Albert Daley bids farewell to Climate Change Division
RETIREMENT beckoned and Albert Daley answered, however his tenure at Jamaica's first-ever Climate Change Division has laid a foundation for his successor.
"It has been a very interesting period moving from a context where the climate change function or portfolio was shared between a number of agencies," said Daley, reflecting on his near three-year management of the Division, which ended last month.
"The Meteorological Service, they focused on the climate change negotiations. Then you have other entities like the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) that have been engaging in accessing funding and coordinating projects that have to do with climate change. You also had other entities like the Environment Division, which took on the policy-making and other issues related to climate change," he added.
Things changed with the advent of the CCD, which took at least two changes in political administration to materialise.
"When this organisation came into being, it was some adjustment to shift the centre of gravity, if you want to call it that, to the CCD, which would coordinate everything," Daley noted.
Indeed, it was a challenge and remains a work in progress due to the small staff.
"UNDP did a study and it basically said that ideally we needed about 20 persons at the very least. We started out with four: the secretary, two officers and myself with a view to going to at least seven in the short term," Daley said.
"That was never done so the division has a challenge of not being able to bring together all the roles that it should," he added.
To solve the problem, Daley said they took a collaborative approach, partnering with various agencies and individuals to get the work done.
Daley counts among the gains from his years at the helm:
• The establishment of the climate change focal point network a set of close to 30 individuals designated in their respective ministries and agencies of government to ensure climate change is mainstreamed into planning and policy-making.
• The start of work on 12 adaptation and mitigation sector strategies, which, once finalised, will constitute Jamaica's national adaptation and mitigation plan; and
• Awareness-raising on climate change.
He is especially proud of the strides made in securing climate finance from the US$600,000 now available to five Jamaican entities for ecosystem-based assessments through the Caribbean community Climate Change Centre to the $2 million to come from an upcoming United Nations Environment Programme project and the capacity-building grant that follows the division's recognition as a national designated authority under the Green Climate Fund.
"We have effectively assumed leadership in the finance arrangement, in the negotiating arena, in awareness-raising and in the national adaptation and mitigation planning process," said Daley, who went to the CCD from the PIOJ where he was a consultant tasked to develop the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience, now being implemented.
"What is needed now is really to strengthen the arrangement with the various ministries so we can more effectively work with them," added.
In addition, Daley the holder of a Master's degree in Environmental Economics from the University London and another in National Development and Project Panning from the University of Bradford said he is eager to see:
• A strengthening of the focal points to have representatives so designated be "persons at a fairly senior level" in order "to get actions taken on climate change"; and
• Increase the staff complement of the CCD which has lost not only his talents but those of Gerald Lindo, the senior technical officer with responsibility for mitigation to boost efficiency.
That new complement of staff, he said, should include not only a communications/behaviour change officer whose services the CCD has already taken steps to secure but also a technical officer with responsibility for the climate finance.
On what's next for him, Daley said: "I don't have any role that has been discussed or agreed. I now make myself available for whatever assignment is available."