Coral Reef Early Warning System in St. Kitts-Nevis.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts —The Department of Environment commissioned of two pieces of equipment, hydromet station and a Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) in January to collect data, which will be used to collect data, generate information and make decisions.

Department of Environment Conservation Officer Cheryl Jeffers said that this puts St. Kitts and Nevis one-step closer to solving its data collection challenges.

“Access to reliable data will facilitate good decision making, said Jeffers. The installation of this equipment will complement existing stations already installed around St. Kitts.”

Minister with responsibility for Environment, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, spoke briefly about the equipment noting it will prove beneficial to St. Kitts and Nevis and the region.

“There is an increasing demand for hydro-meteorological data by a diverse group of users and sectors in the region,” explained Hamilton. “They need hydro-meteorological data such as wind speed and direction, air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, precipitation, solar radiation, and water levels (both historical and current). These are essential drivers of the regional climate models used to project future climate in the region.”

Hamilton said data generated directly affects the agriculture and aquaculture, water resources, coastal zone management, health and tourism sectors.

“For example, farmers are provided with periodic precipitation forecasts which they use to select crops and plan their planting cycles,” explained Hamilton. “Fishermen, tourism businesses and water resources managers all use hydro-meteorological data to support the decision-making component of their enterprises.”

“As humans, we need to continue identifying and implementing adaptation measures in a collective manner and ensure that we make use of the most effective tools and methods that will help us to integrate climate change considerations into our planning and investment processes”.

The pieces of equipment form part of a regional project implemented in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean States by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). Funding is provided by the United States Agency for International Development/Eastern and Southern Caribbean (USAID/ESC).

The project runs for four years, from July 2016 to September 2020. It is the brainchild of USAID Climate Change Adaptation Program (USAID CCAP).