Developing a climate resilience policy for St Vincent and the Grenadines

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Stakeholders identifying key needs and potential measures to address climate change in priority sectors

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — Government, civil society and private sector stakeholders from various economic sectors in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) participated in the first national consultation on December 11, 2018, to develop a climate change policy to mainstream climate resilience into the country’s development agenda.

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is providing technical assistance to the ministry of finance, economic planning, sustainable development and information technology in SVG to facilitate the series of national consultations and develop the new policy. The aim of the first consultation was to gain input from stakeholders on their needs, priorities and relevant measures for adaptation and mitigation for key sectors to inform the new climate change policy.

At the national consultation, the director of planning (ag), Recardo Frederick, noted that “climate change is a real threat to St Vincent and the Grenadines with the islands facing more extreme hurricanes and weather, including droughts in 2005, 2010 and 2014 and flooding in 2011, 2013 and 2016, resulting in damages and losses in excess of a billion EC dollars”.

He welcomed the collaboration between his ministry and CANARI to develop a formal coordinating mechanism to streamline implementation of climate change measures across all sectors and enable mainstreaming of climate resilience into development planning. He also highlighted the critical need for climate finance to support such implementation, including the support of the Green Climate Fund and other key donors.

Stakeholders worked together at the national consultation to craft a shared vision and goals for the Climate Change Policy and to identify priority sectors and measures for adaptation and mitigation, including for the agriculture, energy and transport, health, tourism and water sectors. They also identified potential governance arrangements for effective implementation of the policy.

CANARI and the ministry of finance, economic planning, sustainable development and information technology will continue to work over the next six months with stakeholders in SVG to develop a Climate Change Policy and a Climate Change Strategy and Implementation Plan. This process is being supported under the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project funded by the World Bank and the Climate Investment Fund’s Pilot Program for Climate Resilience.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. SVG is one of the most environmentally destructive countries in the entire Caribbean, a fact all the national consultation in the world could never change. The destructive features include:
    1. unregulated beach sand mining which destroys the first line of defense for rising sea levels and hurricane damage.
    2. the depletion of the inshore fishery via a refusal of the government to prosecute breaches of fishnet mesh-size regulations.
    3. the trapping of tiny river fish heading out to sea, a practice called tri-tri fishing which has depleted local fish stocks.
    4. the indiscrimant dumping of garbage in open drains washing into the sea.
    5. the illegal cutting down of huge swaths of primary rain forests for the cultivation of marijuana adversely affecting valley water tables while destroying habitat locales.
    6. the burning of waste material including toxic and environmentally destructive rubber tires.
    7. the import of old gas-guzzling vehicles.
    8. the absence of emission regulations for engines of all types.
    9. the widespread use of pesticides and other chemicals that are banned in most countries.
    10. the absence of sewage disposal facilities.
    11. a refusal to control the illegal building of homes and other structures in environmentaly sensitive areas like public riverbanks.
    12. the absence of tree replanting.
    13. a lack of regulation, let alone inspection, of septic tanks in seaside locations resulting in frequent spillage from ancient facilities.
    14. a paucity of public refuse disposal container in the capital, Kingstown, and almost none in the rest of the country.
    15. the presence of a largely environmentally ignorant population exacerbating all of the above.

    Though many of the above features are not strictly speaking climate change issues, the overall story is one of environmental indifference by both the government and the general public.

  2. Reading this article is like going on a treadmill: you walk and walk and go nowhere.

    Mr ben-David is sort of wrong when he says many of his features are not strictly (the operative word, admittedly) climate change issues: all of his features lead to climate change.

  3. A “climate change policy to mainstream climate resilience into the country’s development agenda”? Don’t make us laugh!

    If international bodies are willingly offering Money, our government will no doubt be answering yes to whatever is asked, but delivering on the promise would be quite another! Consult as much as they like nothing will change.

    How often do we sit at home while neighbours are slashing and burning, even grass burning all around the neighbourhood, filling the air with thick black smoke for hours, resulting in us having to close doors and windows to escape with no action being taken by the authorities?

    This whole exercise is just an exercise in futility, being participated in to keep well-meaning foreigners happy, while money, no matter how small in cash terms, eventually flows in. With a population as unashamedly unlearned as ours and a government as irresponsible as we have, for sure nothing will ever change. “Climate Change” as a Policy is indeed a heaven sent and may well give opportunities to many a scam.

  4. With a leader such as ours eating enough by himself every day that would feed a normal family of four, followed by the methane gas emission, what a stinker. Much of the ozone is being wrecked by just one man.

    • Can you please be more explicit Mr. Green?

      If I read correctly what you are saying, should this man not be banned from the US and EU until he has emission control.

      One cow is estimated to burp 100-400 liters methane per day when it ruminates. The hundreds of millions of cows emit maybe 400 billion liters methane per day. That is thousand (1000) times the amount we humans are passing. Methane (CH4) is over 20 times more effective as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (CO2).

      Are you claiming that in the case of ‘comrade flatulence’ that he omits as much or more than a cow?

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