Jamaica to Benefit from Climate Change Resilience Project

By Alecia Smith-Edwards 
Photo by: JIS PhotographerMinister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill (left), listens to a point being made by National Consultant for a regional climate change resilience project, Una May Gordon (right), during the opening ceremony for a national workshop on the project, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, today (March 3). Also pictured is Consultant, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Jacinto Buenfil. The US$6 million project, dubbed ‘Building climate resilience of urban systems through Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)’, seeks to increase the climate change resilience of vulnerable urban communities in three medium-sized LAC cities in Jamaica, Mexico and El Salvador.

Jamaica is one of three countries selected from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to benefit from a US$6 million regional climate change resilience project.

It is proposed that the project, dubbed ‘Building climate resilience of urban systems through Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in LAC’, will be piloted in the Kingston Metropolitan Area.

Expected to last 24 months, the project is to be executed in Jamaica by the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, with financing from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Special Climate Change Fund.

Implementation of the project is also being supported by the United Nations Environment Programme – Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC).

The objective of the project is to increase the climate change resilience of vulnerable urban communities in three medium-sized LAC cities in Jamaica, Mexico and El Salvador, through the application of EbA and its integration into medium-and long-term urban planning.

In Jamaica, it is anticipated that the project will respond to the limitations highlighted in the country’s urban sector by developing new policies or adapting to existing/new strategies that will promote the concept of a Climate Smart Urban Area. It is also expected to bring the use of innovative participatory methodologies for integrating climate change into urban systems.

A national workshop on the project was staged today (March 3) to provide relevant information as well as garner the input and recommendations of key stakeholders.

Addressing the opening of the workshop, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, welcomed the project, stressing that the issue of climate change must become a key factor in the future development plans for the country, particularly urban areas.

“(We) must begin to think and plan in concrete ways in order to integrate climate considerations in all relevant plans and projects, to deal with rising temperatures, rising seas, deadlier disasters, and changing economic circumstances,” he said.

The Minister noted that as the region and world become increasingly urbanised, cities are becoming the epicentres of many developmental challenges, including the challenge of building climate resilience.

“This presents new challenges and opportunities to city planners, environmental planners, the construction sector and to civil society. These are very practical matters – where to build, how to build, and the role that ecosystem services can play – in order to develop and prosper within the new climate reality,” he said.

In addressing these practical issues, the Minister stressed that climate change must move beyond mere awareness, but rather, “we must think creatively, constructively and very concretely about the future of our urban areas within a changed and changing climate.”

The findings of the pilots in the three countries will be used to develop local, national and regional approaches to up-scaling adaptation through ecosystem restoration.

Activities to be undertaken under this project are designed to benefit communities

 

Reposted from: http://jis.gov.jm/jamaica-benefit-climate-change-resilience-project/

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