PM Mottley warns Caribbean to prepare themselves for climate change disaster, mass migration

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, while warning, has stated the nations of the Caribbean region to get themselves prepared for a climate change disaster which will lead to migration of thousands of persons between the area. She emphasized that plans must be made to prepare for such a situation in future.

Bridgetown, Barbados: Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, while warning, has stated the nations of the Caribbean region to get themselves prepared for a climate change disaster which will lead to migration of thousands of persons between the area. She emphasized that plans must be made to prepare for such a situation in future.

Prime Minister made the remarks during the handover ceremony of the Regional and National Maritime Security Strategies on Tuesday.

As intensified storm surges, it continues to be a problem for some of the Caribbean countries, such as – Trinidad, Guyana and Suriname, which might not be hit by hurricanes but by floods, PM Mottley noted, highlighting the aftermaths of hurricanes.

She added, “We have been told by the – CCCCC (Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre ) and the UNDP that a one-metre rise in sea level can displace approximately 110,000 people in CARICOM member states.”

PM Mottley informed that she held talks with some of the international partners regarding the issue and capacity of the region to handle the mass migration.

“It was estimated that 2 per cent of the population in St Kitts and Nevis and indeed 3 per cent of the population in Antigua & Barbuda could be displaced as a result of these ‘types of events’. This potential displacement made us enquire if the current response in – our member states can accommodate management of ‘mass migration or displacement of such a large number of persons,” the Prime Minister further noted.

Hurricanes, earthquakes and flash flooding are quite common in the nations of the Caribbean region. Climate change has led to the rise of sea level, more potent hurricanes, longer dry seasons and shorter wet seasons.

Climate change will have a consequence on the operating costs of tourism operators, such as – insurance, heating-and-cooling costs, pest management, and the need to augment the water supply for drinking and irrigation needs.