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Written by George Grant

The first orientation meeting for Grenada’s Climate Change Focal Point network will be held on 28th January 2018 at the Player’s Level 1 room of the National Stadium. The full day event will give the newly appointed Climate Change Focal Points an overview of their roles and responsibilities, update them on Grenada’s climate change governance structure, climate policy and other climate actions.

In a small island nation like Grenada, climate change and its impacts often have causes and consequences that are spread over several sectors of the economy and civil society. When a flood strikes, it does not only affect local housing/businesses; it also affects agriculture, tourism, schools, and eventually our overall financial security.

It is therefore crucial that solutions for adaptation and mitigation be integrated across sectors. In order to achieve this difficult task, the Environment Division, in collaboration with  the Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (ICCAS) project, have nominated a total of 25 climate change focal points in various ministries,  statutory bodies and utility companies in order to represent the following key sectors and focal areas:   agriculture; water; forestry; fisheries & marine protected areas (MPA); tourism; physical infrastructure; health; Carriacou & Petite Martinique; integrated coastal zone management; disaster risk management; education; foreign policy advocacy & international negotiations; finance; meteorology; energy infrastructure and mitigation; waste; and youth empowerment.

During her opening remarks, Mrs. Merina Jessamy, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information, said that because 73% of Grenada major infrastructure, including the airport, the port, the general hospital and main sport facilities, and more, are at risk of climate change impacts, the proper evaluation of climate change risk and sectorial integration of climate change resilience is essential.

The primary role of the Climate Change Focal Points network is to support the Environment Division in monitoring the implementation of area priorities as well as to support mobilization of funds for implementation of resilience programmes and to assist with climate change matters, especially in applying climate risk assessment tools where required in the planning and budgetary process.

The Climate Change Focal Points Network will also help disseminate and mainstream the information about ongoing climate change relevant activities at the national level with relevance for their respective line Ministry, statutory body or company. This will support cross-sectorial, and public-private partnerships and avoid duplication of activities and expenditures.

The Climate Change Focal Points will assist in the implementation of the National Adaption Plan (NAP), especially in the Programmes of Actions that are relevant to the respective Focal Point’s line Ministry, statutory body or company; furthermore, they will also be able to monitor that the National Climate Change Policy is well integrated within their respective sector. The same applies to the Integrated Coastal Management Policy for the relevant line organisations. These three documents have been developed by the Environment Division and then printed with the support of the ICCAS project.

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