Categorized | National News

Climate Change Workshop Opens

Climate change and coastal erosion are devastating issues for The Bahamas. This is why private and public stakeholders from around the country have convened to develop a national plan to prepare for the worse.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) are holding a five-day workshop under the theme “Climate Smarting and Enhancement of the CDM Country Work Programme”.

The aim of the programme is to define key terms and examine vulnerable areas in The Bahamas for coastal erosion and climate change.

Minister of the Environment Kenred Dorsett said the workshop is timely as there are many dangers in these issues.

Those, he said, includes increased temperatures, reduced average rainfall, increased sea surface temperatures, the potential of more fierce tropical storms and hurricanes and the threat to the country’s food security and tourism industry.

“All of this is dire news and we must begin to act now to secure our countries,” Minister Dorsett said.

“As developing countries and small island states we will be the first and the hardest hit. The effects of climate change will be great and have the potential to drastically change the lives we live now with continued coastal erosion and the rising sea levels our tourism product will be threatened. The livelihood of almost every fisherman and farmer will be threatened. The quality of water and its availability is also threatened. These threats are almost all replicated on each island and cay covering over 100,000 square miles. Our work to medicate the effects of climate change must be replicated throughout the length and breadth of The Bahamas.

“This makes it that much harder and much more necessary for us to intervene now.”

Minister Dorsett said this is what makes the workshop timely.

But he said the government is not sitting idly by.

“The government has begun the process of identifying vulnerable areas through The Bahamas and intends to enforce building code policies. The Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology Commission and Ministry of Works and Urban Development are tasked with monitoring the implementation and enforcement of these policies supported by legislation,” he said.

“The Bahamas National Geographic Information Systems will assist the mentioned agencies with the execution of these responsibilities through collaborating and supplying special data and maps.”

He added that this workshop will benefit the Ministries of Tourism, Agriculture and Marine Resources.

CDEMA Representative Lyndon Robertson spoke about how the agency will assist The Bahamas.

“This workshop in itself actually would realise a comprehensive disaster management agency which would be in line with a new comprehensive disaster management strategy for the region. That would take us to 2023,” he said.

“CDEMA is not doing this comprehensive disaster management promotion in a vacuum. We are developing that with partners.”

The event ends on Friday.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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