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Climate Change is a Serious Issue - Dengue Outbreak is Just One Result Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 29 July 2010 00:00

African Heads of States unite against Climate ChangeWhether you prefer calling it global warming, climate change or nature taking its course, the truth of the matter is that our planet is changing and there could be serious consequences if we fail to change as well. The Deputy Prime Minister of Belize has been on top of the issue and believes that we need to prepare ourselves to cope with the changes in our environment. 

Belize is expected to attend the 16th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico from November 29 to December 10, 2009. The conference is expected to be historic as Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon has already called on all nations to “unite against the common enemy, Climate Change”. According to a release from the office of the President of Mexico, President Calderon said, “An agreement must be reached in the upcoming Conference of the Parties on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico that will not only benefit developing countries but the whole world.”

At the Conference of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change in Kampala Uganda, President Calderon said that “without unity of purpose and action, we will fail. Moreover, the lack of agreement will, as usual, affect the poorest nations and countries,". Last year the United Nations Development Fund released a publication called “Belize and Climate Change: The Cost of Inaction”. The publication states that climate change will seriously cripple Belize’s Agricultural, Fisheries and Tourism Sector if we do not put preventative measures in place.

Hon. Gaspar Vega says that many members of the diplomatic community were present at the release of the publication. Richard Barathe is the Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP to Belize. He said, “Climate Change hits small countries like Belize hard.” He continued to say that there are funds available for small countries to cope with climate change. He said, “Belize only contributes 0.05 percent of carbon emissions in the world. The greatest pollution comes from countries like China, US and other large countries.” The move is to allocate funding from those countries that have caused the most damage and distribute it to smaller countries which have received the worst impact.

The experts also said that there are linkages between Climate Change and the outbreak of diseases that have long been under control. Studies were done in 2008 and it discovered that Belize was at risk of a Dengue outbreak. A prevention campaign ensued and the outbreak was prevented. However, we were not so lucky last year nor this year.