JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government of Jamaica/Adaptation Fund Programme (GOJ/AFP), implemented in 2013, is significantly helping to build the country’s resilience to climate change.
  • Deputy Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) in charge of Sustainable Development and Social Planning, Claire Bernard, says the programme, funded to the tune of US$10 million, has been pivotal in “helping local communities and institutions to adapt to changes in climate, which are affecting livelihoods of the population and the island’s natural resources.”

The Government of Jamaica/Adaptation Fund Programme (GOJ/AFP), implemented in 2013, is significantly helping to build the country’s resilience to climate change.

Deputy Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) in charge of Sustainable Development and Social Planning, Claire Bernard, says the programme, funded to the tune of US$10 million, has been pivotal in “helping local communities and institutions to adapt to changes in climate, which are affecting livelihoods of the population and the island’s natural resources.”

The programme, being implemented by the PIOJ, functions through three components, which focus on protecting livelihoods and food security in vulnerable communities by improving land and water management for the agricultural sector; strengthening coastal protection; and building institutional and local capacity for climate change adaptation.

Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank, Ms. Bernard said the GOJ/AFP aligns well the National Development Plan, ‘Vision 2030 Jamaica,’ which addresses to hazard risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

“And so, the PIOJ understood, in our planning process that we cannot plan for a sustainable future for Jamaica, unless we look at the potential positive and negative impacts of climate change,” she noted.

 

Ms. Bernard said an important element of the programme is the focus on building personal responsibility towards climate change adaptation and getting individuals to recognise the important role they must play in strengthening Jamaica’s resilience to climate change.

“When we did a climate change knowledge, attitude and practice survey…we found that, whereas over 80 per cent of the Jamaican population reported being aware of climate change and its impact, most persons felt that they had no part to play in adapting to climate change, and that it is, in fact, really the Government’s business,” Ms. Bernard informed.

As part of the programme, selected vulnerable communities in Westmoreland and Hanover have been engaged in basic disaster risk management, hurricane safety, earthquake safety, and climate change adaptation.

These include Negril, Sheffield, Westland Mountains, Whitehall, Logwood, Orange Bay, and Red Ground.

Ms. Bernard said another important component of the GOJ/AFP, currently underway, is the development of a climate risk atlas, highlighting the coastal areas most at-risk from storm surges and intense wave action in Negril.

“A 2009 study done, indicated that Jamaica has roughly US$18 billion worth of assets exposed, and we wanted to see the level of asset exposure in the Negril area,”

Ms. Bernard said.

She informed that this data will be used in town development and planning, thereby ensuring capacity building for long-term sustainability.

Ms. Bernard said not only is the project important to Jamaica, but also for other Caribbean countries that will use Jamaica’s programme as a model for development.

The GOJ/AFP involves support from the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment in collaboration with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), and National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).