Friday, 27 May 2011

Your thoughts....

Michiline Time - Senior Journalism Student, National University of Samoa

What are the climate change capacity needs in your country?  How are these gaps affecting your response to climate change impacts?

"In Belize we have a lot of organisations who work with climate change but there’s no specific climate change office, so what the government has done is they used government departments and other organisations to try to deal with it but the real adaptation will probably come from their National Emergency Management Organisation which is more disastrous response. So what we need to do is get more individuals and institutions to build their capacity in climate change adaptation and mitigation and get more ideas on how we can get these adaptation strategies implemented to the government.”
Colin Gillett – Belize

“For me I’m in the NGO sector, I think there’s a need to build the capacity of individuals and communities in terms of understanding climate change and it’s impacts but also understanding some of the appropriate options and solutions to address to help them cope well with the climate change impacts in their community. I think at the institutional level, there is also a need to build capacity on technical understanding of some information required for better understanding of solutions. We often rush into doing things because we are desperate to solve the problem and yet we don’t fully understand the problem well enough to get the correct solutions and as a result we often waste investment.
Our strategy is to start looking internally from what we have and build from there. There's great potential in all our countries that we can do something instead of just waiting for outside help but of course we can’t do it alone, we also need to build partnership with other countries and other international development partners and donors.”
Sione Fakaosi – Tonga

“Food security production issue is a project under what we call PACC [Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change]. It is in reality, since 80% of our food supplies are actually imported. We are almost dependant in a way so the project is trying to bring people back to depend more often on their own local supplies. It’s only been a year and we’re seeing some improvement but there’s a huge work that has to be done.”
Jerome Temengil – Palau

“I say the most immediate one is for our vulnerable sectors of health, tourism, agricultural and water to be better mobilised to respond to the impacts of climate change. I think there needs to be a greater understanding of the impacts that climate change will have on Jamaica and that will bring about more workshops - more technical knowledge, more research and facilitating the research and the science to be shared with the vulnerable sectors.”
Indi Mclymont-Lafayette - Jamaica

Grenada has just established a Ministry of Environment so obviously our capacity needs will be more than the average ministry. Climate change cannot be looked at from the point of view of a single ministry, it is cross-sectoral and therefore if we need capacity to address the needs of climate change it has to be cross-sectoral in all the ministries. As a first step the government of Grenada has establish its cabinet sub-committees on climate change so we’ll have a political level at the decision making level, a body and then we just re-established the climate change committee obviously the needs will be immense. We need human resource capacity for all of the cross-sectoral ministries. We are also looking at institutional capacity building for a few of our organisations and to look at best practices within the country and outside the country and then there’s also the infrastructural capacity needs of the country which is really the most important because as we are low lying island states that are vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters like climate change. At the moment we have not attract much funding to address all capacity needs and the budget of the local government is limited so there are significant gaps in what we should be doing as capacity needs.”
Sally Anne Bagwhan Logie – Grenada (Caribbean)

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