PRESS RELEASE – Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology Dr. James Fletcher has told the international community to immediately take necessary steps for Small Island Developing States like Saint Lucia and Lesser Developing Countries to successfully access funds, to adapt to and mitigate against climate change and other environmental pressures, at the rate dictated by the science.
Dr. Fletcher made the appeal during official remarks at the 5th Global Environment Fund (GEF) Assembly in Mexico on Thursday, May 29, 2014.
He was selected to speak on behalf of the GEF Caribbean Constituency, which comprises Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.
Dr. Fletcher told the high level meeting, the Small Grants Programme (SGP) remains one of the best delivery mechanisms of the GEF, which the Caribbean Constituency would like to see grow from strength to strength in the region and globally.
He advised that notwithstanding the successful replenishment of the programme, there requires further immediate work to ensure continued success.
“In the Biodiversity Focal Area, the Donors did not meet the expectations articulated at the Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to double financial flows in 2015. For all of us, SIDS biodiversity conservation is important to our economies, as well as a means of adapting to the adverse effects of global climate change,” Dr. Fletcher said.
Dr. Fletcher also pledged that the Caribbean Constituency will continue to remind the GEF Council and the secretariat of the Special Status of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as recognized at the UN and in the Articles of the various Multilateral Environmental Agreements which the GEF serves as the financial mechanism.
He appealed to the Donor countries to further support SIDS and LDCs by helping them to meet their co-financing requirement by providing additional resources as countries prepare their project portfolios.
Dr. Fletcher warned “this month marks the start of the hurricane season in this region. Despite our increasing vulnerability to the adverse effects of Climate Change, we remain resolute and determined to contribute, as best we can, to Global efforts to a low carbon future, where our terrestrial and marine Biodiversity continues to provide ecological services, where our peoples are safe, our lands are healthy, productive and free from pollution, and our economies stable and viable.This indeed is the future we want.”
The Global Environment Facility is a partnership for international cooperation where 183 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector, to address global environmental issues.
The fifth GEF Assembly concluded on Friday, May 30, 2014.