Jamaica Gears up for Significant Climate Change Conference
As Jamaica, prepares to take its case as part of the Alliance of Small Island States to the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris, France, Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, has indicated that several consultations will be taking place islandwide to sensitise citizens about the significance of the conference.
Noting that two consultations have already taken place in Kingston and Mandeville, respectively, the minister told an audience at the launch of the Adaptation Programme and Financing Mechanism for the Pilot Programme for the Climate Resilience recently that plans are in place to promote awareness in Montego Bay and the western section of the island.
"This year, the significance of COP 21, which has been described by many world leaders as man's last hope to do something right by mother earth, the decision was taken to stage a number of events that will climax with the big national consultation in November before the Paris meeting," he said.
"The consultations allow for interaction between the Jamaican delegation, negotiators and the main stakeholders representing the public and private sectors, non-governmental organisations, civil society, academia, media, and the general public," he said.
Several countries will be gathering at the 21st Session of the COP to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11 this year, which will see them negotiating to reach a legally binding agreement.
The Caribbean, like other developing economies, is anticipating a sustainable agreement, as it is most at risk from sea-level rise, desertification and other negative impacts.
He also noted that the ministry will be resolute in ensuring that efforts are being made to provide the necessary framework to facilitate and encourage adaptation to climate change.
"The climate-change policy is being printed, and shortly thereafter will be tabled in Parliament. I will also be appointing a new climate-change advisory board which will provide a platform for the exchange of scientific and technical information on climate-change related issues," Pickersgill said.
"The board will advise the minister and climate-change division and will also provide recommendations on the possible elements of a national climate-change research agenda, as well as potential implementation partners," he added.