Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Local gov’t agencies get support for climate change planning

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2016 | 5:01 PM

WORKERS from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development recently convened for a workshop designed to boost planning for climate-change impacts, which present a clear and present danger for the island.

Held at the UWI Regional Headquarters on May 18 and 19, the workshop was coordinated by the USAID-funded Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change II (Ja REEACH II).

It is expected to enhance efforts at mainstreaming climate-change and disaster-risk considerations into the planning and programming processes of the ministry at the local and national levels.

"This workshop will provide important opportunities for collaboration, and for structural improvements throughout every arm of local government, as we deal with the realities of climate change," said Permanent Secretary Denzil Thorpe, in his opening remarks at the workshop.

At the same time, he said there was no question of the value of the interventions such as Ja REEACH II, given that "the country is not in a position to adequately finance the comprehensive programmes required to improve its disaster-risk profile".

The workshop provided scope for full engagement with the local authorities to frame climate change within the context of local-level planning and in line with national priorities.

The two-day exercise brought visibility to the different climate-change impacts facing vulnerable communities and enforced the importance of coordination between local and national organisations in formulating a strategic and effective response.

MOU TOBE SIGNED

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) is to be signed between Ja REEACH II and the local government ministry to strengthen the strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation processes of the ministry and local authorities.

The Ja REEACH II project is a four-year initiative funded by the USAID and implemented by Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance.

Through a range of interventions, Ja REEACH II works with government, private-sector, civil-society and community-based organisations to increase awareness and application of practical actions that help Jamaicans to become more resilient to climate-change impacts.