GWP-C Works to Bridge the Gap between Science and Policy with its 2nd Caribbean Science Symposium on Water

“Conservation and Innovation: Changing the Regional Water Paradigm” was the theme of the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean’s (GWP-C) second virtual Caribbean Science Symposium on Water (CSSW).

The dynamic and innovative online event occurred on March 21st and 22nd (Word Water Day), 2023. Building on the first-ever CSSW held in 2021, at its core, the Symposium seeks to actively engage persons from the research and policy communities to bridge the gap between research outputs on water management and related areas, and their transposition from science to the policy domain to inform evidence-based decision-making. GWP-C also sees its CSSW as a way of promoting more effective regional water cooperation.

The 2023 Symposium focused on the urgent need to identify opportunities for advancing conservation efforts in the Caribbean water sector that offer sustainable solutions which are culturally relevant, affordable, and accessible. Integrally tied to this is the need for innovation and new thinking around water conservation, storage, use and management. Below is a visual summary of the opening ceremony of the 2023 CSSW.

The two-day event began with an opening ceremony where the Prime Minister of Grenada, the Honourable Dickon Mitchell gave the keynote address. Prime Minister Mitchell applauded the Caribbean Science Symposium on Water (CSSW) as an example of the innovative work that GWP-C has undertaken; finding new ways to support and promote Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in the region.

In his address, of particular importance was Prime Minister Mitchell’s call for everyone to work together in addressing the water challenges facing the Caribbean. According to him “Scientists and technicians, practitioners, policy-makers and politicians need each other and need to talk in a language they both understand.”

Also speaking at the opening ceremony was Ms. Simone Lewis, GWP-C’s Regional Coordinator who provided great context on the 2023 CSSW in terms of its purpose, goals and role in bridging the gap between science and policy for the benefit of Caribbean water security.

During the opening ceremony, Dr. Adrian Cashman, Chair of the GWP-C Technical Committee, shared his thoughts on the water-related challenges facing the Caribbean and globally and what is being done to meet those challenges. He stressed the importance of working together to provide solutions.

Immediately following the opening ceremony was a very engaging Panel Session on “Climate Finance Loss and Damage – Prospects and Opportunities for the Caribbean Region?” The panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Trevor Thompson, GWP-C Steering Committee (SC) and Technical Committee (TEC) Member. The Panel comprised of:

  • Dr. Emily Wilkinson – Senior Research Fellow, ODI; Director, Resilient and Sustainable Islands (RESI); and Chief Scientific Adviser, Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica.
  • Dr. Colin Young – Executive Director, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC)
  • Mrs. Nadia Spencer-Henry – Debt Manager, Ministry of Finance and Corporate Governance, and Public Private Partnerships, Government of Antigua and Barbuda

Key takeaways from the panel discussion are seen in the graphics below: