Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Grenada to benefit from climate change project

By Linda Straker

Grenada and other member states of the OECS are to benefit from a 10.6 million Euro (approximately EC$40 million) project, which when concluded in 2019, should see improvement in the sub-region’s resilience to the impacts of climate change.

The funding is provided from the European Union’s Global Climate Change Alliance Project on Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Land Management, and will be managed by the Social and Sustainable Development Division’s newly commissioned OECS GCCA Project.

The overall development objective(s) to which the project is intended to contribute is the achievement of the provisions enshrined in Article 24 of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre, that each Protocol Member State shall implement the St. George’s Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability, which seeks to, inter alia, achieve the long-term protection and sustained productivity of the region’s natural resource base and the ecosystem services it provides.

Project Manager, Chamberlain Emmanuel, says the initiative is geared at improving the region’s natural resource base resilience to the impacts of climate change through effective and sustainable land management policy, capacity, awareness, and practices; and implementation of specific physical adaptation measures, including soil and land stabilisation, river and sea defence, forest and ecosystem restoration.

Emmanuel explained that in phase one of the project, which began on January 1, 2014 and will last for a period of 18 months, the necessary measures will be undertaken to present the needs and status of the OECS. “It will look at the needs of the region, identify the gaps and best possible solutions to deal with those challenges,” he said.

“Everything will be done in the context of climate change impact as the likely effects of climate change on the small island spaces and economies of the OECS will include increased flooding, storm surge, erosion and other coastal hazards, which threaten vital infrastructure, settlements and facilities that support the livelihoods of communities,” he added.

Phase two of the project will involve physical measures or the implementation of recommendations. “Solutions identified to best deal with the challenges will be implemented in Phase Two, so if for example it is discovered that a sea defence is required to protect from coastal flooding or tree planting is required to reduce land degradation as the way forward for the communities, then this is what will be done,” he said.

A national committee comprising the relevant ministries and other stakeholders will be set up in all of the islands and it will act as the focal point for the implementation of the project for each territory.

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