Grenada finalising national climate change plan

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

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ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) – Grenada says it is now in the final phase of a project aimed at developing a National Climate Change Adaptation Plan (NAP).

It said nine sector-specific consultations, the last taking place on Monday, were held throughout the island this year involving more than 50 stakeholders from various sectors.

The NAP process was created by the United Nations as an opportunity for countries to plan for robust, sustainable development in the face of climate stress.

"As a small-island developing state, we will be severely affected by negative climate change impacts, such as flooding, sea-level rise or droughts. To prepare, our government aims to mobilise further climate finance and the NAP is critical for that," said Minister of State for the Environment, Simon Stiell.

"This umbrella document will lay out our collectively defined adaptation priorities and objectives for the next five years for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and donors can be approached to financially support respective actions," he added.

The authorities said that climate change impacts can disrupt and are already disrupting Grenada’s critical economic sectors like agriculture and tourism. A review of government budget in 2016 showed that almost half (48.6 per cent) of the capital budget 2016 is at risk of being compromised by the negative impacts of climate change.

Head of the Environment Division, Aria St Louis, said "a comprehensive NAP would mean that this number could be significantly reduced by 2021".

"This would not require fundamental changes, but climate change needs to be in our minds when we build the next road, when we update our agricultural policy or develop the next water project proposal. Overall this will save a lot of money," St Louis said.

The consultations were hosted by the Environment Division, part of the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and the Environment, with assistance from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) as part of the Grenadian-German "Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies" Programme.

"We are very pleased with the process so far. Throughout 2015 and 2016, more than 150 stakeholders representing the public sector, the private sector and non-government organisations have identified priority climate actions for various sectors, such as agriculture, water, ecosystem protection, health and infrastructure." said Dieter Rothenberger, the head of GIZ Programmes in Grenada.

"And the NAP nicely fits with other activities we are jointly implementing with the Environment Division and the Ministry of Finance to support Grenada in accessing international climate finance."

In addition, regional representatives from Jamaica, the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, as well as donor agencies attended the consultation to share their experience and to learn from Grenada’s NAP process.

Alec Crawford, the Caribbean lead for the NAP Global Network – a forum which aims to facilitate international peer learning and exchange – said, "while each country’s NAP process is unique, we’re seeing exciting shared lessons emerge about how countries can create and implement these plans to prepare for climate change impacts’.

"Grenada is a very active member of our network, engaging with international peers like Jamaica, Albania and the Philippines to identify its own adaptation path while becoming a regional NAP leader," he added.

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