Action on climate change

| 21/04/2009

(CNS): Still without a National Conservation Law to help it protect Cayman’s natural resources the Department of Environment is doing what it can to promote awareness of climate change and point people in the right direction despite the lack of legislation. In observance of Earth Day 2009 the DoE has launched an information pack containing materials designed to inform the general public, business and government on the issues associated with climate change.

The materials deal specifically with climate change in the UK Overseas Territories and the Cayman Islands DOE had considerable input on the production of the information pack, which consists of two books, a pair of videos (available on DVD), a PowerPoint presentation and four pamphlets which deal directly with the science, evidence and causes of climate change, its potential impacts in the Overseas Territories, and the actions we can take to adapt to these impacts and to do our bit to combat the causes of climate change at an individual, organisational and governmental level.

Director of Environment Gina Ebanks-Petrie explained that she served as a member of the steering and editorial committee working on the publications and colleagues Tim Austin and Lisa-Ann Hurlston-McKenzie had considerable input. The materials also focus on the particular challenges facing the Overseas Territories in addressing and adapting to climate change, as the potential impacts are expected to pose risks that will be keenly felt by small islands such as the Cayman Islands, for example risks to property, infrastructure and communities from rising sea levels and increased intensity of tropical cyclones, which could lead to greater storm surge, flooding events and storm damage.

All the materials offer practical steps for different stakeholder groups to take to adapt, and to reduce the cause of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions. One message that is brought home in the information pack is that the sooner we act and prepare for the consequences of climate change, the less costly the impacts will prove to be in the future and the more resilient the islands will become.

Petrie described the materials as a valuable resource, which the DOE are promoting to raise awareness of the issues associated with climate change in small islands. ”I would recommend that the public go to the website to download the materials or contact the DOE, who can provide copies – this is information that all residents of the Cayman Islands should make themselves aware of,” she added.

All the materials – videos, books, presentation and pamphlets, can be downloaded from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee website at http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-4362. Alternatively, hard copies can be requested from the DOE, which will also be handing out copies at the Green Generation Fair, after the Chamber of Commerce Earth Week beach clean-up on Saturday 25th April, 10.30am at West Bay Road Public Beach.

The DoE said the materials were prepared by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute for the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee, in consultation with the Overseas Territories Governments and funded jointly by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK Department for International Development.

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Category: Science and Nature

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