Caribbean government ministers and climate leaders support landmark framework for climate change adaptation policies that are fit for purpose for Caribbean countries.
As intense negotiations on the Global Goal on Adaptation appear to have reached a stalemate at the pivotal United Nations global climate summit, COP28, a number of Caribbean leaders and climate experts forged ahead to launch a landmark civil society led framework to build resilience to these climate change impacts, the proposed Regional Goal on Adaptation (RGA) for the Caribbean.
The proposed RGA for the Caribbean was developed as a tool to connect the international climate change negotiations on the Global Goal on Adaptation (a collective commitment within the Paris Agreement aimed at “enhancing the world’s adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change”) with local, national and regional adaptation actors in the Caribbean and vice versa. This will be facilitated by enabling more effective climate governance processes and practical adaptation actions at the local, national and regional levels.
The event kicked off the endorsement process by Caribbean governments to formally adopt a RGA for the Caribbean.
Minister Shawn Edward, Minister for Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Government of St. Lucia.
Senator Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Government of Barbados.
Colin Young, Executive Director, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre.
Orville Grey, Head of Secretariat for the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network, International Institute for Sustainable Development.
Crispin D’Auvergne, Programme Director, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, OECS.
Sasha Jattansingh, Loss and Damage Expert, Climate Analytics Caribbean.
Minister Edward spoke on the importance of adaptation and environmental protection to his country’s economy.
“Tourism and fisheries are two very critical areas for our GDP and livelihoods in our country, with tourism as the mainstay of our economy. And the marine environment is critical to the tourism product. Resources must be harnessed in such a way that they benefit every citizen, and for the best decisions to be made to redound to the economic benefit of the country.”
Senator Munro-Knight highlighted her support for the proposed RGA.
“We are saying to the world that as a region we are walking the talk. We will develop our own solutions and put them on the table. This initiative is extremely critical for the Caribbean in terms of having a fit for purpose framework that is built on our experiences and brings the voices of the communities to bear. We must ensure we have the necessary cross-collaboration and I look forward to seeing this tool develop.”
“The proposed Regional Goal on Adaptation for the Caribbean has been done through a collaborative process and can help to re-prioritise adaptation, ensuring it is a focus of our NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions),” Sasha Jattansingh, Loss and Damage Expert, Climate Analytics Caribbean. “We have to formulate new NDCs by 2025, so this proposed RGA can drive that process forward. We hope that this proposal is endorsed by our CARICOM leaders and becomes a true regional goal where we can all track progress and take adaption to the priority it needs at a leadership level.”
Dr. Orville Grey also urged governments to utilise the proposed RGA for the Caribbean.
“Not every Caribbean country has already developed a National Adaptation Plan, and this framework will provides a good mechanism. We need the support at the political level to champion this framework for the Caribbean. If we say climate change adaptation is important to us, it must be highly articulated by our CARICOM Heads of Government. If we are not a resilient Caribbean, we will not be a safe Caribbean.”
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