St. Kitts Nevis Government to host Climate Change Conference

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 02, 2011 (SKNIS): Issues relating to climate change and ethical principles in the Caribbean will be discussed in St. Kitts and Nevis on March 8-9, 2011when experts across the Region meet for a conference.

SKNIS has been informed that science, ethics and policies will be at the forefront of this meeting being organized by the Federal Government in collaboration with the cluster office of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) based in Jamaica.

“We have the opportunity to bring to the table our own issues in terms of the implications of climate change on the St. Kitts-Nevis environment,” said Dr. Leighton Naraine, Head of the local Steering and Implementation Committee for the meeting. “… We are looking at both the physical and human environment because climate change will affect all types of economic activities … and that will require some research on our part so that we can help to frame the issues and bring that to the table.”

Dr. Naraine noted that delegates will look past controversial topics such as the root causes of climate change and the responsibility of industrialized countries in curbing pollution, and instead focus on response mechanisms.

“Our responsibility is to come up with mitigation measures that will reduce the risk of lives and livelihoods,” he stated “It would be prudent for us to plan in that direction and move pass the debate and look at the ethical dimensions of climate change in terms of knowledge gaps, [early warning] monitoring systems and other strategies.”

Dr. Narine said the steering committee is on track in planning the meeting and is ready to welcome the experts and policy makers from the Caribbean Region and beyond.

The event is being held as a result of a directive in October 2009 which arose from the 35th session of the General Conference of UNESCO which called for the study on ethical principles associated with climate change. Similar meetings have been held in various regions around the world.

The outcomes of the conference will be added to a document which captures the opinions of other countries and regions and will be considered in formulating recommendations for future policy directions.

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