A coastal resilience project along Cuba’s south coast has benefited from a US$23.9 million dollar grant that was recently approved by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
GCF financing will be provided during the project’s first eight years and will complement US$20.3 million of dedicated financing that will be provided by the government of Cuba for the implementation of an ecosystem-based adaptation approach for coastal protection.
The 30-year ‘Mi Costa’ project will enhance climate resilience for over 440,000 Cubans and protect vulnerable coastal habitats.
Delivered by the Environment Agency of the Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA) with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the innovative project will accelerate the ambition of the Cuban government’s contribution to the Paris Agreement.
It will enhance ecosystem-based adaptation approaches for 1,300 kilometers of coastline across 24 municipalities and also provide an important basis of support for the implementation of the “State Plan to Manage Climate Change ‘Tarea Vida’ (Life Task).”
UNDP Latin America and the Caribbean notes Cuba is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It says while the Cuban government has made impressive gains towards sustainable development, coastal erosion, flooding, saline intrusion, drought and sea-level rise, threaten these hard-won economic and social gains.
Projections show that if no intervention is made by the end of the 21st Century, up to 21 coastal communities will disappear entirely in Cuba, with 98 more severely affected by climate-related threats.
Hurricanes have also extensively damaged infrastructure across the island. Hurricane Matthew crossed the eastern end of Cuba in October 2016, causing over US$97 million in damages (2.6 percent of GDP).
Hurricanes Ike in 2008 and Sandy in 2012 cost US$293 million and US$278 million respectively.
A key aspect of the project will be its focus on working with communities and local authorities to fully understand the value of ecosystems to their own resilience and livelihoods,” said Dr. Maritza García, President of the Environment Agency.
In all, the project will restore over 11,000 hectares of mangroves, 3,000 hectares of swamp forest, and 900 hectares of grass swamp.