JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Ronald Robinson, has said that deeper involvement in environmental issues and the attainment of sustainable development is important in ensuring a healthy balance between ecological systems and economic processes as well as creating greater equity in the society.
“This will provide scope for new forms of cooperation at the local, regional, and international levels, which is imperative for surviving in this increasingly inter-dependent world,” the State Minister said during his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate Friday (July 18).
He noted that the attainment of sustainable development is one of the greatest challenges currently facing many developing countries, particularly Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Jamaica.
“The challenge here entails the integration of our economic, social, and environmental objectives in order to maximize human well-being for the present without compromising that of future generations,” Mr. Robinson said.
The State Minister noted that the development process often placed pressure on the environment and the ecological system. “Regrettably, the environment is often relegated to a secondary position owing to the resources required and the thin line that exists between economic growth and development on one hand, and the environmental conservation and protection on the other,” the Senator stated.
Addressing climate change, the State Minister said this had the ability to undermine poverty alleviation efforts and prevent the country from effectively undertaking its commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
“As a Small Island Developing State, Jamaica has a particular vulnerability as it concerns climate change. It is therefore imperative that we urgently undertake serious efforts to mitigate its effects. As the Minister of Energy (Clive Mullings) stated, one of the surest ways to minimize the impacts of climate change is to promote and invest in renewable energies. The announcement regarding the expansion of the Wigton Wind Farm by an additional 18 megawatts, is a positive development; but our efforts should not stop there,” he stressed.
Senator Robinson further noted that the nature of climate change, demands global attention and effective international cooperation “if we are to achieve the ultimate goal of stabilizing greenhouse gases (GHG) as required under the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).”
” Jamaica will therefore continue to actively participate in multilateral discussions aimed at achieving an international climate change policy that establishes binding thresholds for emissions reduction on the basis of shared but differentiated responsibility,” the State Minister pointed out.
He informed that the process had already begun with the adoption of the Bali Action Plan at the Thirteenth Conference of Parties to the Climate Change Convention, which was held in December 2007. “We must ensure that Jamaica is fully equipped to effectively implement the necessary mitigation and adaptation strategies,” Mr. Robinson said.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade will, therefore, continue to collaborate with the relevant ministries, agencies, and departments on climate change issues and in this context, we welcome the honourable Minister of Health’s (Rudyard Spencer) proposal for the establishment of a National Climate Change Committee,” he added.