A Risk Management Approach to Decision Making in the Caribbean

John Firth
Posted on: 7/15/2013 - Updated on: 2/28/2020

Posted by

Rachel Gregg



The countries of the Caribbean community (CARICOM) have great cause for concern when it comes to climate change: the impacts of climate change could severely impact their development. Building and planning for climate resilient, low carbon economies is a tall challenge, and will require a transformational approach. This knowledge brief by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC or ‘5Cs’), with support from CDKN, describes how decision-making processes based on risk management will help Caribbean leaders rise to the challenge.

CARICOM leaders together recognised the serious threat of climate change in 2009, when they signed the Lillendaal Declaration and tasked the 5Cs with producing a Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change. The Framework was followed by an Implementation Plan (produced by 5Cs in 2011-12 with CDKN support), which was approved by CARICOM Heads of Government in March 2012.

This knowledge brief by 5Cs introduces the risk management approach at the heart of CARICOM’s Implementation Plan. The authors argue that decision making always has subjective and political elements; the Implementation Plan addresses this reality head on. The Plan promotes a culture of risk assessment and management that will guide government decision makers through the maze of environmental, social and economic challenges that lie alongside the challenges of tackling climate change. The only way to build true climate resilience, the authors say, is to address climate change within the broader context of the Caribbean’s aspirations for growth and sustainable development.

To build on the Implementation Plan’s recommendations, the 5Cs will support pilot projects to integrate risk management in decision making in up to five countries. The focus will be on setting up national coordinating mechanisms in liaison with Ministries of Finance.