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British Overseas Territories: Climate Change

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 76082, tabled on 17 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department has given the UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean to ensure that future built developments incorporate climate resilience.

Answered on

24 July 2020

Following the destruction caused by hurricanes in 2017, the UK Government has funded construction work in several Overseas Territories (OTs), with a focus on building back with improved hurricane and seismic resilience. In Montserrat, the UK is investing in resilient infrastructure through the Capital Infrastructure Programme for Resilient and Economic Growth (CIPREG), including projects such as the recently laid fibre optic cable link that will bolster Montserrat's resilience against extreme weather. Additionally, with funding from the cross-Government Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) has supported OTs in the Caribbean to build response and resilience models to hurricane related flood risks. This includes opportunities to maximise the role and value of the natural environment, including coastal vegetation, mangroves and coral reefs, to minimise flood damage, and the use of vulnerability mapping to inform on-island planning processes for new infrastructure and residential developments. The JNCC is also working with individual OTs to develop monitoring programmes capable of recognising changes to their marine and terrestrial environments, including those related to climate change.

Through the UK Government funded Darwin and Darwin Plus Initiatives, the UK continues to support the ability of the OTs to increase their resilience and ability to adapt in the face of climate change by funding individual projects, such as efforts to improve coastal ecosystem resilience in Anguilla and restoration of mangroves in the British Virgin Islands.