Letters & Opinion

Climate Action Starts Now

THE effects of climate change are becoming more and more apparent, so much so that most people have accepted, and are beginning to understand that our planet is under threat. Farmers in our part of the world are particularly aware of the adverse effects of climate change as it poses a direct threat to their livelihoods. In light of all of this, there are several international organizations striving to do their part to sensitize people of this threat, and take the necessary actions to protect life as we know it. The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) for example, just concluded its Regional Climate Action Project.

This project consisted of a number of community-based projects which focused on areas such as Water Resources Management and Climate Smart Agriculture. There is no doubt that these projects will benefit citizens or the Caribbean region as they provide farmers with solutions for the mitigation challenges which are beginning to face our societies. The Climate Action Projects have been reported to yield tremendous benefits thus far. In support of these reports the Second Secretary from the Embassy of Japan in Trinidad & Tobago, ToshihideKanaya, stated at press conference on Wednesday September 18th that he believed that the J-CCCP has ‘sown a seed of hope to the Caribbean region and the seed will be germinated and bloom so that even after the project ends, this impact will remain.’

But in order for this impact to remain however, the people in our various communities throughout the Caribbean must be continually educated on the subject of climate change so that the solutions to climate change may become a way of life for the people. It has been documented that in the decades to come, climate variability will increase the prevalence and severity of floods thus reducing the ability for farmers to crop.

Those who think they will not suffer the effects of climate change in their lifetimes are terribly mistaken for it is only a matter of time before the consequence of the damage which has already been done will be distinctly felt. In fact, the consequences have already begun to arrive. Because of climate change we are yielding 5.5 % less wheat than we did in 1980. Another interesting fact is that the world’s population in 1980 was estimated at about 4.5 billion, which is 3.3 billion less than the population we have in the world today. This means we are gradually challenged with having to feed more with less. –And we wonder why bread is getting more expensive.

The Regional Climate Action Project is of great importance to us in the Caribbean as climate change has been observed to predominantly threaten the food supply of marginalised groups. We all have a sense of who will suffer first if the world’s food supply becomes too scarce to feed us all. We must take an interest in ensuring that the work which was done in Climate Action Project continues. Climate Smart Agriculture for instance, will increase agricultural productivity and enhance food security for the people in our region. So let us work together to germinate the seed which has been planted to ensure that it blooms for us all.

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