PRESS RELEASE – OECS Member States have been urged to prepare for more extreme weather conditions and natural disasters as a result of Climate Change.
The caution has come from Crispin d’Auvergne, St. Lucia’s Chief Sustainable Development Officer, who was a Contributing Panelist at a Climate Change Forum hosted by the OECS Commission at the Fort Young Hotel in Dominica .
Citing a Study, d’Auvergne said rainfall in the Caribbean is expected to increase by 25 – 50 percent in the next five decades.
According to d’Auvergne, these extreme weather patterns will become “the new normal.” He says the frequency and intensity of extreme weather conditions is likely to increase as a result of Climate Change, and the Caribbean should plan accordingly. He warns the region to brace for more severe natural disasters like droughts, hurricanes and floods, as a result of Climate Change.
d’Auvergne told the Forum: “We have always had hurricanes, droughts have always occurred. They will continue to happen but they will be more intense.”
During the period 28th – 29th September 2016, St. Vincent and the Grenadines experienced severe rains and gusty winds from Tropical Storm Matthew that affected the Eastern Caribbean. The Meteorological Office reported 86 mm (3.4 inches) of rainfall was recorded at the E. T. Joshua Airport during the 24 hour period. The Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) recorded the following rainfall levels at their stations over the same period as well; South Rivers – 242.8 mm (9.5 inches), Dallaway- 269.4 mm (10.5 inches), Jennings- 197mm (8 inches), Convent – 198 mm (8 inches).
The Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) was also represented at the Climate Change Forum in Dominica. Regional Chairperson, Jamilla Sealy, says CYEN does a tremendous amount of advocacy, public awareness and education on the environment and climate change, targeted at young persons’ as well as the general populace in the region.