Conference seeks to design a climate change strategy for St. Kitts and Nevis

 

Photos: The Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources, Cooperatives, Environment and Human Settlements Eugene Hamilton (left) addresses participants at the national consultation workshop.

 

Conference seeks to design a climate change strategy for St. Kitts and Nevis

From SKNIS

 

Port of SpainClimate change and disaster management practitioners, policy makers and civil society groups in St. Kitts and Nevis participated in a national consultation Oct. 2-4 in hopes of developing a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to address the impacts of climate change and build resilience.

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) co-facilitated the national consultation with the departments of Environment, Agriculture, Marine Resources, Cooperatives, Environment and Human Settlements in St. Kitts and Nevis. The aim of the consultation was to gain input from the government, the civil society and the private sector on their needs, priorities and relevant adaptation actions for key sectors to inform a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

At the national consultation workshop, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources, Cooperatives, Environment and Human Settlements Eugene Hamilton noted the high level of vulnerability of Caribbean islands to climate change and highlighted the damage to St. Kitts and Nevis and its neighbours, especially Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Dominica and St Maarten, in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria. He welcomed the collaboration between his ministry and CANARI, which will help operationalise the new National Climate Change Policy that is currently before parliament. He also highlighted the importance of investing in adaptation and the critical need for support from the Green Climate Fund and other climate finance mechanisms.

Stakeholders worked together at the consultation workshop to identify priority sectors to be addressed in the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, highlighting the agriculture, fisheries and coastal and marine resources, public health, tourism and water sectors. They also identified specific adaptation measures, opportunities and constraints for adaptation within these sectors and potential arrangements for effective implementation of the strategy.

Community focus groups were also held with farmers, fisherfolk, small businesses and other community-based organisations in St. Kitts and in Nevis as part of the national consultation to identify their specific needs, the local impacts of climate change and potential measures to ensure concrete action on the ground.

CANARI and the Department of Environment will continue to work over the next year with stakeholders in St. Kitts and Nevis to develop the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and enable effective uptake and mobilisation of resources for the identified adaptation measures.

This initiative is being implemented under the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Global Climate Change Alliance Project, iLAND Resilience – Promoting a Climate for Change, funded by the European Union (EU). The overall aim of the iLAND Resilience project is to support the implementation of the OECS St. George’s Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability, namely the protection and sustained productivity of the OECS countries’ natural resources.

The project iLAND Resilience – Promoting a Climate of Change is the brand for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Global Climate Change Alliance project on Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Land Management in the Eastern Caribbean. This project is funded by the European Union (EU). One component of this project focuses on technical assistance for the development of frameworks aimed at enhancing environmental management. This technical assistance component seeks to develop institutional frameworks toward improved environmental management and resilience to climate change in four OECS member states, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia. CANARI is implementing this component on behalf of the OECS and providing co-financing through its EU funded project, Powering Innovations in Civil Society and Enterprises for Sustainability in the Caribbean (PISCES). Visit http://iland.oecs.org/ for more information.

CANARI is a regional technical nonprofit organisation that has been working in the islands of the Caribbean for more than 25 years. Its mission is to promote equitable participation and effective collaboration in managing natural resources critical to development. Its programmes focus on capacity building, policy planning and development, research, sharing and dissemination of lessons learned, and fostering regional partnerships. Visit http://www.canari.org/.