Adaptation plan for forestry sector nears completion
THE national adaptation strategy and action plan for the forestry sector is nearing completion, as Jamaica continues the drive to boost resilience to climate change.
"Work is well advanced for the forestry adaptation plan as well as the forestry sector. The forestry sector development plan is a plan that has to be revised periodically and it is now being revised with climate change considerations integrated into it," said Albert Daley, head of the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
The forestry plan, which also takes account of mitigation, is one of 12 being pursued as a priority for Jamaica, given the climate realities facing the island - from sea level rise to coastal inundation and extreme weather events, including stronger and/or more frequent hurricanes as well as droughts.
The other plans are to address tourism, agriculture, coastal resources, human settlements, transport, energy, water, waste management, finance, health and fisheries.
"The USAID (United States Agency for International Development) has committed to funding five of these sector plans and they are getting ready to start work on the agriculture sector as well as the transport and energy sector," Daley told The Gleaner.
The initial assessment for the transport and energy sectors, he noted, should begin in September, with work on agriculture to follow before the end of the year.
As for tourism, water, health, coastal resources and human settlement, those are to be funded under the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience to the tune of US$120,000 each.
"But those will not begin substantially before the end of the fiscal year because of the fiscal space constraints. Due to IMF (International Monetary Fund) prescriptions, we are not able to plan for everything we wanted to this year," Daley revealed.
"However, if at all possible, we would look at coastal resources and human settlements," he added.
Among other things, the plans are to look at the vulnerabilities of the various sectors based on anticipated climate change impacts. This, while helping to chart a course for a low-carbon future.
"The plans will look at the actions that we will need to take to move along a path of low-emission development as well as what are the actions needed to reduce our vulnerabilities and enhance our resilience to the impacts of climate change," Daley explained.
"Then we have a process of prioritisation of actions where we will do multi-criteria assessments to determine what are the most cost-effective and appropriate actions to be undertaken," he added.
"There will also be a M&E strategy so we can track the progress of the plans and the necessary steps needed to remove any stumbling blocks," he said further.
It was not immediately clear the status of the fisheries sector plan, which, up to August 2015, was reported to be progressing.