Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Climate Change adaptation programme formally launched

FROM the early days of talking about the impact of Climate Change, the message has always been one of “adaptation and mitigation” and on Tuesday, Grenada formally launched a project that is aimed at targeting all of the society with initiatives that will encourage people to adapt new habits and behaviours to deal with the impact of climate change.

“Friends, we need to adapt today because fortunately, many of these negative impacts are manageable. We have to avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable,” Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell told the hundreds of persons who had gathered for the launch of the logo that will be used to identify Grenadapts, which is an outreach initiative of the Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (ICCAS) in Grenada.

The new Grenadapts logo.
The ICCAS project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, building and Nuclear Safety under its International Climate Initiative. It is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Land, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, the Deutsche Geselischaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the United Nations Development Programme.

“The new logo,” Dr. Mitchell said, “will help us to make climate change and our adaptation efforts more visible to everyone here in Grenada. Together with the proposed outreach campaign, I hope that fruitful discussions will be stimulated, which may lead to change in behaviour and to concrete action. I call upon the schools, the churches, our community groups, let’s get involved and start the dialogue,” he said.

The Government is currently developing two important documents under the ICCAS project. The first is a Coastal Zone Policy and a Coastal Zone Management Roadmap. The second one is Grenada’s National Adaptation Plan to manage climate change in a more co-ordinated and strategic way.

Another activity under the ICCAS project has been the introduction of the “Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation TooL” (CCORAL) here in Grenada. With this tool civil servants, private sector and NGOs will be able to judge whether or not climate change has a negative impact on their planned activities, their proposed plans or legislation, and make decisions accordingly.

Head of the GIZ-ICCAS, Dieter Rothenberger, explained GIZ is about integration not fragmentation, and that the goal of the ICCAS is increasing resilience of vulnerable communities and ecosystems to climate change risk in Grenada through integrated adaptation strategies.

“Instead of only implementing isolated measures, the ICCAS programme offers an integrated approach by linking local activities with national policies and sector specific experiences with comprehensive intervention packages,” he said, as he explained the approach of the project.

“Grenada will be supported at multiple levels – from the national to the local and across different climate sensitive sectors,” he said.

Environment Minister, Roland Bhola, said that climate change poses the biggest threat to Grenada and other small islands as they put structures in place to develop and at the same time undertake practices aimed at reducing or eliminating some of the risk.

“There is a very thin line between consumption and conservation … progress and protection,” he said, while explaining that countries still have to fulfilled the millennium goals, such as reducing poverty and hunger.

“Therefore, whatever we do to protect the environment for future generations must be done in a context of people not going hungry as we fulfil other initiatives aimed at improving and developing the lives of those who will be affected,” he said, while delivering the feature address.

Also addressing the launch was UNDP Resident Representative, Lara Blanco, who said that Grenada is particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change as it stands to lose agricultural lands for food supplies and up to 75 per cent of Grand Anse Beach, which is the hub of tourism activities.

The logo for Grenadapts was developed by AllyDay. It will be used on billboards, bumper stickers and other activities associated with the project.

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