Mr. Jeffrey Spooner
Head, Climate Branch
Meteorological Service of Jamaica
During the Climate Change Thematic Discussion
Fifteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
1 May 2007
Jamaica associates itself with the statement made by Grenada on behalf of AOSIS and would like to emphasize the fact that the impacts of Climate Change have started to affect our Island.
We are still recovering from the ravages of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 which cost the Government of Jamaica over US$500 million in damage and had a negative impact on the country’s economic performance. These circumstances are stalk reminders of the IPCC findings of more frequent and more severe hurricanes and serves to highlight the vulnerability of Jamaica to climate change. This also serves to stress the urgency for the conduct of a comprehensive vulnerability assessment and the implementation of counteractive adaptation strategies.
Jamaica supports the need for the continuation of the dialogue on mitigation as well as adaptation, and we follow a “no regret” mitigation policy as it relates to climate change. Climate Change adaptation planning in Jamaica is an integrated process and encompasses all the sectors, including coastal zone management and water resources, and is also included in environmental impact assessments.
We support other interventions that stress the need for the speedy implementation of the adaptation fund and encourage speedy progress in the setting up of the insurance fund.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, Jamaica also reiterates the urgent need for capacity building in regional institutions of excellence and wishes to acknowledge the work that has been ongoing at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the University of the West Indies (UWI). Work has been started in the area of statistical downscaling of the global climate models which is particularly important since this allows us to see what the future climate would look like for small islands like ours which are not captured by the global models.
Mr. Chairman, these are just a few of the issues which we deem critical to our existence.