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Launch of CCADRR Project Communication and Public Education Campaign in Jamaica

The GOJ/EU/ UNEP on March 23, 2012 launched the Climate Change Adaptation & Disaster Risk Reduction Project Communication and Public Education Campaign at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.

Mr. Jeffrey Spponer, Director (Acting) of the Meteorological Service, Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change (MWLECC), welcomed the audience to the event on World Meteorological Day which had the theme of “Powering Our Future With Weather, Climate and Water.” In his address he noted that, “Public education and awareness is key in getting the message out.”

Greetings were followed by Mr. Pierre Luc Vanhaeverbeke, Project Manager, European Union (EU) Delegation, Jamaica; Ms. Sanya Wedemier-Graham, Programme Assistant, Assessment and Management of Environmental Pollution Programme (AMEP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Ms. Claire Bernard, Director of the Sustainable Development and Regional Planning Division, Planning Institute of Jamaica.

In her address Ms. Wedemier-Graham spoke to the need for Jamaicans to be aware of the likely effects of climate change in Jamaica. She also took the opportunity to thank the EU for their financial support and the the support of all the implementing partners.

Ms. Claire Bernard called for Jamaica’s need for safety and security in the context of climate change. She referred to the project launch as an important milestone and highlighted its relevance on World Meteorological Day. Ms. Bernard added that the 30-month project will build on work previously done and will be complimented by a suite of initiatives- one such being the development of a Climate Risk Information Platform so tat information can be accessed “anywhere, everywhere, anytime.” She closed by highlighting that the project is grounded in Jamaica’s Vision 2030 Plan.

This was followed by performances from several climate change artistes including Lovindeer who brought back memories of Jamaica’s experience with one of the most powerful storms in the region’s history with his rendition of “Wild Gilbert”. This group consists of about 30 artistes and have come together to raise awareness of climate change in the population. PANOS Caribbean greatly assisted in the organization of the award-winning group.

Giving the introduction of the guest speaker was Ms. Leonie Barnaby, Senior Director in the Environmental Management Division, MWLECC.

In his keynote address as guest speaker, Mr. Franklin McDonald, Scholar from York University, Canada called for greater support of cultural icons/ artistes as part of the awareness effort as past studies have shown music/calypso songs were a great vehicle for message delivery. He highlighted that there were more monies available for climate change  and he encouraged the enrichment of the local conversation and provided the example of  when utilizing coal as an energy source that carbon offsetting be considered through the pairing of such implementation with the planting of  equal number of trees in Jamaica. Though he conceded this would not address the air quality issue, the elevation of the quality of the conversation was a step in the right direction.

In his presentation he addressed the risks and myths associated with climate change and called for better research to inform the region and proposed that a government minister with responsibility for risk be considered for Jamaica. In his closing he underscored that the Caribbean is littered with diagnostics on what we need to do but little action is ever taken. He called on the region to spend less time talking about the past but instead be more proactive towards the future, “Too many projects have no ‘project home’ or fall within an overarching programme and therefore become orphaned at the end.”

The event enjoyed another skit on climate change this time by the Women’s Media Watch group which was follwed by a presentation by Ms. Gail Hoad, Communication Specialist who gave an overview of the Communication and Public Education Campaign.

This was followed by remarks and the official launch declaration give by the Hon. Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change.

The Minister later toured an exhibition in recognition of World Meteorological Day. The mornings proceedings later ended with an informative panel discussion on ‘Jamaica’s Experience in Powering our Future with Weather, Climate and Water.’ Presentations on the panel came from UWI Mona, the Ministry of Science, Technology Energy & Mining, Wigton Wind Farm and the Meteorological Service of Jamaica.


The Meteorological Service of Jamaica celebrated World Meteorological Day 2012 with the inclusion of a Panel Discussion on Alternative Energy as part of the celebrations. The event which took place on March 23, 2012 at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston , Jamaica was hosted under the theme “Powering our Future  with weather, climate and water.


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Panelists included Mr Ricardo Clarke, Meteorologist/GIS Specialist, Meteorological Service who made a presentation on “The Met office perspective: How our work helps power the future”;  Dr Michael Taylor, Head, Dept of Physics, UWI Mona  who presented on “Climate Change –  Energy Implications for the future”; Ms Michelle Chin-Lenn   of the Wigton Wind farm Ltd presenting on  “Running with the wind: the Wigton experience” and Mr Paul Chong, a business giving  his personal experience  after Hurricane Dean.

Mr Evans Thompson,  Head, Weather Branch  of  the Met Office chaired the event which  heard  a message  from Mrs  Kareen Gourzong , the Secretary General  of the World Meteorological Organisation being read.

The event was followed by the Met Office – Staff of the Year awards presentation.

Category/ies:Jamaica News.
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