Integrated approach to tackle climate change

Janelle Christian (GINA photo)

— two-day stakeholder workshop hears

THE need for closer collaboration between agencies here in addressing climate change was raised on Thursday as the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) commenced a two-day stakeholder engagement in Georgetown. USAID and the CCCCC have partnered to address the challenges of climate change through the provision of up to US$25.6M in investments over the next four years.
The provision will be made through the Climate Change Adaptation Programme (CCAP), which will be implemented in several Caribbean countries, including Guyana. The initiative falls under the Green Climate Fund.
Janelle Christian, Head of the Office of Climate Change (OCC), told participants at the forum at the Herdmanston Lodge in Queenstown, Georgetown, that the timeliness of the programme is important.
She said Guyana is making strides in strengthening its climate change programmes.
“For Guyana to be [in] a position to really access resources of the Green Climate Fund, in fact Guyana is one of the first countries to have approved readiness and preparations to access resources from the Green Climate Fund,” she said, noting that ongoing work will soon see a consultant working with the national designated authority, the OCC.
She said throughout the process, the country’s strategic framework will identify the list of priority projects which will see such projects benefit from the Green Climate Fund.
“One of the things that I want to emphasise is that we have to work closely in a more integrated, coordinated approach,” Christian told the stakeholders, adding that there should be no “divorce” between climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.
She highlighted the work undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture regarding climate change, mainly via adaptation to the global phenomenon.
“We believe that the involvement of all the agriculture agencies here this morning is critical,” she added.
She said with the support of the CCAP programme through USAID, the OCC will have the relevant knowledge to carry out its mandate.
Ted Lawrence of USAID /Eastern and Southern Caribbean Office, said that CCCC’s mandate ensures the building of capacity of each country.
He acknowledged that in Guyana there is work which is ongoing to ensure access to the Green Climate Fund.
“We want to support those efforts,” Lawrence said.
Regarding the collection of data within each Caribbean territory, he said the issue has to be understood and then information which is usable has to be collected and analysed.
CCCCC Deputy Director and Science Advisor, Guyanese Dr Ulric Trotz, provided the gathering with a historical perspective in which climate change awareness commenced within the Region, noting that since 1997, the CCCCC’s mandate commenced in which developing countries, including Guyana, agreed that climate change is a priority and that the subject needs to be addressed.
He said that the Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change (CPACC) which runs for a few years came into being and it was at that discussion stage that moves to address the risks of climate change hit first gear.
According to USAID and the CCCCC, each participating country is expected to sign a Programme Participation Agreement and through consultation and collaboration with the CCCCC, identify priorities for implementation.