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Belize one of five countries targeted for coastal risk assessment

Posted: Wednesday, March 8, 2023. 9:33 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Beginning in June, The Stimson Center Environmental Security program will conduct new climate risk assessments in coastal areas in Belize, Aruba, Dominica, Mauritius, and Madagascar, as announced at the eighth Our Ocean Conference in Panama.

In the case of Belize, the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI) program will analyze more than 100 different ecological, financial, and social risk factors to produce a coastal risk profile and make concrete recommendations for building climate resilience. Belize City is vulnerable to climate change, including hurricanes, flooding, and sea level rise. Over the past seven years, the city has been hit by three hurricanes, causing significant damage. Belize City’s economy relies heavily on tourism due to its proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The reef is increasingly threatened by warming seas and hurricanes.

The project in Belize is being funded with support from the Prince Albert of Monaco Foundation in partnership with TaiwanICDF.

CORVI is a decision support tool for leaders who need to make smart climate investments to improve the safety and security of coastal cities. Currently operating in eleven coastal cities around the world, CORVI organizes data and information across the land and seascape to provide decision-makers with the complete risk picture they need to take action.

Director of the Environmental Security Program at the Stimson Center, Sally Yozell, said: “SIDS and coastal communities face growing threats from climate change, on top of existing economic, social, and political vulnerabilities. CORVI assesses these risks holistically across land and sea to inform smart climate investments to strengthen coastal climate resilience. It’s inspiring to be able to work with so many different leaders in island states and coastal communities who are striving to safeguard their people, environment, and economies from the impacts of climate change now and in the future.”

Deputy Secretary General of TaiwanICDF, Alex Shyy, said: “As an official aid development donor, we focus on making investments that have the greatest impact on improving the livelihoods of people and their quality of life. CORVI is a good reference in our longstanding “people-oriented technology” policy because it helps us target where our investments can make the most impact in complex multi-dimensional problems such as climate change by taking a partnership approach and using scientific data input from the donor, local government, academia, and climate champions.

Vice President and CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Olivier Wenden, said, “Population growth and economic development combined with climate change have degraded coastal habitats and ecosystems, putting the future of millions of people at risk. Improving the security of coastal cities and enhancing the resilience of coastal and marine ecosystems are essential in our mission to protect communities living in areas strongly threatened by these negative effects. Science, knowledge and innovations, developed in a holistic approach, are pillars on which we must base our actions if we want to succeed. …”


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