St. Vincent and the Grenadines is one of eight countries in the region to benefit from a US $15 million initiative to combat climate change. This is possible through the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership; a regional project which was officially launched in January 2016 in Barbados.
The US$15 million has been dispersed equally among the eight countries which include Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Suriname and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to implement projects geared towards climate change adaptation. The project is implemented directly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Speaking at the official launch of the programme which took place Wednesday at the Murray Heights Hotel, Director of the local Environmental Management Department Janeel Miller-Findlay stressed that climate change is not a new phenomenon but one that spans decades. What stands out, Miller-Findlay said is that “the impacts of climate change are greater felt by small developing states such as St. Vincent and the Grenadines.” In light of this, she said that partnerships with developed countries are an essential element to our adaptive capacity on efforts to reduce our global greenhouse emissions and thanked the Japanese Government for this initiative which will help SVG in efforts to reduce its global greenhouse emissions.
Project Manager of the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership Project Yoko Ebisawa said that interventions under the Project will be made through three Outcomes. “Firstly, the project will support policy innovation through the development of a number of mitigation and adaptation policy documents namely Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).
Secondly, the Project will implement pilot projects at a community level by transferring actual technology that is both low-emission and advances climate risk management. And thirdly, the Project will also promote South-South and North-South cooperation by sharing lessons learnt among the target countries and the region as well as transferring technology from Japan to the Caribbean communities” Yoko Ebisawa said.
Meanwhile, Director of Economic Planning and UNDP Focal Point for SVG Laura Anthony Brown said that the launch of the project in SVG signals the continued cooperation and support of the Government of Japan to the Caribbean and our continued collaboration with the UNDP who is partnering with Japan in implementing the project. Prior to Wednesday’s launch Antony-Browne said that “the UNDP and the Ministry of Economic Planning engaged in national consultations with a wide cross-section of stakeholders.”
The information collected from the consultations, she said, is being used to guide the identification of priority interventions from the available resources. The Director of Economic Planning assured the UNDP and the Government of Japan that St. Vincent and the Grenadines would endeavor to implement the project efficiently and effectively.
It is hoped that the partnership between Japan and the Caribbean Countries will support the incubation of climate technology into targeted public sectors, private industries, and community groups and enterprises so that green, low-emission climate resilient technologies can be tested, refined, adopted, and sustained as a practical measure to enhance national, sub-national and community-level resilience.