'Climate-change data being prepared'
Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
HORACE GLAZE, deputy director general at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), said work is under way in providing climate-change data relevant to the country.
Glaze, who was speaking with The Gleaner following a joint workshop between ODPEM and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Manage-ment Agency which addressed climate-change issues in the region, said though work has started some three years ago, more will be done to bring to the fore what is termed as the downscaling of climate-change data.
"Traditionally, we have been looking at global information, especially when it relates to disaster-related issues. But it's imperative that whatever data we work with, it is relevant to the needs and issues that affect the country," he said.
"We will always depend on the international benchmark, but we are embarking on further integrating our scientific community to do more analysis. Climate change is not an abstract phenomenon and so, whatever initiatives are brought to the table, they must be relevant to what happens here in Jamaica," Glaze told The Gleaner.
"Rather than us blanketing sea level rise and temperature change based on what happens internationally, we are better able to look at it from a country's perspective, and even the community level, because that's where most times feels the most impact," he said.
He noted that partners include the University of the West Indies Climate Studies Group, along with other agencies.
Making reference to the prolonged drought conditions that the country has been experiencing, he noted that citizens must do their part to mitigate against severe effects of climate change.
"Some of the more significant issues that we continue to grapple with are coastal and sea level issues, which means no longer can we treat environmental issues with scant regard, but must make ourselves aware," he said.