Jamaica secures financing for climate change projectWednesday, July 18, 2012
BY PETRE WILLIAMS-RAYNOR Environment editor email@example.com
JAMAICA is shortly to be provided with almost US$10 million from the Adaptation Fund after its proposal for a programme to help Trelawny and six other parishes deal with the impact of climate change won international approval.
The island's proposal was among 14 others and three concepts from countries across the developing world to go before the 32-member Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) at their meeting in Bonn, Germany last month.
Hopeton Peterson, manager for sustainable development and regional planning at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), which has responsibility for the programme, said the approval was a welcome one following a rigorous application process.
To get to this stage, the PIOJ first had to be accredited by the AFB as a national implementing entity (NIE), which it achieved in 2010. With that designation, it was given leave to develop the programme concept, which it submitted to the board in June last year for endorsement. It earned the endorsement and, as a result, was provided with US$30,000 to develop the full proposal for final consideration by the board.
"We were the third institution to receive accreditation [from the AFB] as a NIE and the first in the Caribbean. From that viewpoint, we are excited," Peterson told the Jamaica Observer. "Also, we think we have a very good programme and are trying to address a problem [climate change] that is really urgent and we want to press ahead."
Climate change threatens, among other things, rising sea levels, warmer global temperatures as well as more frequent and/or intense hurricanes and droughts. The Adaptation Fund was set up to finance efforts to help the developing world prepare for these impacts.
The Jamaican initiative — titled "Enhancing the Resilience of the Agriculture Sector and Coastal Areas to Protect Livelihoods and Improve Food Security — has as its objectives:
* increasing the climate resilience of the Negril coastline;
* enhancing the climate resilience of the agriculture sector by improving water and land management in select communities; and
* improving institutional and local level capacity for sustainable management of the natural resources and disaster risk reduction in the targeted vulnerable areas.
In addition to Trelawny, the programme is to benefit Clarendon, St Ann, St Mary, St Thomas, Manchester, and Westmoreland through a focus on industries, such as tourism as well as agriculture and fisheries.
Now that the programme has the AFB's approval, Peterson said they would have to put certain internal mechanisms in place at the PIOJ for implementation.
"For example, we need to establish a programme management unit, equipped with a manager and an administrative assistant, and then we need to establish a programme steering committee," he said.
Thereafter the programme is to be officially launched, "somewhere between September and October and continues up to December 2015 when the programme is scheduled to end".
"After that we have our final evaluation somewhere around March 2016," he said.
It was not immediately clear whether residents of the communities slated to benefit would be employed under the programme.
"There is the possibility, but there are no specifics; those will become clearer as the programme is rolled out," Peterson said.
However, he noted that if the programme is to be successful, residents would have to be involved. "Participation is key. We have built the whole programme on community participation and without that, the programme will fall dead," Peterson said.
Further, he said communities outside of the programme would also reap rewards. "Some of the interventions, although they are site-specific, the lessons from them will impact positively interventions in other areas. For example, land management practices, rainwater harvesting and other water solutions; those will have positive implications for other parishes in Jamaica," Peterson said.
In addition to the PIOJ, other entities involved in the implementation of the programme are the Rural Agriculture Development Authority, National Works Agency and the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment.