Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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Case Study 20

Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change (CPACC): Design and Establishment of Sea-Level/Climate Monitoring Network
Claudio R. Volonté
Organisation of American States

Keywords: sea-level, monitoring, project implementation, adaptation

CPACC's overall objective is to support twelve Caribbean countries to cope with potential impacts of global climate change, particularly sea-level rise, through vulnerability assessment, adaptation planning, and capacity building. The Organisation of American States (OAS) is CPACC's executing agency and recipient of the US$6.7 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the World Bank (as the GEF implementing agency). Funds are transferred to the Regional Project Implementation Unit (RPIU) established at the University of the West Indies Centre for Environment and Development (UWICED), Barbados, to coordinate and manage project activities at the regional level. All participating countries have established National Implementation Coordinating Units (NICUs) that facilitate project implementation at the national level. The project became effective on April 1997 for a four-year implementation period.

Adaptation to climate change is achieved through a regional approach to strengthen technical and institutional capacity of national and regional institutions. These capacities include: (i) monitoring and analysis of climate and sea-level dynamics and trends to determine potential impacts of global climate change; (ii) identifying areas vulnerable to climate change and sea-level rise; and (iii) developing an integrated management and planning framework for cost-effective responses and adaptations, as well as policy options and instruments to impacts of climate change on coastal areas.

Design and establishment of Sea-Level/Climate Monitoring Network is one of 9 components of the CPACC programme. The overall objectives of this component are to establish a state-of-the-art telemetry sea-level and meteorological monitoring network in countries participating in CPACC, and to develop the region's capacity to take charge of the network over the course of the project. The network provides data to be used for analysis and prediction of oceanographic and atmospheric phenomena related to sea level change and global warning. These stations comply with the minimum standards of the Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS) network. The capacity of data acquisition, analysis, archiving and dissemination is the responsibility of the Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI) in Barbados. The Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) in Trinidad and Tobago acts as a regional support for archiving and disseminating sea-level data. A training and technology transfer programme has been designed to ensure that participating regional and national institutions acquire the capacity to coordinate the network, support data analysis and dissemination and maintain its operational integrity during and after the project.

Parties to the project

Parties to the project include the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF), the General Secretariat/Organisation of American States (GS/OAS), RPIU at University of the West Indies Centre for Environment and Development (UWICED), Meteorological and Land Survey Offices of 12 participating countries, the Caribbean Meteorological Institute and Institute of Marine Affairs, and the US NOAA Coastal Survey Department and National Geodetic Survey Laboratory.

Type of agreement

  • Legal agreement between GS/OAS and The World Bank.
  • Technical cooperation agreement between GS/OAS and the University of the West Indies.
  • Technical cooperation agreements between GS/OAS and 12 participating governments, two regional institutions (CMI and IMA) and US NOAA (specific for this component).
  • CMI was designated as the lead regional agency for the implementation of this component.

Commercial considerations
Financial considerations (e.g., investment, operating costs, profitability):
The project receives 100% financing from the GEF. The OAS, UWICED, and national and regional institutions provide in kind contribution (staff, office space and equipment, etc.). The budget for Component 1 is US$811,500 for four years, divided in technical assistance/training (US$410,900), equipment (US$350,600) and maintenance/replacement trust fund at CMI (US$50,000). So far, mechanisms for cost recovery have not been developed.

Risk considerations (e.g., investment, country, intellectual property issues):

  • Effective and efficient implementation due to the multiplicity of countries and institutions involved.
  • Maintenance and operation by national institutions, although the equipment selected is designed to provide high quality continuous data with minimal maintenance.
  • Safety of equipment from vandalism and natural hazards.
  • Project sustainability after GEF funding ends.

Lessons Learned
It is clear that project ownership is a key element for implementation success. The extensive consultation effort during project preparation has paid off. Another key element of project success is that technology transfer should be accompanied with intensive training of local experts, both formally, through workshops, and informally, hands-on. Furthermore, the CPACC framework appears conducive for replication.


1. Jan C. Vermeiren, USDE/OAS, USA
Fax: +1 202 4583560; E-mail:
2. Neville Trotz, CPACC/RPIU Project Manager,
CERMES Building, University of the West Indies, Barbados
Fax: +1 246 4244204; E-mail:

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