Japan commits $220m to assist Jamaica in climate change fight

Thursday, June 02, 2016

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THE Japan Government has earmarked approximately US$1.8 million ($220 million) through the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) to provide assistance to Jamaica in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Approximately $73 million of that sum will be provided to support on-the-ground work to help communities’ efforts to cope with the effects of climate change.

Another portion of the money will be allocated at the national level to address barriers to the implementation of climate-resilient technologies and to build Jamaica’s own capacity to implement nationally appropriate mitigation actions and a National Adaptation Plan.

Speaking at the launch of the local component of the project, at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, on Wednesday, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, emphasised the partnership’s importance to Jamaica.

"This project is critical as climate change has far-reaching implications, particularly its impact on the livelihoods of Jamaicans as well as the country’s sustainable development goals," the minister said.

Under the J-CCCP, Vaz said community-based projects will include sustainable agriculture and water resource management. These projects, he said, will benefit the communities by introducing technologies which will improve the livelihoods of residents through job provision and income generation.

The Jamaica component forms part of the larger regional project in which Japan will spend US$15 million in eight Caribbean countries. These include: Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname. The project is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Vaz expressed gratitude to the Japanese ambassador to Jamaica, Masanori Nakano, for his country’s generous contribution to Jamaica’s climate change efforts.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Nakano noted that the J-CCCP represents his country’s efforts to substantiate cooperation towards sustainable development in the area of climate change within the Caribbean Community.

"I feel very strongly that this particular project is fundamentally important and has far-reaching benefits here in Jamaica," he said.

For his part, UNDP Resident Representative Bruno Pouezat said his agency’s participation in the J-CCCP reflects a longstanding commitment to work with the Caribbean to address the threat posed by climate change.

"Our global, regional and national focus on climate change reflects our conviction that sustainable development cannot be achieved if this challenge is not addressed at all levels," he noted.

"This is why, at the global level, climate and disaster resilience is one of the four focus areas of UNDP’s strategic plan and for UNDP in the Caribbean," he explained.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica, Rural Agricultural Development Authority and the Social Development Commission, among other agencies, have partnered together to drive the project.

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