JIS News

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting that more funds are becoming available for Climate Change projects, internationally.
Director, Sustainable Development & Regional Planning Division, PIOJ, Claire Bernard, told the JIS that the institute has been mobilizing resources through its relationships with international development agencies, to develop projects that will strengthen Jamaica’s adaptive capacity to Climate Change.
“There is a facility called the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience that exists under the Climate Investment Fund, to which we submitted a proposal only last week for Jamaica to get resources to develop a strategic programme for Climate Resilience,” she reported.
She said the PIOJ has also tapped into a Climate Change Global Alliance, a facility under the European Union (EU).
“We have just signed a project with them for 4.31 million Euros. So a lot of money is now available for Climate Change Adaptation,” she stated.
The funds will be used for a Climate Change Adaptation project, in which the PIOJ and other national partners will work with the Forestry Department to plant approximately 300 hectares of trees, as a means of adaptation.
Ms. Bernard was speaking at a Special PIOJ/JIS Panel Discussion on Climate Change, at the JIS’ Arnold Road office on Tuesday (November 16). She was joined by Head of the Department of Physics and the Climate Studies Group at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Dr. Michael Taylor and the Senior Advisor, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Dr. Ulric Trotz, who was also the Distinguished Lecturer for the PIOJ’s Dialogue for Development Lecture later that day.
Continuing on the theme of funding, Ms. Bernard noted that, in September of this year, the PIOJ was accredited as the National Implementing Entity for Climate Change and, as such, can directly approach organizations such as the Climate Change Adaptation Fund to seek resources to be used in Jamaica, for what is called Concrete Adaptation Projects.
“Essentially, we could use resources from this Fund to improve Climate Change awareness, do watershed rehabilitation, etcetera,” she stated.
Dr. Taylor expressed delight that the PIOJ was mobilizing funds to address Climate Change. According to him, this is necessary as Climate Change cannot be treated as a matter for the future, especially as its impact is already being felt in Jamaica.
“We can’t continue going on as if life is going to continue as normal. Climate Change is a real issue, and if we look at the documented evidence of the recent past we see evidence of it, the increasing temperatures and increasing variability in our weather patterns,” Dr. Taylor said.
“Just think about this year, and the drought that was followed by lots of rain and a very active hurricane season”, he pointed out, adding that projections are that, “we will see similar things and perhaps even worse”.
With Climate Change, the Caribbean is projected to experience: an increase in the intensity and frequency of tropical storms and hurricanes; prolonged droughts; an increase in the incidence of diseases, such as Malaria and Dengue, which are associated with another impact of Climate Change, increased global temperatures; and an increase in sea-level which has implications for Jamaica’s infrastructure, beaches and tourism product.
Dr. Taylor is urging Jamaicans to become advocates for the environment, and ensure that the government operates as a good environmental citizen.
He believes that one of the most constructive and cost effective ways to address environmental concerns and Climate Change, in the near term, is for the country to invest in renewable energy, as well as more efficient technologies and practices in homes, businesses, schools and industries.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change is a long-term change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods of time, that range from decades to millions of years. In recent usage, it is usually qualified as anthropogenic climate change, more generally known as global warming; the increase in the average temperature of Earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation.
The IPCC reports that most of the observed temperature increase, since the middle of the 20th century, has been caused by increasing concentrations of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, such as that of Carbon Dioxide and Methane, which result from human activity such as the burning of fossil fuels such as soil and coal, and deforestation.

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