New climate change board holds first meeting
JAMAICA'S NEW Climate Change Advisory Board - tasked to advise the Minister of Economic Growth and Job Creation Prime Minister Andrew Holness on climate issues - has had its first meeting.
"This was a meeting to look at the terms of reference, to underscore the relevance and role of the board as well as to set the frequency of the meeting which we agreed would be every quarter - unless there are emerging issues," UnaMay Gordon, principal director of the Climate Change Division (CCD), told The Gleaner.
The meeting, held on November 23, was convened post the recent climate change talks, held in Marrakech, Morocco, from November 7 to November 18.
Chaired by Pro Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Studies at the University of the West Indies, Dr Dale Webber, the board draws its membership from not only academia, but also the private and public sectors and civil society.
Members include celebrated climate scientist Nobel Peace Prize-winner Professor Anthony Chen and former international climate change negotiator and retired head of the Meteorological Service, Jeffrey Spooner.
Other members include:
- Professor Anthony Clayton, University of the West Indies;
- Dr Livingston White, Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication;
- Professor Homero Silva, University of Technology;
- Dr Delano Lewis, Northern Caribbean University;
- Energy consultant David Barrett, ENBAR Consulting; and
- Dr Susan Otuokon, Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust.
Peter Knight, head of the National Environment and Planning Agency; Marilyn Headley, head of the Forestry Department; and Claire Bernard, deputy director general and director of sustainable development and regional planning at the Planning Institute of Jamaica, also sit on the board.
In addition to Gordon, other Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation representatives include permanent secretary Audrey Sewell, Dr Sharon Crooks and chief technical director Oral Khan.
For Barrett, it was a productive meeting that identified key issues and gaps, including the absence of a legal mind and an economist from among their numbers.
"I felt that a number of critical issues, which should be on the table were put on the table. I think what is important now is the execution, that is, addressing those things that were considered important," he noted.
Ultimately, the energy consultant said, "I think it (the board) should achieve what it intends."