Opportunities for AdaptationUNESCO Official Dr. John Crowley
Climate Change Conference St. Kitts
The UNESCO Climate Change and Ethical Principles Conference held under the theme: “Climate Change Adaptation in the Caribbean – Science, Ethics and Policies”. The March 8-9, 2011 conference brought to the forefront the fact that the most vulnerable territories should by no means stop attempts to reduce its negative effects in spite of the daunting task that it appears to be.
At this particular UNESCO funded project, officials from islands of the Caribbean joined heads to come up with workable strategies in addressing climate change issues guided by UN experts and consultants. Emphasizing the concept of adaptation as a positive process of grasping opportunities rather than an as a mere coping strategy. It was the consensus that Climate change was not a “one-off” problem to be solved but that very strategic and realistic goals would have to be set to make positive steps forward. First and foremost the opportunity to enhance the Climate Change knowledge base was viewed as a creditable though preliminary objective to work towards.
Since that first conference a number of other activities have been held regionally including the Regional Workshop on Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean held in the British Virgin Islands in which representatives from the Federation took part. However one of the most outstanding outcomes of the initial meeting was the eventual launch of the St Mary’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) project in St. Kitts; an exercise in the practice of sustainable development by way of the complimentary and responsible use of the earth’s resources.
St Kitts and Nevis is the first territory in the Federation the first in the English Speaking Caribbean to launch a Biosphere Reserve lending credence to observations at the Caribbean conference that St Kitts and Nevis had obviously already given serious thought to the topic in response to what had become an international concern and certainly one compounded for Small Island Developing States.