Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Earth Today | Jamaicans to get Oct update on island's climate change response

Published:Thursday | September 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM
UnaMay Gordon

JAMAICANS ARE, next month, to be brought up to speed on their island's efforts to ready itself for climate change risks, including hurricanes as extreme as Harvey, Irma, JosÈ, and Maria that recently devastated neighbours in the region as well as to the north.

The update will come by way of the annual pre-Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (pre-COP) meeting to be held in Kingston towards the end of next month.

"For that, we are hoping that we will have a wide a cross section of representatives from the public and private sectors, NGOs [non-governmental organisations] and energy people," said UnaMay Gordon, principal director of the Climate Change Division, which will host the event.

The goal is to have the event cater to 50 to 60 participants.

Among the items on the agenda for the pre-COP, Gordon revealed, will be the island's third national communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The need for an effective climate change response was, once again, brought into sharp focus with the passage of the recent hurricanes, which have left in their wake several lives lost and billions of dollars in damage.

Extreme events, including hurricanes, the strength of Harvey and the others, are among the climate risks that have been talked about by scientists. Other risks include extreme drought, as well as sea level rise and warmer temperatures, and their associated impacts on lives, livelihoods and entire economies.

Among those counted as the most vulnerable are island states such as Jamaica and others of the Caribbean, given their small size, geographic location and already struggling economies.