Climate change tempo ups


Georgetown, Guyana, June 25, 2009 (Guyana Chronicle) - The major Caribbean disaster preparedness agency meets here today with a primary focus on climate change as Guyana and the region ups the tempo ahead of a crucial United Nations summit in December. Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon yesterday said climate change adaptation will be the main focus during the meeting in Georgetown of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA).

The agency is the main disaster management organisation which serves the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

CDERA, which is based in Barbados, is mainly responsible for immediate and coordinated responses to any disastrous event affecting any participating state, once the state requests such assistance.

At his weekly post-Cabinet briefing, Luncheon said that at today’s meeting, the heads of agencies of participating states will be mainstreaming disaster management to bring climate change adaptation on board.

Guyana is continuing widespread national consultations on its draft Low Carbon Development Strategy which it wants to table at the December UN summit in Copenhagen, Denmark at year end for inclusion in a new climate change regime.

Luncheon said the initial substantial public consultations last weekend in the Rupununi “secured healthy participation” from the indigenous communities and constituencies.

Cabinet was Tuesday briefed on the outreach and was told that the gathering offered support in principle to the strategy, he said.

According to Luncheon, there was an “impressive sharing” of information about the strategy and matters of concern to members of the indigenous community in Region Nine.

“Cabinet was advised that the meetings reflected almost an intuitive grasp by the participants of the implications of the strategy” which obviously led to the kinds of questions and concerns they posed to facilitators and resource persons as they expressed their desire to understand more about the LCDS, he said.

The public consultations continue this weekend in Region One where Prime Minister Sam Hinds will lead the team of Cabinet ministers, officials and representatives of Amerindian and non-governmental organizations.

Luncheon said target groups are being encouraged to host their own consultations which the government can support.

Guyana’s strategy is based on avoiding deforestation and preserving its standing forests in exchange for payment for this service in the cause of climate change from the international community.

Climate change is a major agenda item for next month’s CARICOM summit here.

The Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat yesterday said the community’s Council of Ministers, at a recent meeting in Barbados, reaffirmed the importance of a common regional approach to address the threats and challenges of climate change, and for the effective participation of the region in the UN conference in Denmark.

It said that given the importance of climate change to the sustainable development of the community, the council indicated that it was imperative for the grouping to ensure that it was fully engaged in the negotiations, and represented at the highest level of policy making, with a coherent and comprehensive position for Copenhagen.

The secretariat said a regional climate change strategic framework prepared for next month’s summit here, is a ‘live’ document comprising four key elements.

These elements are:
** Mainstreaming adaptation strategies into the development plan and programmes of member states

** Promoting policy actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

** Facilitating policy actions to reduce the region’s vulnerability to natural and human impacts that often contribute to climate change

** Promoting actions to attain social, economic, and the environmental benefits through the prudent management of standing forests in CARICOM states.

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