Thu | Jul 19, 2018

'Smart and Steady, Get Climate-Ready' - Gov't pushes new climate change campaign

Published:Friday | April 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Indi Mclymont Lafayette

Close to 70 per cent of Jamaicans believe that addressing issues of climate change is the sole responsibility of the Government.

Indi Mclymont-Lafayette, communications specialist for the adaptation programme and financing mechanism of the Pilot Programme for Climate Change, said the statistics that were revealed in a 2012 study is a stark signal that work is needed to sensitise citizens about their role in mitigating against the impact of climate change.

Mclymont-Lafayette was speaking with The Gleaner following the launch of the 'Smart and Steady, Get Climate-Ready' campaign, which was done in collaboration with the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

She underscored the fact that more needs to be done to address behavioural change among Jamaicans.

"There was a knowledge, attitude and practice survey done by CARIMAC (Caribbean School of Media and Communication) in 2012, which shows that the majority of Jamaicans think that the Government alone needs to address climate change. It is something we have to look at because people need to know that everybody has a part to play. It cannot be the Government alone," she said.

"People are aware of it, but it is to get them from awareness to recognising that we all can do something to mitigate against the effects. More persons are actually coming forward to educate themselves, but a large number of persons still think government first."

Dr Livingston White, a member of the climate change advisory board, pointed to the success of the campaigns, including the 'Two is better than too many' initiative, indicating that a similar approach and consistency is needed to change the mindset of Jamaicans when it comes to the issue of climate change.

"Whatever we do with our communication, we need to make sure that it's going to be behaviourally focused. Behaviour-change communication can work. It has worked before in Jamaica, and we have had successes," said White.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com