Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 12, 2018 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis and by extension the Department of Environment continues to undertake initiatives through a series of national consultations to ensure that the necessary measures are put in place to protect lives and livelihoods as climate change is becoming more prevalent worldwide.
The most recent consultation held on Thursday, July 12, was aimed at reviewing the draft National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS), which was developed earlier this year based in consultations that commenced in 2017.
“The development of a national climate change strategy is a vital step in an effort to developing a climate resilient economy. This strategy will provide a basis for local communities and key sectors to assess their key climate risks and vulnerabilities while enabling climate resilient actions to be mainstreamed into planning processes,” said Cheryl Jeffers, Conservation Officer in the Department of Environment.
She further added that the development of the strategy will allow for better management and minimization of risks posed by climate change. Ms. Jeffers appealed to all to think outside the box.
“We need to think long term and think big when it comes to adapting to climate change. It may require us to reconsider the way we conduct day to day business but, in the interest of our very existence, we need to change from the business as usual scenario. This would mean more collaboration between sectors, more networking and sharing and in general making more efficient use of our resources and expertise,” she said “Ultimately that is why we are here today in this setting. We need to listen to each other, share ideas, experiences, views and when we recognize that there is an opportunity to collaborate, we collaborate.”
She noted that no one community, department or ministry will have all the answers but learning from and building on each other’s strengths is vital.
Ms. Jeffers made brief mention of the Caribbean region suffering directly and indirectly from the ravages of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. She noted that as a nation and a region on a whole, we have to come together for the greater good.
“This means that our responses to climate change can no longer be just about dealing with future impacts, but we must also be prepared for the here and now and be ready for the more immediate impacts of climate change,” she noted.
The development of the NCCAS was supported under the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Global Climate Change Alliance Project on Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Land Management in the Eastern Caribbean (the iLAND Resilience –Promoting a Climate for Change) funded by the European Union. The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) has been contracted by the OECS to facilitate the stakeholder consultations.