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Story Highlights

  • The public consultations are aimed at sensitizing Jamaicans about climate change and what they can do to mitigate the effects.
  • The main objective of the sessions is to ensure that technical personnel and the average citizen, have a full understanding of climate change and its impact locally.
  • The sessions will also be used to highlight the Climate Change Framework Policy and Action Plan (Green paper).

The Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change (MWLECC), will began a series of public consultations on February 14, aimed at sensitizing Jamaicans about climate change and what they can do to mitigate the effects.

The session, which is the first of four parish meetings, will get underway at 2:00 pm at the St. Mary Parish Church in Port Maria. It will also facilitate residents of the parishes of Portland and St. Ann.

Principal Director in the Climate Change Division (CCD), Albert Daley, who addressed a JIS Think Tank on February 13, stated that the main objective of the sessions is to ensure that technical personnel and the average citizen, have a full understanding of  climate change and its impact locally.

“It’s (climate change) a reality that we have to be prepared for. Indications are that temperatures are rising and will continue to rise, so we want to help people understand the extent and the likely impact on different sections of the island, as well as sectors, and what they may be able to do to minimize the impacts,” he said.

Climate change consultant with the CCD, Leonie Barnaby, who also addressed the JIS Think Tank, encouraged residents to come out in their numbers as they will benefit from information that will have a direct impact on their daily lives.

“Going into communities, hearing some of their issues, will enable an increase in awareness and opportunities for alternate livelihoods, and we really hope that everybody will become engaged, including the private sector, in the whole matter of addressing climate change,” she stated.

Director for Environment and Conservation at the National, Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Anthony McKenzie, said that his agency was very supportive of the consultations.

“We expect that they will set the stage for the further building of the country’s resilience to the impacts of climate change. NEPA sees itself playing an important role and is being strategic in ensuring that these issues are brought to bear in our planning measures and adaptation strategies,” he pointed out.

The schedule for the other public consultations is: February 18 at the Santa Cruz Baptist Church in St. Elizabeth starting at 9:30 am for the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Clarendon, and Manchester; Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay on February 19 at 9:30 am for St. James, Westmoreland, Hanover and Trelawny; and at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel at 5:30 pm on February 20, for the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Thomas, and St. Catherine.

The sessions will also be used to highlight the Climate Change Framework Policy and Action Plan (Green paper), which the public is invited to review on the Ministry’s website at www.mwlecc.com.