With Dominica having been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries in the world as it relates to climate change, the world bank has come on board to assist the island in putting together a Pilot Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR).
On Wednesday, July 20th, 2011, environmental stakeholders met at the Fort Young Hotel with officials from the World Bank to map out such a strategy.
The activity was spearheaded by the Environmental Coordinating Unit of which Lloyd Pascal is the Director.
“Because of our vulnerability, our weakness in terms of environmental issues, natural disasters, because of our weaknesses in economics, size of population and so on, we are considered among the vulnerable countries of the world. But that does not keep us back. We try our best to develop ourselves and our people and in that effort of development, the World Bank and the World Bank team have decided to include Dominica as one of the pilot countries. In the Caribbean pilot, we have six (6) countries which are Jamaica, Haiti, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada.”
The session provided an opportunity for the World Bank officials to present an overview of the Pilot Program for Climate Change Resilience.
US$2.5-million have been allocated by the World Bank for the overall program in the Caribbean.
That money will be split between the pilot countries for the preparation of the strategic programmes.
“The Caribbean regional plan has two tracks. This includes the country based strategic plans and investments of the six countries that I mentioned earlier, that is, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We also have another track, the regional track for region-wide activities to focus on climate monitoring, institutional strengthening, capacity building and knowledge sharing.
Two types of investments can be supported under the PPCR. There are first, funding for technical assistance to enable developing countries build upon existing national work to integrate climate resilience into national and sectorial development plans.
On the other hand, there is also funding for public and private sector investments identified in these plans and strategies. One of the key aspects of the PPCR that we have to keep in mind is that the programmes and projects implemented under the PPCR are country-led and build upon relevant country size and strategies complimenting on-going activities with the emphasis on country-led programmes.”
Dominica’s phase one proposal was approved in April this year. Funding approved totalled $307,000.00 which will be used to finance phase one activities.
The key tasks under phase one include joint missions, planning, capacity building, consultations with stakeholders, review of policies and strategies for climate resilience.
These phase one (1) activities will all lead to the formulation of a strategic program for climate resilience and a related investment plan.
Once phase one is completed and a strategic program is submitted to the subcommittee of the pilot program for climate change for endorsement, Dominica will then move into the implementation of the program.
In the meantime, Dominica’s Hon. Minister for Fisheries and Environment, Dr. Kenneth Darroux says climate change has become one of the most important global challenges facing humankind today.
“In fact, the projected warming of 1.1 to 6.4°C by the year 2100 coupled with related changes in rainfall patterns, rising sea level and increased frequency of extreme events such as droughts, hurricanes and storms are likely to threaten food security, fresh water supply, lead to a decline in biodiversity, increase occurrence of vector-borne diseases and cause flooding of coastal settlements among others.”
The Minister is concerned that if immediate action is not taken by vulnerable countries like Dominica climate change can result in devastating effects.
“I really do not want to sound like a prophet of doom, but climate change is no myth and our country, Dominica, is no exception to the potential threat it poses.it is susceptible to extremely damaging natural disasters as a result of both its location within the hurricane belt and its geophysical make up. These natural disasters have serious potential, negative impacts and lower lying areas, slopes and the socio-economic livelihood of population within them including our rich unique biodiversity. And additional stress that climate change places on ecological and socio-economic systems is not to be underestimated.”
he Minister is encouraged by the fact that the World Bank is here to assist the island in developing strategies for climate change resilience.
“PPCR is intended to be multi-sectorial by nature and will cover both adaptation and mitigation activities and consider both synergies and trade-offs between development and climate change. The PPCR will incorporate the priorities of all stakeholders including organisations and individuals outside the Government and should not be perceived as strategies that crate rules and constraints to development. But rather, as approaches that will continue to persist social and economic objectives through more innovative means. Thus, it will seek to strengthen development of partnership and coordination structures at the national level in pursuit of a strong foundation for creating national ownership of a strong foundation for creating national ownership, capacity and consensus about long term sustainable development objectives and results. It is, therefore, a key pre-requisite for effective action to combat climate change.”
Dominica has undertaken a significant amount of work as it relates to climate change.
The island approved its climate change adaptation policy in 2002. The policy was adopted to foster the development of appropriate economic incentives to encourage public and private sector adaptation measures among other things.