Wed | Jul 15, 2020

UPDATED: Earth Today | Climate change, gender specialists to meet in Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | September 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM

MORE THAN 30 specialists from Jamaica and the Eastern Caribbean will meet here next week for the first time to discuss two very important topics - gender and climate change adaptation planning - and how they intersect.

They will gather for a two and a half day workshop co-hosted by the Government of Jamaica, UN Women, and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network, from September 18 to 20. Representatives will work together to identify critical next steps for how to integrate gender considerations into national adaptation plans and policymaking.

"We are bringing these two teams together - the gender specialists and the climate change focal points - because we need a common understanding of these issues and how they relate," said Una May Gordon, principal director for Jamaica's Climate Change Division.

"We will discuss our shared challenges and opportunities with the goal of incorporating our findings into Jamaica's National Adaptation Plan process," she added.

In addition to Jamaica, gender and climate change focal points will also be present from Antigua and Barbuda, Turks and Caicos, and Dominica.


Critical issue


As countries respond to the impacts of climate change, the question of who participates in and benefits from decision-making processes becomes increasingly important. Addressing gender inequality is a critical issue to ensure the effectiveness of climate change adaptation processes, as well as for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

"A gender-responsive NAP process goes beyond sensitivity to the differences between men and women," noted Angie Daaze, associate for the NAP Global Network and gender expert.

"It actively seeks to promote gender equality. That's what we're working towards next week in Jamaica," she added.

The NAP process, in which countries develop policies and responses to adapt to climate change, is an important opportunity to address gender inequalities, in Jamaica and elsewhere.

The workshop, meanwhile, will provide participants the space to collaborate and forge partnerships across ministries, gain a shared understanding of gender and climate change issues, and develop concrete next steps to address gender inequalities exacerbated by climate change impacts.

The NAP Global Network was created in 2014 to enhance support for national adaptation planning through sustained peer learning and exchange, enhancing bilateral support, and promoting national-level action on NAP development and implementation.

The Network's members include participants from more than 60 countries involved in developing and implementing national adaptation plans, as well as 11 bilateral donors. Initial funding for the Network is provided by the United States and Germany, and this targeted-topics forum is supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The secretariat is hosted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

NOTE: An earlier version of this story omitted the fact that Jamaicans are among the specialists expected to meet here for the discussions next week.