Climate change and flood risk: Challenges for Jamaican towns and communities
Jamaica has much of its infrastructure in coastal areas and floodplains. The Meteorological Office of Jamaica has produced computer models, hazard maps, and resources for decision makers of flood-prone regions. These resources were, before the project, based on static climate models and were becoming inadequate for current and future climate predictions. This project engaged multi-country partners to produce new climate models in data-scarce regions to build a better understanding of future climate models and disseminate the knowledge among citizens and policy makers. The success and reproducibility of this project was enabled by several practices.
- Engaging local stakeholders. This involved holding training meetings and town halls while also creating content to disseminate data which included flyers and maps of the areas at highest risk for flooding.
- Providing tools for policy makers. The models built in this project were specifically designed to provide policy makers at the national level with actionable data. Data from this project influenced Jamaican climate policy in 2012 to form the “State of the Jamaican Climate” report and the “Regional comprehensive disaster management strategy and programming framework”.
- Expanding measurement points. Previously the only locations with weather data were government owned buildings, such as airports. With the help of local authorities, additional data points were taken that increased the capabilities and accuracy of the models.
- Using repeatable methodology. Many Caribbean nations have most of their infrastructure sited on the coast-land and do not have large meteorological data sets. The methodology for this project was built with this in mind so that it could be easily transferable to other Caribbean islands.