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May 11, 2016

Japan Invests in Local Climate Change Programs

As much as fifteen million U.S. dollars will be invested in climate change programs in Belize. The Japanese Government today launched the Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership Project which is intended to make Belize resilient to the impacts of the natural phenomenon. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Climate change is recognized as a major challenge for the Caribbean; it could significantly increase the risk of hurricanes and storms and threatens the region’s development. Today, the Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership Project was launched in Belize. The program will address local issues relating to climate resilience and provide substantive support to ongoing initiatives.

 

Colin Mattis

Colin Mattis, National Climate Change Officer, Government of Belize

“This project will raise awareness and build capacity, it will facilitate coordination among local stakeholders; it will improve climate resilient planning and budgeting, promote climate smart investments all in an effort to ensure effective climate change management and sustainable development in Belize. As we move forward towards implementation, I’d like to ask you to prepare yourselves to be challenged, excited and most of all involved in the project.”

 

The project will assist the ongoing works to build capacity, empower people to cope with climate change impacts, to manage climate change risks and to implement mitigation measures within Belize and the wider Caribbean. Ambassador Masanori Nakano says that fifteen million U.S. grant has been committed to the project.

 

Masanori Nakano

Masanori Nakano, Ambassador of Japan to Belize

I am pleased to note that the Japan-CARICOM partnership is being strengthened on a much larger scale in many areas including high level meetings around out prime minister and respective leaders in the Caribbean. Japan, Belize and other CARICOM countries are actively engaged in many forums to address the critical matter of climate change which is one of the most significant challenges of our time. As an early mover, the government of Japan contributed approximately sixteen billion U.S. dollars in total to developing countries in the world to mitigate and adapt to climate change. From that comprehensive stage, a fifteen million U.S. grant has been committed to this Japan Caribbean Climate Change partners project to boost this region’s capacity to overcome its vulnerabilities to natural disasters as it is often hindered by economic structure, geographical conditions or population size.”

 

According to C.E.O. in the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change, climate change threatens the natural resources of Belize.

 

Colin Young

Dr. Colin Young, C.E.O., Ministry of Climate Change

“Too often we heard terms as unequivocal being used to describe global climate change without any real sense as to what is really at stake for countries such as Belize, for our people and our development. Simply put, it means that climate change is not a choice, but a matter of survival for small and developing countries such as ours. Many of us believe, many of us realize, that climate change is an existing threat to our countries. While Belize is a low lying nation as we all know, some of our Caribbean brothers and sisters are islands and unlike the option that some of us have in terms of moving away from the coast, their action is moving away from their island. We are in Belize, geographically predisposed to the risk of rising sea levels and to the increasing frequency of intensities and tropical weather systems because close to half of our population continues to occupy the country’s low-lying coasts; they are extremely threatened by the increasing frequency of natural disasters and rising sea levels. Thus our countries development pathway is very development on the very fragile and increasingly vulnerable natural resource base. Climate change day by day is threatening these very natural resource bases that we need.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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