Tue | Dec 11, 2018

Jamaica to benefit from multimillion-dollar Korean climate change project

Published:Tuesday | October 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
French Ambassador Denys Wibaux (second from left) and wife Angelique enjoy the company of (from third left) Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith; South Korean Charge d' Affairs to Jamaica Young-gyu Lee; permanent secretary, foreign affairs ministry, Marcia Gilbert-Roberts; and State Minister Pearnel Charles Jr, at Friday's Korea Foundation Day celebrations at the Terra Nova Hotel in St Andrew.

Jamaica is among eight Caribbean states to benefit from a climate change assessment programme being spearheaded by the Republic of Korea (South Korea) as part of its expanding overseas engagement with developing countries.

Dubbed the Impact Assessment of Climate Change Sandy Shorelines of the Caribbean Project, it is being undertaken in partnership with the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and is valued at US$4 million.

The project, which was started in June 2017, will be carried out in three phases over a period of 31 months and will end December 2019.

Korean Charge d'Affairs to Jamaica, Young-gyu Lee, stated that the project was a signal of Korea's appreciation of the role of developing Caribbean states and the impact of climate change on its vulnerable environment.

"This is a project that we take pride in, because the Caribbean is a beautiful place; Jamaica is wonderful and most depend on the coastline for a big part of their economic activity," said Lee, on the occasion of the Foundation Day of Korea, celebrated at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston last Friday evening.

To date, eight members of the ACS, including Jamaica, have confirmed participation in the project, in which the country was selected for the pilot for the coastal monitoring project in the Caribbean.

There are further plans for the Korean government, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), to construct a video monitoring tower system in Hellshire, St. Catherine.

The proposed project will play a significant role in finding solutions to protecting Jamaica's coastline, which is one of the country's key economic resources, Lee noted.

Jamaica and Korea first established diplomatic ties in 1962, and over the years the relationship has grown.

"Through KOICA, a government-funded agency dedicated to providing grant aid programmes, Korea endeavours to cooperate for the sustainable socioeconomic growth of Jamaica," stated Lee.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com