The Jamaica government is urging citizens to take proactive steps to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, said these would include practising proper disposal of garbage, carpooling to reduce the carbon footprint, and conserving and recycling water.
Vaz told a climate change seminar that saving energy is another crucial element in combating climate change and also encouraged farmers to practise climate-smart agriculture.
“This sector is usually the most impacted by natural disasters, and this grouping is disproportionally affected by the loss of livelihood following a disaster,” he said.
Vaz said mitigating the effects of climate change is important as the country aims to fulfil its obligations under the Paris Agreement. Jamaica signed the Instrument for Ratification on March 30.
The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
By signing the Agreement, Jamaica gains access to technology transfer and financial, technical and capacity-building support to address the impact of the phenomenon.
Effects of climate change include, but are not limited to, more severe hurricanes, increased flooding, harsher periods of drought, and rising sea levels.
Vaz urged citizens to become advocates for ‘Mother Earth’ and work hard to preserve and protect her for the next generation.
“In all we do, we need to enable and empower the poorest and most vulnerable among us, including our women and children, to adapt to and cope with some of the intense and often devastating weather conditions associated with climate change,” he said.
The seminar, which runs until April 13 is being held under the theme ‘Uncut Conversations on Climate Change… Dialogue for the Future’.
It seeks to engage a variety of stakeholders, including high-level Government representatives, the private sector, Jamaica’s development partners, non-government and community-based organisations, the media, and academia in frank and open discussion on a number of topics surrounding the issue of climate change.
Areas of focus include capacity building for Jamaica, adaptation and mitigation, and the ramifications for Jamaica in ratifying the Paris Agreement.