Jamaica News: Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Douglas Saunders, says that work is ongoing in the implementation of the Climate Change Policy Framework and Action Plan.
The policy seeks to provide a strategic and integrated approach to addressing the challenges and opportunities created by climate change while honouring the country’s commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and related instruments.
Among the priorities is the mainstreaming of climate change in policy and national development planning.
“There is our own Vision 2030 – Jamaica National Development Plan in which outcome 14 speaks to hazard-risk reduction and adaptation to climate change,” Ambassador Saunders said.
He further pointed to strides made in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. Goal 13 of the SDG deals specifically with taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Ambassador Saunders was speaking at the opening of a training session for members of the Government Policy Analysts Network (PAN) at the Alhambra Inn in St. Andrew on Thursday (February 21).
The two-day workshop was staged by the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation in partnership with the Cabinet Office and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It attracted the participation of policymakers from across ministries, agencies and departments of government.
The objective was to provide policy analysts with the elements relevant for climate change integration; improve the participants’ understanding of climate change impacts on Jamaica, and the need for mainstreaming climate change into national policies and action plans.
It also sought to build national capacity in the identification and application of appropriate tools and methodologies for integrating climate change adaptation into the development of policies and action plans; and initiate the process for the development and/or adaptation of a handbook or toolbox to guide policy analysts in the methodologies for climate-proofing of policies for Jamaica.
Ambassador Saunders said that PAN is an ideal vehicle for fulfilment of the Government’s mandate in promoting climate mainstreaming into all national policies and across all sectors.
He noted that the network has also allowed the Cabinet Office to partner with the various ministries to advance their policy agenda in a tangible way.
He urged the participants to “take the knowledge gained back to your respective organisations and share it with other colleagues. The Cabinet Office looks forward to being advised of individual action plans that you will implement coming out of this session”.
UNDP Resident Representative, Dr. Elsie Laurence Chounoune, said the workshop is timely, as climate change poses a significant threat to the region and has far-reaching impacts on the environment, society, economy and culture.
“We cannot overstate the importance of integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation considerations in policies in order to minimise these potential threats,” she said.