Jamaica's climate change efforts get multimillion-dollar boost
Jamaica’s efforts to strengthen resilience against climate change are being assisted through the implementation of an over $800 million project.
The $829.3 million Improving Climate Data and Information Management Project is being rolled out by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), with grant support from the World Bank through the Climate Investment Fund.
It is one of five projects under Jamaica’s Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience, and aims to improve the quality of data collected and used by public and private sector stakeholders at the local and national levels.
It involves climate resilient planning and hydromet information services development, a climate change public education and awareness campaign, targeting behavioural change; and project management and evaluation.
One of the primary beneficiaries is the Meteorological Service, which is slated to receive a new Doppler weather radar at a cost of approximately $487.8 million.
The new radar, which is expected to be acquired during the 2016/17 fiscal year, will replace the existing equipment at the Met Cooper’s Hill, St Andrew division, which the agency has utilised for the past 16 years.
The support also includes renovation of the office, training of officers and as well as programmes focusing on quality assurance.
The Met Service Division, the Water Resources Authority, and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority will also benefit from a number of other provisions.
These include: 26 all-weather stations; 25 automatic recording rain gauges; 14 soil moisture probes; 11 groundwater loggers; eight agro-meteorological stations; and one sea level tide monitoring station.
World Bank Representative in Jamaica, Galina Sotirova, notes that climate change and its impact are “critical issues” which “disproportionately threaten” small island developing states (SIDS) like Jamaica.
She says it is for this reason, that the World Bank and the Government of Jamaica agreed on a four-year Country Partnership Strategy in 2013, which identified priority areas of cooperation.