Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Jamaica's tourist minister this week called for other Caribbean nations to work together to minimize the impact of climate change.
Edmund Bartlett said the region is especially susceptible to climate change dangers, and public and private sectors should develop strategies to prevent the type of catastrophic damage that affected the region last year after two devastating hurricanes.
"The Caribbean's increasing vulnerability to climate change is evident in higher temperature, rising sea level and increased hurricane intensity that threaten the lives, property and livelihood of the millions of people throughout our region," Bartlett said in a speech in New Kingston Tuesday.
Bartlett said the impacts of the 2017 hurricane season are still felt in the Caribbean. According to a study by the World Travel and Tourism Council, this year has seen more than 826,000 fewer visitors and a loss of 11,000 jobs.
"Even more disturbing, according to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, studies show that the projected cost to the region due to increased hurricane damage, loss of revenue to the tourism sector and damage to infrastructure could be $10 billion by 2025 and $22 billion by 2050," he added.
Most Caribbean residents already see climate change as a threat to their livelihood.
According to a poll by AmericasBarometer, 64 percent of Caribbeans believe it is "somewhat likely" or "very likely" they or a loved one could be seriously harmed by a natural disaster due to climate change in the next 25 years.