Gov't to empower those vulnerable to climate change
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, said the Government is prepared to do even more "at the grassroots level" to empower the poor and vulnerable to cope with the effects of climate change.
He said the poor and vulnerable, including women and children, must be enabled to adapt to "some of the intense and often devastating weather events associated with climate change."
Vaz was bringing remarks at the opening of the Third National Communication and Presentation of Outcomes One and Three, as well as the Biennial Update Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held at the University of the West Indies' (UWI) Mona Visitors' Lodge on Tuesday.
The forum facilitated discussion on the implementation of measures for climate protection, the sustainable use of resources and climate resilience. Vaz noted that the informal and agricultural sectors are usually the most impacted by natural disasters, and it is persons who are employed to these sectors who are disproportionately affected by the loss of livelihood. He further noted that an effective adaptation process must therefore include the needs and potential contributions of these sectors.
"Community-based disaster preparedness and response plans that take the physical, psychological, social and economic vulnerabilities of persons employed in the informal and agricultural sectors into account will help to reduce their vulnerability to disasters overall," he contended. Vaz hailed the work of development partners and non-governmental organisations for the planning and implementation of projects to strengthen climate change resilience. He said the Government fully recognises and appreciates the need for collaboration with these organisations as well as the private sector.
The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty negotiated at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, then entered into force on March 21, 1994. The objective is to "stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." The parties to the convention have met annually from 1995 in Conferences of the Parties to assess progress in dealing with climate change.
Jamaica is an elected member representing the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean, the Alliance of Small Island States, as well as the Group of Seventy-Seven and China, on the various constituted bodies of the UNFCCC.