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CARICOM Secretary-General calls for fairness in international financing for small developing states

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Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2021. 2:26 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque speaking at a High Level Panel Discussions on Climate Disruption, Biodiversity Loss and Nature-Based Solutions last Tuesday, has made a call for fairness in international financing for Small Island Developing States (SIDs), noting that they have been experiencing a battering from climate impacts, not of their own making.

He explained, “We have had to face the sharp end of Climate Change impacts in conjunction with our other inherent vulnerabilities.  It is, therefore, crucial that vulnerability be the main criterion in determining access to concessional financing, which we urgently need in our quest for resilience.”

In partnership with the CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), the government of the United Kingdom (UK) hosted virtually the Forum, as President of the Twenty-Sixth Conference of Party of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26).  

Ambassador LaRocque said SIDs faced disadvantage with accessing financing to recover from the impacts of climate change and resilience to them. As the Region builds back better from the multiple crises, he said it should be in harmony with nature, as the environment is critical to resilience.

Underscoring the importance of the Region’s forests, he said they protect freshwater resources for cities and communities, and play a major role in global climate mitigation, due to their carbon-absorption capacity. In this context he noted, Guyana and Suriname, forests cover in excess of 80% of land area, while Belize, Dominica and St, Vincent and the Grenadines have over 60% of its land still forested.

Highlighting the critical importance of forests to Region’s indigenous people, he added, “The Region has recognised the tremendous potential of nature-based solutions that can combat the ravages of Climate Change, and multiply the benefits derived from protecting and restoring nature.”

The Secretary-General noted the Region’s celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May under the theme “We are part of the solution.”  He thanked the United Kingdom for prioritizing Nature-Based Solutions during its Presidency of COP26.

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