Jamaica develops gender, climate change strategy and action plan
Senior Technical Officer with Responsibility for Mitigation, Climate Change Division, Omar Alcock (right); Principal Director, Bureau of Gender Affairs, Sharon Coburn-Robinson (second right); Programme Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Climate Change Division, Schmoi McLean (second left) and Regional Manager, Caribbean Country Programme Division, Green Climate Fund (GCF), Orville Grey, peruse Jamaica’s Gender and Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (GCCSAP) which was officially launched during a gender and climate change symposium at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on July 22

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica now has a Gender and Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (GCCSAP).

The Plan’s development was guided by a national gender and climate change assessment, which provided an overview of the policy and institutional contexts for gender-responsive climate action.

The assessment also facilitated an analysis of the practical gender and climate change linkages in Jamaica and recommendations for action.

The GCCSAP is led by the Climate Change Division in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, and the Bureau of Gender Affairs in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

One segment of the project, titled ‘Build Institutional Capacity for Mainstreaming Gender in Climate Finance Programming’, is financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

It was developed with support from the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Matthew Samuda, said the plan is designed to lay the groundwork for mainstreaming gender and climate considerations into projects and policies as a means of effective disaster risk reduction and strategic development planning.

“In the face of increasing climate change impacts, such as hurricanes, tropical storms, flooding, drought, and heat waves, the most vulnerable among us, particularly those in [the] lower socio-economic strata, are being increasingly affected. The Government and its partners must take concrete steps on behalf of the vulnerable groups among us and incorporate gender into project planning cycles,” the Minister said.

His remarks were delivered by Senior Technical Officer with responsibility for Mitigation in the Climate Change Division, Omar Alcock, during the official launch of the GCCSAP at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on July 22.

Senator Samuda noted that the Government has taken steps at varying levels to implement policies to address issues relating to vulnerable groups.

“We established the climate change focal point network across Ministries, Departments and Agencies, which is charged with prioritising, executing, monitoring, and reporting on gender responsive climate action. We have also established gender focal points, and work is ongoing to ensure that we continue working collaboratively with these groups,” he said.

Samuda informed that at the national level, Vision 2030 Jamaica, the Climate Change Policy Framework of Jamaica, and the National Policy for Gender Equality articulate the need for gender equitable and climate conscious development.

He said the strategy and action plan will build on the solid foundation and evaluate gender responsiveness for successful, effective implementation of these and future policies, plans and programmes.

“We know climate change is real, the impacts are unfolding right before our very eyes; we also know that it affects all of us. Critically, it affects different sectors of the society in different ways and to varying degrees; often it’s the poor who are most adversely affected,” he said, while welcoming the strategy and action plan’s development.

Principal Director, Bureau of Gender Affairs, Sharon Coburn-Robinson, noted that the new policy will redound to the benefit of all parties concerned.

“Now that we have the strategy, we will be able to do exactly what it is that we have set out to do from the very inception when we spoke about how we can merge gender and climate change and have a successful nexus,” she said.

Regional Manager for the GCF’s Caribbean Country Division Programme, Orville Grey, said since the commencement of its engagement with the GCF, Jamaica has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that no sector or group is left behind in adapting to or mitigating the effects of climate change.

“Jamaica continues to demonstrate a strong commitment, not only at the national level, but at the regional level, channelling some of its readiness allocation in previous years to support various regional multicultural proposals targeting civil society organisations, the private sector and strengthening regional agencies with a strong component in addressing gender integration in climate change,” he said.

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