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Belize: effects of climate change on agriculture

With the intention of providing elements useful for decision making, this study by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) analyses the potential impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector in Belize. The document is organised into six chapters. The first chapter contains a review of the literature related to the impact of climate change on the agricultural sector, emphasising the work in the region and Belize. The second chapter provides an overview of the current situation in the agricultural sector, as well as the strategies adopted by the Belizean government in light of climate change. The third chapter presents the methodology of the production functions used to analyse the future impacts of climate change. The fourth chapter gives the econometric results. The quantification of the economic impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector is presented in the fifth chapter, and chapter six contains the conclusions.

The results of the study reveal that there could be severe repercussions in Belize’s primary sector. Concretely, the analysis of the sectoral production functions show the negative effects that climate change will have on the agricultural sector due to variations in temperature and precipitation. Accumulated losses by 2100 in the agricultural sector as a whole could be approximately 35% of 2007 GDP. Furthermore, it was determined that the greatest economic losses will be caused by variations in precipitation. The estimations also reveal that due to the importance that maize, bean, sugar cane and orange crops have to the economy, they will be the most affected by climate change.