Minister for Climate Resilience, Disaster Management, Environment and Urban Renewal, Joseph Isaac has urged village councils to take up their play in building resilience.
Isaac was addressing a National Climate Resilience Consultation for local government bodies which was held at the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) Building on Wednesday.
The consultation was organized by the Department of Local Government and Community Development.
The main objective of the consultation is to ascertain the role of councils in building community resilience and create the enabling environment for the development of climate related projects.
“The issue of climate resilience will therefore involve significant training across the board and also the sharing of knowledge at the community level,” Isaac said. “It will therefore require leadership and participation of everyone involved.”
According to the minister, the four major components for the building of climate resilience anywhere in the world are financial resilience, the environmental and the physical aspect, that is, building infrastructure networks and also housing.
He challenged participants to develop practical action plans for actually starting off “a revolution” of building resilience at the community level.
Isaac called on all the village councils, town councils and city councils to enforce the laws.
“Our Physical Planning Division has its part to play but at the community level, in order for us to ensure that we get compliance, we must enforce the laws,” he stated. “Because we will be trying to do one thing at the local government level and the central government level and at the people level, they might be building homes that are not up to par.”
Isaac added, “Therefore we can’t only blame them, but we have to blame the entire community, the entire institution across Dominica when these things happen.”
He regarding the matter of of building resilience at the environmental level and specifically in our ecosystems, everyone in Dominica should participate in planting a tree and ensuring that the environment is protected.
Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs, Family and Gender Affairs Catherine Daniel said this event is timely and fitting since it can work in cohesion with International Family Day.
Daniel said the forum provides the opportunity to get different views and discuss various ideas among local government practitioners on important areas, “confronting local government and the overall advancement of our people.”
She said the issues of environmental management, housing, quality infrastructure, disaster management, climate change and caring for elderly and needy, “are important matters that we must collectively find solutions for.”
Meantime, Local Government Commissioner, Glenroy Toussaint said it is envisaged that the wealth of information that will be disseminated will enable the councils, to facilitate more informed decisions on matters relating to climate resilience and disaster management.
He encouraged councilors and clerks to participate fully in the exercise and to be an agent for change in their quest in building a more resilient community.
Toussaint commended the local government practitioners who he said, have been working tirelessly towards the development of their communities.
The event was held under the theme: “Strengthening Community Resilience through Local Government.”