Climate change is an issue that affects countries both economically and socially. However, it is the poor in the least developed countries that are most vulnerable. Guyana’s Office of Climate Change (OCC) embarked on an undertaking that highlighted the country’s vulnerability in relation to the effects of climate change.
The venture, conducted under the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change (JCCP) and facilitated by consultants from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), came in the form of a two-day workshop, which concluded yesterday, targeting officers and government agencies.
The National Adaptation Plan (NAP) workshop marked the first step in the consultancy for the formulation of a nationwide plan to reduce Guyana’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. It is expected to facilitate the integration of climate change into new and existing policies and programmes regarding Guyana’s development.
The Office of Climate Change indicated that it is working to ensure that the issue of climate change stays relevant within the social realm. The organization is working on identifying specific challenges that have been affecting communities and certain sections of society.
Ms. Janelle Christian, Head of the OCC, explained that a consultancy process would ensure that National Adaptation Plan is tailored to the specific climate change concerns that Guyana faces. Added to this, she went on to say that the organization has identified the priority actions for the adaptation to the changes that the country is facing – changes that entail different patterns in rainfall, temperature or sudden events.
Radical environmental changes can affect the lives of many who are more susceptible or vulnerable in society, she reiterated. OCC’s venture ties in with the President’s vision for a green Guyana. Christian stated that there are two thematic areas being focused on which relate to resilient infrastructure and the sustainable use of the country’s natural resources.
“This workshop brought together all senior technicians across Government based on their work, based on what they are already seeing, and based on how this is affecting us…..”, Christian stated, explaining that each representative had a much needed unique perspective to offer.
She later went on to say, “We also need to consider the social elements, the vulnerable and those that are disadvantaged. Very often, the poor and vulnerable are most at risk. They do not have the means to adjust. When we are putting together these national plans, we need to have the sector that understands what is happening within the social space, so that when we plan, all of that is taken into consideration.” Christian reemphasized the need for these plans to take into consideration those who are more likely to feel the effects drastically.
The National Adaptation Plan consultancy process will last six to eight months, concluding within the first quarter of 2019. The aim is to construct a plan that considers persons in every stratum of society.
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