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Climate Change Showcase: The plans to “green” Belize

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Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2022. 9:15 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The National Climate Change MRV (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification) System; Low Emissions Development Strategy; National Climate Change Policy, Strategy and Master Plan; National Determined Contributions; Climate Finance Strategy; and Climate Change Gender Action Plan form the bedrock of Belize’s shift to a greener society.

CEO in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Kenrick Williams explained the hierarchy of the plans in terms of implementation and strategizing: “You have your 30-year strategy which is your Low Emissions Development Strategy or your low carbon strategy as it was referred to before – this is your 30-year, long-term strategy. You have your ten-year master plan which is your national climate change policy – over the medium term these are your key priorities, policy objectives and strategies to address your long-term strategy.”

The other plans are shorter-term, five years and to be regularly updated as circumstances permit. A separate communications strategy will address communicating the priorities to key sectors including women, indigenous, youth and private sectors.

“Climate change and the realities of climate change is still disconnected from people, and so people see it as a theoretical issue, as a [scientific] issue,” Williams observed, adding that there remains a gap in internalizing the issue for the common man.

But using the recent flooding in Orange Walk as an example, Williams said people are being affected by contributions from climate change to such events.

Chief of the National Climate Change Office Lennox Gladden stated that most of these plans have been developed over the last 12-18 months with contributions from many sectors and support from the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office and the Government of Canada.

And the work continues with upgrades of some of these policies in the coming year. A repository for climate change information has been built on the University of Belize’s website.

Gladden cited various work on the ground, such as a coastal protection initiative to upgrade the eroded coastlines of Dangriga and Hopkins; a water bowser to supply thirsty communities in the South; the Belize Livestock Producers Association’s (BLPA) farm to look at sustainable farming practices, and the aforementioned initiative in Dangriga and Hopkins as the Showcase goes on the road on Friday.

 

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