Climate Change Adaptation plan being created for Sea Cow's Bay

Tortola, British Virgin Islands, November 12th, 2014 (DDM) - A community-oriented climate change adaptation plan is being created for Sea Cow’s Bay.

The draft plan is the primary outcome of a Climate Smart Community Disaster Management Workshop that was hosted here by the Department of Disaster Management in collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

 

The workshop is one of the outputs included under the Mainstreaming climate Change in Disaster Management Project Phase II (CCDM-II) through which the DDM has obtained funding for the piloting of the SMART School initiative at the three schools located in Sea Cow’s Bay.

Addressing the start of the workshop on Tuesday, Project Coordinator at the CDEMA Coordinating Unit, Ms. Kerry-Ann Thompson outlined the objectives of the session.

“It is important that you understand the linkage between climate change and disaster risk reduction; identify the specific vulnerabilities within your community and the strategies to enhance your resilience and to apply these concepts in the design of the community climate change adaptation plan,” she stated.

In her remarks, Deputy Director of the DDM, Ms. Evangeline Inniss noted that the workshop fits directly within the realm of actions to be undertaken as part of the Virgin Islands Comprehensive Disaster management strategy and Programming Framework.

“The strategic actions enshrined in the current strategy that guides the work of the DDM makes specific reference to reducing vulnerability and enhancing community-based disaster risk reduction and establishing improved linkages between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation,” she said.

The objectives of the workshop also fits directly with the DDM’s concept of a SMART community which uses Sustained Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilient techniques to resist, absorb and/or accommodate the impact of hazards and climate change.

“We therefore embrace this workshop as an opportunity to reinforce the growing importance of climate change and the need to engage in climate change adaptation strategies that would help make our communities more resilient,” Ms. Inniss stated.

During the workshop, participants received an outstanding presentation from Angela Burnett-Penn, Chair of the National Climate Change Committee on the causes and impacts of climate change in the British Virgin Islands and the extensive work that has already been done to help mitigate the impact and build community resilience. Ms. Burnett-Penn also spoke about the work that has been done locally to establish a policy and legal framework for climate change adaptation initiatives.

Participants from the workshop were drawn from various Government departments which are affiliated with or work within the community, teachers and parents from the schools involved in the SMART School project and other persons who have vested interests in Sea Cow’s Bay.

The SMART School Project was launched in July this year and already, the three schools involved in the pilot have been assessed and reports provided, energy audits have been conducted to determine the level of usage and ways to increase efficiency, teachers at the school and other community members have benefitted from Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training and a video is being produced to highlight the overall project and its benefits to the community.

CDEMA Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Resilience Way, Lower Estate, St. Michael Tel: (246) 434-4880, Fax: (246) 271-3660
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