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Caribbean warned that reefs could disappear by 2020 due to global warming

Bharrat Jagdeo, the former president of Guyana has warned tourism officials that the Caribbean's reefs could be gone by 2020 if the earth continues to heat up. International travellers go on Caribbean holidays each year to explore the spectacular reefs.

Caribbean warned that reefs could disappear by 2020 due to global warming

The former president of Guyana and a world leader in climate change policy, Bharrat Jagdeo, has explained to attendees of the 13th annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable tourism Development that the Caribbean’s reefs could be gone by 2020 due to global warming.

According to Jagdeo, the earth’s temperature is expected to rise by four degrees by 2020 and “the forests will die, the corals will die, the sea-level will rise and we’ll lose most of our beaches.”

Every year, millions of tourists go on Caribbean holidays especially to explore the breathtaking reefs and marine environment and the scuba diving industry is a major income for the region’s economy.

Jagdeo urged tourism officials to help their governments understand the impact that this will have on each nation in the Caribbean.
He added: “There are governments which are sleepwalking on this issue.”

Jagdeo created a Low Carbon Development Strategy for Guyana in 2007 and he signed an agreement with the Norway government that saw Guyana receive US$250 million in exchange for keeping the country’s rainforest intact.

 Sunbathing in Caribbean Beaches
Image by: *michael sweet*, on Flickr

During the annual Caribbean conference, the former president advised Caribbean companies to look into climate financing from international sources that would allow the region to move into renewable energies.

The Director General of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Alec Sanguinetti, stated that the industry’s financial stability is top priority before they can secure environmental sustainability.

The region’s economy heavily relies on international tourists going on holidays to the Caribbean and the reefs that fringe the shores of many of its picturesque islands are some of the main tourist attractions.

Island nations such as Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Antigua, Cuba and Curacao are famous for their beautiful coral reef systems and many Caribbean hotels and resorts make their living from visiting scuba diving tourists and professionals.

 Jamaica Waterfalls
Image by: worldtraveller5, on Flickr

The Caribbean’s oceans are home to an array of marine species including tiger sharks, reef sharks, whales, dolphins, turtles, eagle rays, manta rays, seahorses, eels and hundreds of tropical fish including parrot fish, angel fish, clown fish, file fish, groupers, barracuda and butterfly fish.

The region’s warm turquoise, crystal clear ocean waters attract tourists from all over the globe and during a holiday in the Caribbean, there are endless opportunities to explore the underwater delights, whether it’s through scuba diving trips, snorkelling activities or glass-bottom boat tours.

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