Washington, United States (CMC) — The World Bank is providing a US$ 6.8 million grant to help Jamaica improve the quality and use of climate related information for effective planning and action at local and national levels.
The bank said that approximately 60 per cent of Jamaica’s 2.8 million residents live in coastal communities, rendering them disproportionately vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Climate change has resulted in higher risks to coastal communities through storm surges and rising sea levels, threatening lives and economic activity such as farming and fishing.
“Based on recent projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2013), small island countries such as Jamaica are severely threatened by the direct and indirect impacts of climate change, most of which are projected to accelerate in the coming decades,” the World Bank noted.
It said that to improve the country’s capacity to respond and mitigate the effects of climate change and natural disasters, Jamaica has developed its own Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR) under the Climate Investment Fund’s Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR).
The SPCR is intended to support fact finding, priority setting and action planning. This grant will fund the first of three investment projects identified under the SPCR.
The main objectives of the Improving Climate Data and Information Management project are to increase the satisfaction of private and public sectors users, such as for farming and fishing activities, as well as communities, with climate data and information services, indicated by improved accuracy, lead time, coverage, and access to data and information.
It is also aimed at promoting the active use of climate data and information for the management of the health sector and increasing the number of persons assisted by the project to better cope with the risks of climate change.
“We welcome this additional support from the World Bank, particularly because it is perfectly aligned with the key outcome of Vision 2030 – Jamaica National Development Plan – Hazard Risk Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change.
“This additional capacity in planning and execution will no doubt enhance our ability to continue on our journey of economic recovery with renewed confidence,” said Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips.
The project is also part of the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Jamaica that underscores the need to address climate change vulnerabilities to foster sustained improvements in shared prosperity.
“We believe that this project will help the country strengthen its climate resilient development path. Extreme climate events are affecting the vulnerable groups in Jamaica more often than ever.
“The Project will contribute to establish the critical foundation for the country to integrate climate change in decision-making processes and adapt current and future livelihood activities to the variability brought about by climate change,” said Enos Esikuri, Senior Environmental Specialist at the World Bank.
The World Bank said the grant from the PPCR, managed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), will be disbursed over a four and a half year period.