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Climate change is not about the Gov't, it's about people - Gordon

Published:Friday | June 20, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer

A CALL is being made for the community to be more involved in the fight to promote the importance of climate change and the environment.

Speaking with The Gleaner, during a tour of the Wallingford community in St Mary on Monday, president of the Jeffery Town Farmers' Association, Wordsworth Gordon, said a concerted effort must be made to get persons at the grass-roots level involved in the decision-making process.

The association is also among 35 countries that walked away with the prestigious Equator Prize award for 2014.

"I have always maintained that whenever policies are being implemented, it has to be from the bottom to the top. I don't believe that the Government can fix any problems without the community involved," he declared.

"There are issues happening in communities where no engineer or research will be able to address properly unless there is someone from that area with in-depth knowledge," Gordon said.

"Right now, people are doing construction in St Mary, covering sinkholes, and while nothing is wrong with the construction, they should know that a sinkhole should remain so the water can be channelled properly. Instead, they end up blocking it, which eventually causes flooding and deterioration of the environment," he lamented.

Gordon also called for policies to be implemented which will make it compulsory for communities to be more instrumental in policymaking.

Community involvement

"I believe that we should have some legislation, whether it's climate change or any other issue where the community must be involved," he declared.

"People at the local level must be involved if we are to be successful in promoting the value of the environment. Climate change is not something we can arrest, we will just have to adapt to it, and so it will take as much resources and people coming together to address the issues," he said.

Similarly, Ivy Gordon, secretary of the group, said it is imperative that people take the issue of climate change seriously.

"There must be some coming together between the law and the people, climate change is not about government, it's about all of us," she asserted.

Since 2002, the Equator Initiative has brought together the United Nations, governments, civil society, and academics.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com