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“Feel the Change” with the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership Print E-mail
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Written by By Jem Smith   
Thursday, 27 April 2017 00:00

A campaign and workshop was launched on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 by the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership and the United Nations Development Programme at the Belize Ramada Hotel. The J-CCCP is a partnership between 8 Caribbean countries and their goal is to develop climate resilience and technology adaptation in each member country. The workshop segment, which will last for two days, will incorporate participants of the 8 partner Caribbean countries. Belize became a member of the partnership in May 2016 and is now a part of the  2017 “Feel the Change” campaign. According to Yoko Ebisawa, UNDP J-CCCP Project Manager, climate change is “one of the most serious” regional challenges, and the effects in Belize are apparent and need to be tackled immediately. The Government of Belize is especially grateful to the Government of Japan for being incorporated in this timely campaign.

Ann Gordon, National Climate Change Office, tackled the importance of preserving our natural resources, especially our Barrier Reef. Although we often boast that we have the largest reef in our region, it is important to protect and preserve it especially as it pertains to the very real effects of climate change. This initiative is an effort of the GOB, J-CCCP, and UNDP to sensitize the public of the socio-economic vulnerabilities that neglecting and disregarding our natural resources. “An informed public can have a tremendous influence.” The “Feel the Change” campaign informed and engaged the Corozal community on Saturday and the Southside Belize City community on Monday. In the Corozal campaign, the participants focused primarily on the importance of the mangroves and the impacts in their absence while in the Belize District they will continue to focus on the preservation of agriculture and water resources.

This workshop will tap into the best scientific and technical global resources and focus on making them more relevant to the public. According to Karen Bernard, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Belize, citizens of the world rarely understand the importance of the 2 degree change of temperature. The workshop participants will be obligated to make that and other very important realities more relevant to the daily lives of those in the Caribbean. Keith Nichols, Project Development Specialist, Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, explained that it is important to develop a plan of action after the workshop ends. One that will sustain the impacts of the workshop and achieve sustainable development in the respective countries. The people of Belize all have a role to play: to relay information.