Taking into account the Amazon fires and the influx of sargassum in the region, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Daryl Vaz, says there is still much to do in enabling and empowering the most vulnerable to adapt and cope with some of the intense and devastating weather events associated with climate change.
Vaz was speaking at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Workshop on National Communications and the Biennial Update Report (BUR) for Caribbean Countries, held at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston Wednesday morning (August 28).
“If events like these continue unchecked, huge tracks of the planet earth will likely become harsher and far less hospitable for humanity” the Minister expressed.
Vaz emphasized that it is, for this reason, the workshop to inform the National Communications and Biennial Update Report process is crucial.
“As Small Island Developing States, it is up to us to lead the way and show our more developed neighbours that we will not sit idly in taking steps to mitigate the crisis our planet is facing due to climate change,” he said.
Vaz, who has responsibility for land, environment and climate change reasoned that community-based disaster preparedness and response plans that take the physical, psychological, social and economic vulnerabilities of persons employed in the informal and agricultural sectors into account will help to reduce their vulnerability to disasters overall.
He also noted that in 2018, he submitted Jamaica’s Third National Communication (TNC) to the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the 24th Conference of Parties in Poland, last December.
Vaz further noted that two previous National Communications were submitted to the UNFCCC, in 2000 and 2011, as well as a BUR in 2016.
“I am pleased to state that we were the first Small Island Developing State (SIDS) to submit a Biennial Update Report. The Third National Communication of Jamaica to the UNFCCC is a repository of useful climate change information,” the Minister underscored.
“It includes the most up-to-date inventory of our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from 2006 to 2012 as well as a profile of projected GHG emissions up to 2050. It also includes measures that have the potential to reduce a significant portion of these emissions,” he added.
In the interim, the Government has already commenced the process towards the preparation of the Fourth National Communication with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).