholders and interested parties, who are invited to subscribe on the forum and share additional relevant material. Although participation in the forum requires registration, all material on the platform can be freely accessed by anyone.

A scientific paper presenting and discussing some of the key project results, as well as some technical elements of the methodology developed under the project, has been published in Regional Environmental Change and will be included in a Special Issue, which is to inform and accompany the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees warming.

Complementing the above technical assistance work is a recent report relating the findings of a 'Port industry survey on climate change impacts and adaptation, designed in collaboration with global port industry associations and other experts.

The survey aimed to improve the understanding of weather and climate-related impacts on ports and to identify data availability and information needs, as well as to determine current levels of resilience and preparedness among ports.

Relevant information is urgently required for the purposes of risk-assessment and adaptation planning, including in particular for ports in developing regions. Among other things, the study revealed that although most respondent ports had been impacted by weather/climate related events – at times extreme – important gaps remain in terms of relevant information available to seaports of all sizes and across regions, with implications for effective climate risk assessment and adaptation planning.

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