Sun | Oct 1, 2023

Holness wants region to consider impact of climate change on national security

Published:Wednesday | June 7, 2023 | 2:51 PM
Dr Horace Chang, Deputy Prime Minister of Jamaica (centre) with Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC) officials at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and SPA in Montego Bay, St James, on Wednesday, June 7. - Ashley Anguin photo

Prime Minister Andrew Holness wants discussions on regional security to include the potential impact of climate change and weather events on national security.

He expressed the view while delivering a virtual address to Wednesday morning's opening ceremony for the 2023 Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC) in Montego Bay, St James.

“In this region we are all too familiar with the astronomical costs to individuals, communities, companies and the national economy because of the natural weather events such as hurricanes, flooding, or earthquakes. We must now focus on determining the true extent of the impact of these scenarios on the security sector,” said Holness.

“At the same time, however, we must begin to examine how security and defence can contribute to reducing the environmental footprint. There are no quick fixes in the area of security, and our successes against threats that we continue to face requires an unrelenting focus and commitment on all our parts,” Holness added.

Environmental security, climate change, and cybersecurity are among the major topics to be discussed during this year's CANSEC meeting, which is being held under the theme 'Strengthening Regional Security Through Informed Action.'

The conference is also being held during the Caribbean's annual hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.

Countries expected to be represented during this year's staging of the CANSEC include Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

Representatives from selected organisations within the Caribbean region will also be in attendance, including the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), and the Regional Security System (RSS).

- Christopher Thomas

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