Experts identify long list of Cayman’s climate risks

| 23/05/2022 | 63 Comments
Cayman News Service
Beach erosion at Boggy Sand

(CNS): A group of experts working with the Minister of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency to produce a climate change risk assessment has identified a long list of threats to the Cayman Islands. Two UK agencies have drafted an ‘evidence report’ offering what ministry officials said was the most detailed assessment of climate change impacts ever undertaken for the Cayman Islands.

The next step is a public meeting, which is being held on Wednesday, 25 May, to seek input as work continues towards a national climate policy.

The UK’s Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) have found 52 key risks and opportunities related to biodiversity and habitats, the economy and society. Over the course of a two-day technical workshop, local stakeholders and regional experts will review, score and rank this list to inform a final report, which is expected to be completed by September.

Representatives from Cefas and UKCEH are visiting Grand Cayman to facilitate the public meeting, interviews with local news media, and a two-day, invitation-only technical workshop with stakeholders from the public sector, non-governmental agencies and academia.

Premier Wayne Panton, who holds the sustainability portfolio, said the climate change risk assessment is a critical first step in reviewing and updating his government’s policy on climate change.

“Climate risk assessments identify the likelihood of future climate hazards and their potential impacts on our three islands and our communities,” he said. “This local process is fundamental to updating our climate change policy and developing a robust strategy, with clear priorities for mitigation, adaptation and investment action in the Cayman Islands.”

Panton signed the deal with the UK agencies when he was in Glasgow last year for the COP26, and it has been paid for through the governor’s office.

The scientists are warning that Cayman will face a number of climate-related issues in the coming years, especially where the marine environment is concerned. Dr John Pinnegar, Cefas Principal Scientist and Lead Advisor, said the assessment is an important step to building local resiliency.

“The Cayman Islands will face many challenges in the future, including more frequent coral bleaching events, changes to the abundance and distribution of key fishery species. This assessment will help the government identify the most pressing risks in order to build resilience,” he said.

UKCEH Project Manager Christopher Barry said the work “across land, sea and water is crucial for understanding the complex challenges that climate change presents for both people and nature in the Cayman Islands, and we look forward to discussing these findings with its stakeholders”.

Governor Martyn Roper said he was pleased the UK has been able to offer both technical support and all of the £110,000 funding to help provide this comprehensive Climate Change Risk Assessment.

“I know there is much interest in this initiative so I encourage the community to attend the public meeting or to take part in the survey and make your contribution to this important initiative which will benefit everyone across the Cayman Islands.”

People can hear more tomorrow (Tuesday 24 May) when representatives of the Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency, the Department of Environment, Cefas and UKCEH will be on Radio Cayman, starting at 1pm.


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Category: Climate Change, Science & Nature

Comments (63)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The biggest risk comes from not having the governance via situational and forward-looking awareness, effective regulatory framework agencies, and reliable enforcement to address the challenges. Past governments have pilfered the Environmental Protection Fund, and even now it seems we still have a CIG being led by business shareholders rather than non-market stakeholders who have to suffer the institutionalised myopathy, and live the consequences, and pay the premium of being always late.

  2. Anonymous says:

    this is beyond the grasp of the local clowns we elect here….they can’t even run a airport parking ticketing sytem properly.

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  3. Unhappy Caymanian says:

    Thank you UK TAX payers

    Of course why should UK Tax payers pay anything towards Cayman? At a time of serious cost of living crisis in the UK?

    Of course the usual Caymanian self-entitlement will prevail.

    UK Tax payers don’t like subsidising non-income tax payers to HMRC.

    My MP in the UK doesn’t.

    Start paying for your own issues Cayman.

    We can well afford it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      funny how you call yourself “unhappy caymanian” yet show frustrations as a UK tax payer.

      spare me and go home…

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      • unhappy caymanian says:

        Tell me, how does a Caymanian “go home” ?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Caymani ite domum

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        • Happy Caymanian says:

          “Unhappy Caymanian”, to answer your question, Caymanians would say: “Go home.” Like any other Anglo-speaking territory.

          Please know that I am not telling that. You have your point of view that you seem passionate about and it is fine for you to share your opinion.

          We all live in Cayman and live in a peaceful society. I love my fellow Caymanians and I also accept people from other countries that come to live here.

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      • Anonymous says:

        How are they still a UK taxpayer as a Caymanian?

        One of their perks having been granted status or even residency is that they no longer have to pay UK taxes….

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    • Happy Caymanian says:

      So “Unhappy Caymanian”, who lives in the Cayman Islands, that appears happy with your UK MP, why not discuss your plight concerning the UK funding Cayman for environmental experts with your UK MP?

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      • Unhappy Caymanian says:

        The implication from my post is that I already have, hence the wording

        ‘My MP in the UK doesn’t”

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        • Anonymous says:

          How are they “your MP” when you are now Caymanian who doesn’t pay UK taxes?

          • Unhappy Caymanian says:

            You’re assumptive reply that I have “become” Caymanian is somewhat off the mark and reflective of a mindset which is so very prevalent in Cayman. It’s quite disrespectful.

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            • Happy Caymanian says:

              ‘Unhappy Caymanian’, now you are speaking with two mouths.

              Which is it? Are you a Caymanian? Or a UK citizen that lives in Cayman? Or both?

              Now, as boisterous and critical as you have been, answering such questions is only right and proper to get to the crux of your motivations.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Unhappy Caymanian is not Caymanian apparently.

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              • Unhappy Caymanian says:

                “Apparently” the concept of multiple citizenship eludes Columbo.

                It might imply that you’ve got out of the crab barrel.

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          • Unhappy Caymanian says:

            It shouldn’t be any surprise that Cayman is not the only jurisdiction in the world where one can be considered domiciled, pay tax or where one can vote.

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          • Unhappy Caymanain says:

            I suggest that you consult both a tax lawyer and accountant who may offer insight and allow a more factual accurate response regarding taxation and domicile around the world.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Given that the UK is one of those countries that spew greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, with no concern for anyone, I say let them pay.

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      • Unhappy Caymanian says:

        So:

        – Confirmation of self-entitlement, how reassuringly unsurprising.

        – “Chemical Pollution exceeds safe levels for life” published CNS 19/01/2022

        – “Caribbean hotbed of pollution” published CNS 18/07/2019

        – “Cayman air is not as clean as we might think” published Cayman Compass 25/04/2020

        – “Caribbean Islands are the biggest plastic polluters per capita in the world” published Forbes 20/09/2019

        – Cayman 171 (in the lowest ranks) 2.3% for electricity generated from low-carbon energy sources. http://www..lowcarbonpower.org

        -UK 51.07% (still not good enough) (same data source as above).

        Still sure Cayman is doing ok?

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    • Anonymous says:

      You’re really showing your ignorance. We pay taxes and duties on everything we consume and import. That’s why items on our supermarket shelves cost 4-5 times what they do in the UK. So there’s plenty of money, and the system could work well. It’s just the fools running Cayman over the last few decades lack the integrity and aptitude to handle public finances responsibly. That’s where the problem lies. Corruption and lack of accountability right at the top.

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      • Unhappy Caymanian says:

        I know what taxes we pay.

        The wording in my post explicitly mentions “income tax”.

        I support your comments regarding foolishness.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks for clarifying. My point was that those duties and taxes are so high because they’re supposed to fund the public purse in place of income tax. If it weren’t for all the price gauging, I prefer consumption based taxes over income tax as we are better able to manage by being more careful about what we consume.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Where and when is the public meeting?

    CNS: I’ve added the poster.

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  5. Sean says:

    Our efforts will be futile if we are not tackling the source(s):
    – The destruction of the rain forests for pig feed, no one is stopping this.
    – The overfishing, the killing of the corals and the total destructions of all life in the ocean.
    – Animal breeding g for human consumption is the major cause of the climate change.
    – why are government around the world allowing their citizens to use the ocean to dump their waste.

    We need to tackle the sources or this is impossible.

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    • Mmmm bacon says:

      India has the world’s second-lowest rates of meat consumption per person but is one of the highest polluted places on the face of this earth. Save us the vegan cult talk.

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      • Sean says:

        I am saying, we should look at what is causing the climate change, and we cannot successfully tackle the issues without looking at the sources.

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      • Anonymous says:

        two unrelated issues.
        meat production is an ongoing unneseccary ecological disaster for the planet.
        if you can’t accept that, you should not be commenting on the issue.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Root cause of all the issues is over population by humans. Growing populations encroaching into green spaces wiping out ecosystems to develop houses and farmland to feed the masses. To compound the problem, every human produces waste directly and indirectly throughout their lifetime ( more people = more waste). Stopping meat production will do little to save the planet when the population of the world keeps growing.

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          • Junius says:

            More humans does contribute to environmental issues.

            However, life is a beautiful gift and children do not choose to be born.

            We need to be responsible stewards of our natural assets (the environment) and, if we all do our individual parts, it goes a long way to help.

            We, as humans, are in this together. So let’s come together to do what we can and give it our best shot.

    • Anonymous says:

      It would do you good to compare how much damage is caused by unsustainable agriculture vs animal farming. Please also look into how much pollution is caused by building developments across the world. and yes, I agree with you on the stupid dumping of waste into the seas.

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      • Sean says:

        Right, commercial farming is also one of the causes to climate change.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Fertilisers and pesticides being a major issue. Our agriculture department who supply most of these these things seemngly couldn’t care less though.

    • Anonymous says:

      Give it up grasshopper 🦗, meat heals, consumption of meat is essential for most people’ health.
      Elderly frailty is caused by the lack of quality meat in their diets.

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  6. anon against ignorance says:

    I trust every member of our esteemed Planning Board will be required to attend the technical workshop and to review the final report.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Wednesday where? What time? 2 days public notice, really?

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    • Orrie Merren says:

      6:00 to 7:30 pm at Constitution Hall (formerly called the Town Hall), which is adjacent to the Parliament House (in front of the Town Clock) on Fort Street, George Town.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    too little too late for caymanian poorly educated mla’s who have spent decades literally sticking their heads in the sand regarding climate risks…..
    just another day in wonderland.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    The largest imminent risk by far is ignorance, especially amongst our politicians and has been for over 30 decades.

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    • Pirates of the Caribbean says:

      Last 2 decades (20 years ago) have been most negatively impacted by politicians in Cayman.

      Politicians have not been around for 30 decades (300 years ago) in Cayman, but pirates were.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I meant 30 decades as that’s when the rape of Cayman’s natural resources began. The earth was dug, trees were felled and wildlife was killed for sport. History serves as a reminder not to repeat past mistakes but not all care to remember.

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        • Junius says:

          30 decades ago, even 10 decades ago, people in Cayman lived off of the sea and the land.

          Our forefathers had a barter system, which served as an economy of survival, and also went to sea to send money back to our families.

          As times change and modernization, so too do our focus and functions.

          It’s really been the last 30 (especially 20) decades that we have seen the negative effects of modernization of the physical infrastructure that has been detrimental.

          It is agreed that, with respect to mistakes of the past, we now need to learn from where we went wrong and not repeat those mistakes.

          Much reform, especially of past mistakes, has not entirely occurred and this needs to change.

          Thanks for your input, which is appreciated, as you are correct about the need to remember not to repeat past mistakes, because Cayman still needs to address some of those mistakes, but has neglected to do so.

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      • Anonymous says:

        What do you know about phosphate mining and the stripping of hardwood trees for ship and furniture manufacturing overseas? Both these activities decimated Cayman’s natural habitats and landscape.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Obtaining freed back from expert consultants is a step in the right direction. Good move by CIG.

    The inclusion of feedback and input from both public and private sectors is a positive feature.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There’s a whole floor of feedback from experts gathering dust in the Admin Building. One of the reasons they still rent office space no doubt.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And thank you UK for donating the funds.

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    • Anonymous says:

      6:59, did you miss the 4000 Consultant Reports they have had commissioned over the last 3 decades that they have done nothing with?

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    • Anonymous says:

      When is the last time politicians implemented the recommendations of real experts with regard to our environment? I guess our own real experts at DoE don’t count either?

      Ignorance and anarchy rule OK in the Cayman Islands☝️

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agree, but the expert selection process always seems a bit exclusive and that concerns me.

  11. Anonymous says:

    CNS I am out of the country due to family bereavement. Do you have a link to the survey?

    CNS: No, sorry, but we’ll put it in the Library when we do.

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  12. Elvis says:

    One day the tide will just come in trust me

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