Through its role as a Centre of Excellence, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) supports the people of the Caribbean as they address the impact of climate variability and change on all aspects of economic development through the provision of timely forecasts and analyses of potentially hazardous impacts of both natural and man-induced climatic changes on the environment, and the development of special programmes which create opportunities for sustainable development.
The Five C’s, as the Centre is called, coordinates the Caribbean region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre, based in Belize, is the key node for information on climate change issues and on the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change in the Caribbean.
It is the official repository and clearing house for regional climate change data, providing climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. It has also been recognized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) as a Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few. This reputation is a major honour for the Centre, and it should be a great source of prude for the people of the Caribbean as well.
Due to its susceptibility to climate change, CARICOM has traditionally been a main supporter of climate-related initiatives. This was demonstrated early on through its strong support of the UNFCCC, an international environmental treaty that was created in 1992.
At an Intersessional Meeting which took place in Belize in February 2002, CARICOM Heads of Government approved the establishment of the Centre and signed a protocol to allow the Centre to function as a legal entity. The follow-up to the CPACC project, the Adapting to Climate Change in the Caribbean (ACCC) project, which lasted from 2001 to 2004, promoted the further evolution of the Centre by providing the resources to develop a comprehensive business plan and strategy to ensure its financial sustainability.
In February 2004, the Centre became fully functional from its first home in the University of Belize in Belmopan. In 2005, the Centre moved to its own space in the Lawrence Nicholas Building in Belmopan. The official opening of the Centre took place on August 2, 2005.
One example of the Centre’s role and contribution to the Community’s development can be found in its participation, in 2015, at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties 21 Negotiations in Paris, France. The Centre was instrumental in ensuring that the Caribbean Region was well represented and prepared to engage in negotiations regarding what climate change issues mean to the region. With assistance from various partners, the Centre formatted a Declaration on Climate Change which was adopted by the CARICOM Heads of Government and was the blueprint for the region’s position for the negotiations. The team of delegates was led by the Executive Director of CCCCC, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, and International and Regional Liaison Officer, Carlos Fuller, who represented Belize at the convention.