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Cabinet gives nod for Climate Change Advisory Board

Published:Thursday | August 25, 2016 | 8:00 AMPetre Williams-Raynor
Dr Conrad Douglas

CABINET HAS given approval for the appointment of a Climate Change Advisory Board, following the two-year hiatus of the Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC), which it replaces.

"The Cabinet decision has been taken; the board was constructed. We are just doing the letters to advise the members," Una May Gordon, new boss at the Climate Change Division, revealed on Tuesday night.

"We are hoping now that the members so named will accept and we will be able to convene the board in short order," she added.

Some 14 board members are drawn from academia, the private sector, civil society, and the public sector, together with two are ex-officio members from the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

"We are also hoping that we will get representation from the Church community," Gordon told The Gleaner.

The board takes the place of the CCAC, which was chaired by Dr Conrad Douglas and

convened under the administration of the People's National Party, which also began the work for its establishment.

The CCAC had an initial two-year term that ended on April 19, 2014.

That committee had some 25 members, among them some of Jamaica's brightest minds in climate science, notably Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Anthony Chen and Dr Michael Taylor of the Mona Climate Studies Group.

Also represented were civil- society organisations, such as the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation, and as with the board now other stakeholders from government, the private sector as well as the international donor community.

The CCAC was mandated to oversee policy and sectoral planning to address climate change impacts while promoting technology innovation to help meet the island's climate needs and foster collaboration with international partners.

 

TERMS OF REFERENCE

 

For this new board, Gordon said, there is a terms of reference in place the precise details of which would be revealed once selected members formally accept their invitations to serve.

Meanwhile, she provided some insight into what would be required of the members.

"We have the climate change policy framework in place that will guide the work of the Government and, therefore, the board will advise the minister and in regard the implementation of the policy," Gordon noted.

A source close to the planning for Jamaica's climate readiness, in the interim, said it was essential to have the board in place.

"It (the board) is going to be absolutely critical in setting the research agenda on climate change for the country; identifying the partners; identifying the priorities where climate change is concerned and how they fit into the Government's push for economic growth and job creation," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"All of that, any new board would have to evaluate, among other things. I am sure that they would feed in, too, on any position Jamaica takes regarding, for example, the Paris Agreement," the source added.

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