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Jul 18, 2013

GCCA’s Intra- African, Caribbean and Pacific countries climate change conference

A major climate change meeting opened today in San Ignacio. Experts participating are from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries considered to be the most vulnerable to climate change. The highly technical meeting, the first of its kind, is being held under the auspices of the Global Climate Change Alliance and is an initiative of the European Union. Hosting the two-day event is the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.


Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Representatives of sixteen countries converged at the San Ignacio Hotel for the Global Climate Change Alliance Intra- African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries.


Olusola Ojo

Olusola Ojo, Representative, ACP Secretariat

“Within the concept of the ACP and the European Union, there’s an agreement rerfered to as a partnership agreement within the framework of which we have the European Development Fund. And within this fund, we finance programs and projects to address development issues. And since we know that climate change is impacting the development aspects of our countries, the ACP countries, we do it necessary to allocate monies to address this issue under the Global Climate Change Alliance supported by the European Union.”


The EU recognized the need to address the issues of climate change on a regional basis and as a result the African Caribbean and Pacific grouping were selected. The Caribbean was asked to develop a regional program on how to address climate change.


Kendrick Leslie

Dr. Kendrick Leslie, Exec. Director, CCCCC

“Under that program, eighteen countries were included—not just the Caribbean community, but also the CARIFORUM community which included both the Dominican Republic and Cuba. The purpose of this meeting is so that we can compare how we have progressed in terms of the regions since we are involved with three regions—Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific and to see how we can exchange our experiences to further improve the next year of the program.”


Joseph McGann has been charged to manage the program for the past two and a half years at the Five C’s.


Joseph McGann, Program Manager, EU/ GCCA

Joseph McGann

“The program includes sixteen CARIFORUM countries and our overall objective is to help the national governments to better adjust to the adverse impacts of climate change that has been projected to happen within the next century. We do that by providing them with resources to monitor the climate, to build capacity, to make decisions that will address climate change and also provide them with resources to actually respond to the adverse effects of climate change. So it is a three-fold step: we advise, we provide with monitoring and provide resources to do implementation on the ground in terms of adaptation projects.”


Jose Sanchez

“In terms of how climate change is affecting the region, are there any countries that are particular at risk or we are all facing the same risks?”


Joseph McGann

“Actually, all the countries in the region are adversely being impacted by climate change. We have low coastal states, we have small islands and therefore in terms of the overall climate, we don’t generate any significant amount of greenhouses gases. But because of impact of global warming, our coastal areas are subjected to sea level rise and also our inland areas are subject to increased temperatures and erratic, if I may say so, precipitation patterns.”


The change is imminent and can only be slowed down with the use of monitoring equipment that can then be used to develop adaptation strategies.


Dr. Kendrick Leslie

“We have to accept, we cannot reverse the changes that are ongoing and still to come. We have to remember that what we see today…it has mentioned that the global average temperature has risen point eight degrees so far. But in our region it is over one degree already. So it is not uniformed—that’s the average—but we are above that. Secondly what is taking place today in terms of emissions, the impact will come a hundred years later. So we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Now to come back to the question, what can we do? We need to go back to the fundamental issues of what is causing the climate to change and it is the use of fossil fuel. Therefore in countries like Belize and the rest of the Caribbean, it is important that we reverse the use of fossil fuels and we go more and more to indigenous renewable energy.”


Wendel Parham

Today’s program steering committee meeting was implemented by the Five C’s. The program is one component of the bigger program that addresses the challenges of climate change and Belize is taking proactive measures.


Dr. Wendel Parham, C.E.O., Min. of Forestry and Fisheries

“The national climate change coordinating committee which was established by cabinet, which is a multi-disciplinary committee—N.G.O.s, private sector, public sector—to sit down and try to plan how do we address climate change in Belize. And so that is a very important committee and we meet every two months. We are stepping up activities and we are getting a lot of interests throughout the country on what is really climate change, what is happening with all these flooding and erratic rainfall and what we can do to ameliorate these kind of circumstances.”


Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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No Responses for “GCCA’s Intra- African, Caribbean and Pacific countries climate change conference”

  1. Belizean says:

    “CLIMATE CHANGE” is a hoax!!! Everyone is talking about “THE CLIMATE CHANGE”….None sense to the uttermost!!! What stupidity they use to drain the publics money

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