By Andrea Downer, Journalist
|Dr Michael Taylor, University of the West Indies|
Kingston, Jamaica. May 23, 2011 - Four Jamaicans – Dr Michael Taylor from the University of the West Indies, Claire Bernard from the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Indi Mclymont-Lafayette from Panos Caribbean and Risk Reduction Specialist Franklin McDonald, are among more than128 experts from the Pacific and the Caribbean, attending a four day climate change conference in Apia, Samoa.
The conference, titled Lessons for Future Action, will focus on lessons learnt that can inform future climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in small island developing states. It kicks off on Monday, May 23 and will run until Thursday May 26, 2011.
Mclymont-Lafayette, who will make a presentation on day two on Community-Based Responses to Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction says the conference is a good opportunity for the mutual sharing of climate change adaptation strategies and best practice between the Caribbean and the Pacific.
"This is a good opportunity for the Caribbean islands to work with the Pacific islands to see how together we can share information and ways to adapt to climate change. The conference will share information learned from the Pacific and the Caribbean and then decide how we can jointly tackle the impacts of climate change," said Mclymont-Lafayette stated shortly before leaving Jamaica for Samoa. She is the Regional Director of Media, Community and environment at Panos Caribbean – a regional information agency.
McDonald will also make a presentation at the conference as part of a panel on National Planning and Policy Frameworks towards the end of day one on Monday, May 23rd. Dr Taylor of the University of the West Indies Climate Change Studies Group will present on Underpinning science and modelling tools. In turn Claire Bernard from Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), presents on Regional responses and needs of smallest countries on Wednesday.
The Conference is being organised by the Australian Government and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. It aims to share and synthesise lessons learned in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Ocean countries, as well as drawing on experience in Australia and elsewhere. The conference will bring together delegates from partner countries, regional and multilateral agencies, donors and non-government organisations with extensive experience and understanding of adaptation issues.
“A key challenge for development in small islands today is reducing poverty and building resilience in a current climate of considerable variability and all too frequent natural disasters. Climate change will increase the urgency of these challenges – making sustainable development more difficult. Effective adaptation and disaster risk reduction will help small islands meet these development challenges in a changing climate,” the conference organizers said in a release.
The conference will focus on lessons that can assist the countries participating to sustain development gains and respond to disasters in the changing climate the world is expected to face in 2030 or 2050.
The conference will consider Small Island Developing States (SIDS) experience and lessons that exist among the islands in reducing the risks of natural disasters and early adaptation measures, the implications of ‘tipping points’ for natural systems, such as coral reefs and the iterative nature of adaptation which will require `learning by doing’ and flexible approaches as understanding of the likely timing and magnitude of climate change impacts improves.
Other best practices that will be shared and discussed include the risks of mal-adaptation and the need for monitoring and assessment of adaptation responses so adjustments can be made over time, common themes and challenges, and examples of good and not-so-good practice emerging from early adaptation activities, including community based adaptation, and what is needed to effectively communicate climate change to a variety of stakeholders.
The outcomes of the conference will help inform national and regional policies, increase donor support and identify how best to address the needs of SIDS in terms of adaptation support and funding. (End23/05/11)
The article is a production distributed through Panoscope, a series of Panos Caribbean. It is made freely available to your media and we encourage publishing and redistribution, giving credit to Panos Caribbean. We appreciate feedback.
For further information contact: Indi Mclymont/Jan Voordouw, Panos Caribbean.
Tel: 920-0070-1, E-mail: email@example.com