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Anguilla battles a shrinking coastline

Published: Monday, March 19, 2012

Storms and groundswells are eating away at the coast of Anguilla, a British protectorate in the Lesser Antilles. On one beach alone, the waters of the Caribbean have claimed some 30 feet over the past few decades, according to officials.

Now the island is moving to raise money and implement training programs to cope with extreme weather and ocean activity, both of which are expected to increase with global climate change. But some critics say that actions taken so far don't measure up to the scope of the task.

"Most people don't give two hoots about climate change," said David Carty, chairman of the Anguilla Renewable Energy Office. "My own view is 'Out of sight, out of mind,' and the insidious part of climate change is that we cannot see it."

Carty and other officials would like to see the local government pass a piece of legislation called the Environment Protection Act, which would allow the United Kingdom to extend the U.N. Climate Change Convention to Anguilla.

The convention would likely provide support for a range of new climate mitigation practices, as well as research and data collection.

A climate change policy for the island was drafted after national consultations held between 2008 and 2010. It is now awaiting Cabinet approval.

A report by UNESCO notes that, like most of its neighbors in the English-speaking Caribbean, Anguilla could suffer effects to its social, economic and environmental well-being from damage to its beaches.

The ocean's encroachment has been exacerbated by loss of coral formations around the island, which, when healthy, acted as a buffer against the water (Desmond Brown,  Inter Press Service, March 14). -- NM

Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500


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Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500.

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