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  • The Government will continue work to strengthen the country’s resistance against the impacts of climate change, under the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR II).
  • Mr. Pickersgill also stressed the need for Jamaica to become “more intense in climate change public education and behaviour awareness campaigns,” while thanking the World Bank and CIF for providing funding support.
  • This component will also entail training for staff of the Water Resources Authority (WRA), Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and MSJ.

The Government will continue work to strengthen the country’s resistance against the impacts of climate change, under the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR II).

Phase two of the programme, the Improving Climate Data and Information Management Project (ICDIMP), was launched on Wednesday (January 27) by Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, at the Terra Nova Hotel in St. Andrew.

The Climate Investment Fund (CIF), through the World Bank, is providing J$824.2 million (US$6.8 million) in grant support to implement the project.

Being executed by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), through collaboration with key partner agencies, the project is intended to improve the quality and use of climate-related data and information for effective planning and action at the community and national levels.

Speaking at the ICDIMP launching ceremony, Mr. Pickersgill underscored the project’s importance in enabling Jamaica to combat the effects of climate change.

He noted that the country is largely dependent on climate sensitive activities, such as agriculture and tourism, adding that “our small size and our topography make us very susceptible to climate variability.”

As such, the Minister said, it important that the country’s capability to accurately monitor, model, predict, and build in adaptation measures is treated as a priority.

“Improvement in the climate information database, dissemination of early warning messages, and agricultural knowledge, including adaptation interventions, will assist poverty reduction and food security issues. By extension, it will also directly benefit both male and female-headed households, agricultural workers, and the fisherfolk,” he pointed out.

Mr. Pickersgill also stressed the need for Jamaica to become “more intense in climate change public education and behaviour awareness campaigns,” while thanking the World Bank and CIF for providing funding support.

World Bank Country Representative for Jamaica, Galina Sotirova, pointed out that the mitigation of the negative effects of climate change requires better management of information from data collection to inform decision-making, and implement recovery efforts.

“I trust that the implementation of this project will help to strengthen Jamaica’s resilience to climate change impacts, and also help protect livelihoods,” she said.

The PIOJ’s Director General, Colin Bullock, for his part, informed that the project is in keeping with the National Strategy for Climate Change Reduction, Adaptation, and Disaster Risk Reduction, as outlined in the Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan, as well as the resilience pillar of the Growth Inducement Strategy.

“Importantly, the project is also aligned to Sustainable Development Goal 13 – “to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”, as well as…the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction,” he noted.

The PIOJ, Mr. Bullock added, “is pleased to be associated with the ICDIMP” and is committed to its efficient implementation.

The ICDIMP has three components. The first involves a J$363.6 million (US$3 million) provision to acquire and install a new Doppler radar for the Meteorological Service of Jamaica (MSJ) to replace the existing 16-year old system at Cooper’s Hill, St. Andrew, as well as refurbish the office and other facilities at that location.

This component will also entail training for staff of the Water Resources Authority (WRA), Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and MSJ.

Component two, to be undertaken at a cost of J$167.26 million (US$1.38 million), will entail health sector assessments and strengthening to withstand and respond to climate-related hazards. It includes J$48.4 million (US$400,000) to improve health facilities.

The third component, to be undertaken at a cost of J$87.8 million (US$725.000), will provide technical assistance to help residents, particularly those in coastal communities, to better understand climate change, with a view to changing behaviour at the local and national levels.

Other stakeholders in the project are the MSJ and the WRA; Ministry of Health; Climate Studies Group, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona; Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM); and RADA.