JIS News

Story Highlights

  • An automatic weather station and rainfall gauge has been commissioned into service at the Royal Palm Reserve in Sheffield, Negril and the Cave Valley Health Centre in Hanover.
  • They are aimed at assisting Jamaica to adapt to climate change.
  • The State Minister said the adverse impact of climate change is evident in Negril.

An automatic weather station and rainfall gauge has been commissioned into service at the Royal Palm Reserve in Sheffield, Negril and the Cave Valley Health Centre in Hanover, respectively, at a cost of approximately $1 million.

They are aimed at assisting Jamaica to adapt to climate change; and to contribute to sustainable development by increasing the resilience of vulnerable areas and reducing the risks that are associated with natural hazards in vulnerable communities.

The sets of equipment form part of the Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction project, established by the Government, in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Minister of State in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Ian Hayles, who spoke at the two ceremonies on September 25, expressed the government’s appreciation to the European Union and others for the support given to Jamaica, which has allowed the Ministry to significantly advance the country’s climate change agenda.

“Partnerships are of utmost importance for the Ministry in fulfilling its mandate as co-ordinator and facilitator of all change activities in Jamaica, and the equipment will assist greatly in the predictions of climate change,” the State Minister said.

“One example of a successful partnership is that between the European Union/United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Government of Jamaica in the implementation of Phase 11 of the Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Methodology Development Project (RiVAMP). This project was designed by UNEP to take into account environmental changes in the assessment of risk and vulnerability of an area,” he added.

The State Minister said the adverse impact of climate change is evident in Negril, and members of the community can remember the changes to the Negril coastline and marine and inland resources, including the Royal Palm Reserve, which are due in part to the impact of increased drought and hurricanes.

“It is therefore necessary for local and national authorities to have more accurate and reliable climate data to make informed decisions.  Farmers, for example, can adjust farming cycles and practices with a greater understanding of climate trends,” he pointed out.

He indicated that both pieces of equipment will go a far way in enhancing local capacity in assessing climate changes over time, and inform the adaptation measures to increase resiliency.

“This is only the first step forward. The communities will now be responsible for the security of the equipment. The instruments will be utilized by the Water Resources Authority and Meteorological Service and will provide needed information to further increase their respective data network,” Mr. Hayles said.