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Story Highlights

  • State Minister Ian Hayles has likened the protection of the environment as similar to saving money in the bank for future security.
  • He describes global climate change as one of the most important challenges to sustainable development.
  • Special attention has to be paid to the risks posed by hazard events for vulnerable groups such as the disabled, the elderly, children and women.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Ian Hayles, has likened the protection of the environment as similar to saving money in the bank for future security for one’s family and self. He describes global climate change as one of the most important challenges to sustainable development being faced by the Caribbean region in the 21st century.

Addressing the third in a series of public consultations aimed at sensitizing the public about the Climate Change Framework Policy and Action Plan (Green Paper), being held at the Wexford Hotel, in Montego Bay, on Wednesday February 19, 2014, Minister Hayles was very emphatic that Climate Change will impact and have serious implications for all sectors within the society.

“Oftentimes as a people we bank our money in the bank…to pass it on to the next generation, the environment is just the same. You will have to do whatever you can to bank on the resources that we have as a country, in ensuring that you can pass it on to the next generation”, he stated.

“This is our country let us do all we can in ensuring that we can pass it on to the next generation in the best possible way we see it fit to do”, he advised.

He asked that we commit ourselves as a nation to accepting the challenge of fighting Climate Change, and to continue the programmes and projects that we have already started, while stating that the challenges will be enormous.

He argued that going forward there has to be special attention paid to the risks posed by hazard events for vulnerable groups such as the disabled, the elderly, children and women.

He also made mention of sectors such as agriculture, forestry, health, and tourism among others, as likely to be affected by the stressors of climate change, noting that the impact will not be uniform across sectors.

In the discussions surrounding the Climate Change Framework Policy and Action Plan (Green Paper), several suggestions were put forward from the packed meeting room, for consideration towards the final document and way forward.

The final in the series of consultations will be held on Thursday February 20th in Kingston, for stakeholders from Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. Thomas.