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Launch of GRENADAPTS Logo


Tuesday, May 13, 2014 12:03 PM - George's, Grenada
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ST. GEORGE'S, GRENADA, May 13, 2014 - GIS: The following are remarks from Prime Minister Dr. the Rt. Hon Keith Mitchell at the Launch of the GRENADAPTS Logo – an ICCAS Outreach Event – at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

Ladies and Gentleman, young Grenadians,

I am very pleased to be here today with you at this very important and timely launch of our very own logo in the fight against climate change.
Just three weeks ago when I went to the Netherlands for the GLOBAL OCEANS ACTION Summit, I promoted exactly this message: “We have the knowledge. Now it is time to act and to adapt to the changes.”
My friends,

• We know that temperatures in general, and that of our oceans, will increase and that the sea-level will rise. It is estimated that one meter of sea-level rise will place 73% of our major tourism resorts at risk.
• We know that the distinction between the dry and wet seasons will become more blurry, and that we have to expect longer dry spells due to less annual rainfall for our tri-island state. More intense hurricanes are also a possibility.
Having seen our country experience damage of 200% of GDP, we take this issue very seriously.

Friends, we need to adapt TODAY - because fortunately, many of these negative impacts are manageable. We have to avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable.

I have spoken about the costs of climate change, but adapting today will save us a lot of money in the future.

Let me take this opportunity to update you on some of the activities we are already undertaking:

· As part of the Caribbean Climate Change Initiative, we have committed ourselves to conserve 25% of our near-shore marine and coastal environments in national marine protected areas systems by 2020.

· We have worked with the World Bank on the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience, and we have developed our Marine Protected Areas with various partners, including Germany. The results speak for themselves: Our Fisheries Department is reporting significant re-juvenation of many marine species and coral reefs in the protected areas.

· In addition, the Government is currently developing two important documents under the ICCAS-Project. The first is a Coastal Zone Policy and a Coastal Zone Management Roadmap. Our coast is our first line of defense against sea level rise and storm surges and we need to manage it well given the new challenges. The second one is Grenada’s National Adaptation Plan to manage climate change in a more coordinated and strategic way.

· Another activity under the ICCAS-Project has been the introduction of the “Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation TooL” (CCORAL) here in Grenada. We were the first country in the Caribbean where a training was held at the national level. With this tool our civil servants, private sector and NGOs will be able to judge whether or not climate change has a negative impact on their planned activities, their proposed plans or legislation, and make decisions accordingly.

· My vision is to develop a “Blue Economy and Oceans Governance Institute,” which will help us to build a sustainable oceans economy.

My friends, in my view, the key ingredient for climate change adaptation, is public awareness.
· What does climate change mean for our reefs? What does it mean for our water supply, for our beaches, our soil, and areas such as the Carenage? The message needs to get across to all Grenadians.

· As a second step, we need to clearly understand how our actions can either minimize or even worsen these negative impacts. Throwing garbage in the river? It takes less than hour until it reaches the ocean where it will harm our corals, and reduce our protection against climate change.

We need to think about what kind of crops to plant. How much water, fertilizer and pesticide will they require? Will they end up in our groundwater or our lakes, reducing the quality of available drinking water resources?

I want our children to know about climate change and what each and every one of us can do to adapt. I want our young generation to question us, to hold us accountable so that we leave them a tri-island state where climate change does not compromise their future.

The new logo will help us to make climate change and our adaptation efforts more visible to everyone here in Grenada. Together with the proposed outreach campaign, I hope that fruitful discussions will be stimulated, which may lead to change in behavior and to concrete action. I call upon the schools, the churches, our community groups: Let’s get involved and start the dialogue.


Closing

I therefore thank the Government of Germany for providing the funding for the ICCAS project. The Government of Grenada will continue to work in collaboration with GIZ and UNDP to make climate resilience a reality here in Grenada.
Let us all play our part.

I thank you.


 

 

 

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