PRESS RELEASE – Permanent Secretaries and Deputy Permanent Secretaries across the Public Service came together on Wednesday April 8, 2015 at the Coco Resorts for a special High-Level Briefing on Climate Change.
This activity was organized by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister, with funding from the Caribbean Development Bank.
The briefing was initiated given the implications of climate change for national development.
Climate change is widely considered a severe threat to sustainable development and is currently receiving a great deal of attention both domestically and internationally.
At the national level, Saint Lucia has experienced a number of extreme climate-related events but, conversely, has taken important steps to address the climate change phenomenon.
Globally, there is the expectation that a new agreement on climate change will be adopted in Paris at the end of 2015, at the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, even as scientific findings from the Inter-Governmental Panel and Climate Change point to an increasingly grim climate future.
Small Island Developing States, like Saint Lucia, are, collectively, considered to be among those countries most vulnerable to climate change. In a report recently released by The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) Saint Lucia has been ranked as the most climate-vulnerable country in the Americas.
Moreover, national-level assessments have determined all of Saint Lucia’s economic sectors to be highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. For these reasons, it is imperative to stay abreast of related developments, and to take appropriate action as a matter of national priority.
Wednesday`s briefing, which was specially convened for Permanent Secretaries and Deputy Permanent Secretaries, constituted an extraordinary segment of the monthly meeting of the Committee of Permanent Secretaries and featured a keynote presentation by the Honourable James Fletcher, Minister of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science & Technology. The Minister’s presentation laid the foundation for the day’s deliberations.
Dr. Fletcher highlighted the phenomenon of climate change as an everyday reality which can have disastrous impacts on our Small Island States.
He emphasized the impacts of climate change as bigger than any financial or global crisis and affirmed that climate change must be addressed through an integrated approach of all stakeholders in the Public Sector.
The hope is that the Permanent Secretaries and Deputy Permanent Secretaries will develop a greater appreciation and understanding of issues pertaining to climate change and begin to integrate these issues into the planning and execution of their individual work programmes.
The Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology is the national focal agency for climate change issues in Saint Lucia.