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A Climate Change follow-up Strategy, Policy, and education workshop given prominence in Montserrat

The Honourable Joseph A. Farrell, Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment, said that the development of the National Climate Change Policy and Action Plan will enable communities to become more resilient to the negative impacts of climate change. According to him, what matters is the implementation.

Minister Taylor-Farrell was at the time addressing a gathering at the opening ceremony for the National Climate Change Policy Consultations, March 15 to 16. The sessions were held at the Montserrat Cultural Centre in Little Bay.

The workshop is the third of its kind for the British Overseas Territory. It was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) under the theme, ‘Enhancing Capacity for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Caribbean’. CARICOM Centre for Climate Change in Belize facilitated by the workshop, following two earlier sessions, which were hosted in 2009/2010. The project of enhancing the capacity for for adaptation to climate change in the Caribbean UK OTs  is referred to as the ECACC project.

It was designed to develop a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan; and Climate; review of stakeholder comments on the Revised Issues Paper; identify key steps in the policy development/approval process in each Territory; and review the regional OT Declaration on Climate Change for the Caribbean OTs.

This was led by Mr. George D. Romilly.

The Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment opined that consultation sessions such as these provide an outlet for persons and, “offer hope in what could otherwise be considered to be a frightful situation.”

After defining climate change as any significant long term modification of the climate of a zone or region, he indicated that human beings must be held responsible for the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Focus must be placed on means to ensure healthy living and a more protected natural environment. “Although the Caribbean’s contribution to greenhouse gasses is insignificant in relation to the industrialised nations of the world, it is projected that the region will suffer disproportionately from the adverse impacts of climate change,” he noted.

According to him, Montserrat is already vulnerable as it relates to is size, remoteness, dependence on fossil fuels and lack of economic diversity. “Urgent action is needed to protect our way of life, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

Environment Technician Stephen Mendes said some of the implications of climate change for Montserrat could be a possible rise in sea levels and more intense, more frequent rainfall and drought patterns. This would impact on farming, agriculture, water security and possibly access to the port due to bad weather.

Welcome remarks were made by Camille Thomas-Gerald, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land, Housing and Environment. According to her, it is their duty to ensure that climate change issues are incorporated in every day aspects of work.

A very supportive and informed Christine Roehrer, Environment, Climate & Natural Resources Adviser Overseas Territories Department from DFID participated in the workshop.

According to the organisers of the workshop, participants were supposed to be key stakeholders drawn from non-governmental organisations, the utility companies and government agencies. At the end they expressed grave disappointment at the lack of participation.  They noted that out of 32 invited representations, there were 15 persons present representing various government agencies, the National Trust, one Statutory body and The Montserrat Reporter.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

The Honourable Joseph A. Farrell, Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment, said that the development of the National Climate Change Policy and Action Plan will enable communities to become more resilient to the negative impacts of climate change. According to him, what matters is the implementation.

Minister Taylor-Farrell was at the time addressing a gathering at the opening ceremony for the National Climate Change Policy Consultations, March 15 to 16. The sessions were held at the Montserrat Cultural Centre in Little Bay.

The workshop is the third of its kind for the British Overseas Territory. It was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) under the theme, ‘Enhancing Capacity for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Caribbean’. CARICOM Centre for Climate Change in Belize facilitated by the workshop, following two earlier sessions, which were hosted in 2009/2010. The project of enhancing the capacity for for adaptation to climate change in the Caribbean UK OTs  is referred to as the ECACC project.

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It was designed to develop a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan; and Climate; review of stakeholder comments on the Revised Issues Paper; identify key steps in the policy development/approval process in each Territory; and review the regional OT Declaration on Climate Change for the Caribbean OTs.

This was led by Mr. George D. Romilly.

The Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment opined that consultation sessions such as these provide an outlet for persons and, “offer hope in what could otherwise be considered to be a frightful situation.”

After defining climate change as any significant long term modification of the climate of a zone or region, he indicated that human beings must be held responsible for the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Focus must be placed on means to ensure healthy living and a more protected natural environment. “Although the Caribbean’s contribution to greenhouse gasses is insignificant in relation to the industrialised nations of the world, it is projected that the region will suffer disproportionately from the adverse impacts of climate change,” he noted.

According to him, Montserrat is already vulnerable as it relates to is size, remoteness, dependence on fossil fuels and lack of economic diversity. “Urgent action is needed to protect our way of life, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

Environment Technician Stephen Mendes said some of the implications of climate change for Montserrat could be a possible rise in sea levels and more intense, more frequent rainfall and drought patterns. This would impact on farming, agriculture, water security and possibly access to the port due to bad weather.

Welcome remarks were made by Camille Thomas-Gerald, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land, Housing and Environment. According to her, it is their duty to ensure that climate change issues are incorporated in every day aspects of work.

A very supportive and informed Christine Roehrer, Environment, Climate & Natural Resources Adviser Overseas Territories Department from DFID participated in the workshop.

According to the organisers of the workshop, participants were supposed to be key stakeholders drawn from non-governmental organisations, the utility companies and government agencies. At the end they expressed grave disappointment at the lack of participation.  They noted that out of 32 invited representations, there were 15 persons present representing various government agencies, the National Trust, one Statutory body and The Montserrat Reporter.