Cuban coastal experts making headway in Belize field assessment  

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By National Climate Change Office – Belize

BELIZE, Belmopan – A team of Cuban experts from the Institute of Marine Sciences and GAMMA S.A. has been covering significant ground in the south for the past two weeks as they conduct preliminary coastal erosion assessments. The field assessment is being conducted under the project entitled “Enhancing the Climate Resilience of Dangriga and Hopkins.”

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The team arrived in mid-August and has completed coastal surveys, sand sampling, and sediment thickness measurements among other activities in Hopkins Village and Dangriga Town. The experts will complete their research and assessment of Hopkins and Dangriga next week along with a preliminary assessment of Monkey River. They will depart Belize on Friday, September 24, 2021.

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The field assessment of Hopkins and Dangriga will result in the identification and feasibility study of appropriate climate technology solutions and the design and development of a shoreline recovery and stabilization project for Dangriga Town and Hopkins Village.

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On Tuesday, September 14, the team along with a representative from the National Climate Change Office, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, LIC and the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment carried out a field visit to Barranco Village and Punta Gorda Town.

The field visit was facilitated by the Barranco Village chairman Jerry Arzu, vice chairman and members of the Barranco Group of Economic Development and Environment. The purpose of the visit was to learn from the experience of the villagers on the erosion that has taken place and for the coastal experts to carry out a preliminary assessment of the erosion processes occurring in the area. The team observed severe erosion that has occurred all along the shoreline of Barranco, as well as high wave energy contributing to this process. Residents of the area noted that the beach extended much further several years ago. Efforts have been made to alleviate the problem but have been unsuccessful.

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This activity is being funded under the Fourth National Communication and First Biennial Update Report and the Enabling Gender-Responsive Disaster Recovery, Climate Change and Environmental Resilience in the Caribbean (EnGenDER) projects and the government of Belize.

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