Country

Dominica

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Dominica.

Adaptation

Dominica has established and adopted a National Climate Change Adaptation Policy (2002). Dominica was one of the few countries chosen to pilot adaptation measures under the Special Program on Adaptation to Climate Change (SPACC). Through SPACC funded projects, Dominica has performed vulnerability mapping and “climate proofing” of National Parks Management Plans and community-based vulnerability mapping and the development of community adaptation plans. The country's Nationally Determined Contribution specifies adaptation actions related to renewable energy, early warning systems, food security, education, capacity building and knowledge transfer, and climate risk management. The total estimated costs of adaptation implementation are $0.025 billion USD. 

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Introduce heat-tolerant crops. 
  • Improve pest and disease management. 
  • Improve agricultural diversification. 
  • Implement an effective early warning system. 
  • Provide for the scientific and engineering services required to assess vulnerabilities and define priorities, then retrofit buildings.
  • Integrate adaptation into population and resettlement program and improve the planning and permitting processes to guide coastal zone activities, including regulatory adjustments, awareness raising and enforcement.
  • Produce design and construction guidelines for ‘climate-proof’ structures and apply them in pilot investments.
  • Conduct flood risk analysis with land zoning and flood mitigation actions; strengthen institutional capacity to enforce land zoning restrictions, including the application of beach setbacks for construction.
  • Develop Integrated Coastal and Marine Zone Management Plans.
  • Complete coastal re-vegetation.
  • Expand the use of computer modeling on marine fishery vulnerability.
  • Land use and development plan should integrate future rainfall, temperature, and seasonality projections along with adaption measures for forests.
  • Conduct vulnerability mapping of the country’s National Parks and World Heritage Site and “climate proofing” of the World Heritage Site Management Plan and National Parks Management Plans.
  • Conduct community-based vulnerability mapping and the development, through community engagement and input, of community adaptation plans.

Gaps and Needs

  • Vulnerability assessments, hazard mapping and disaster risk management and adaptation measures need to be better researched and implemented to address these discrepancies.
  • Improvements are thus required to the country’s meteorological services, including restoring and upgrading the basic infrastructure and operations, putting in place an appropriate local capacity-building program to improve scientific/technical staff resource levels and to upgrade skills, and building climate change Issues into national development plans.
  • Studies need to be carried out to address the “island dilemma” and downscale climate models to individual islands need improvements in accuracy, however it may not be possible to derive more accurate climate change information due to the small size of these islands. New information should be credible and useful to decision making at the island scale.
  • At present the Global Climate Models (GCMs) are the best source of future information on hurricanes and storms. Available downscaled Regional Climate Model (RCM) data for Dominica were obtained from the Providing Regional Climates for Impact Studies (PRECIS) model run at the University of the West Indies, however the additional data gained from these RCM do not devalue the information provided by the GCMs because Dominica’s climate is largely driven by large-scale phenomenon and the downscaling techniques themselves are driven by the GCM outputs.
  • Modeling of storm-surge zones is needed and must take into consideration possible sea-level rise to develop planning mechanisms that can be used to direct current and future investments in infrastructure, housing construction, and agriculture outside this zone to minimize vulnerability, reduce repair costs and decrease disruption to economic activities.
  • Hazard data collection and mapping and vulnerability assessments are needed to identify communicate locations subject to hazards and the expected severity of hazard effects. This information could then be used to develop siting, environmental protection and insurance coverage for at risk areas.
  • Socialization of disaster awareness is not currently a strong component under Dominica’s disaster management program and education and awareness program has yet to be developed. The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) does issue alerts and preparedness advice at the onset of the hurricane season but no formal education programs have been created for integration into the educational curriculum.
  • Educational programs in Dominica are limited and the ODM currently lacks geographical information systems (GIS) mapping resources, equipment, software, and trained GIS professional staff. As a result, ODM is unable to use the hazard mapping tools developed under past initiatives.
  • While the Caribbean Building Code (CuBIC) was developed in the 1990’s under the OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) initiative, Dominica has yet to adopt a standard building code that is enforceable by law. Further gaps arise from land use planning which currently does not fully incorporate disaster risk reduction considerations in Dominica.
  • There is little or no integration of climate change adaption or awareness into current disaster risk management plans. Improved coordination and collaboration between community disaster organizations and other comprehensive disaster management is needed, including preparedness and response and mitigation capacity among public, private and civil sector entities for local level management and response.