Statement

Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration
Topics: 
Climate Change
Release Date:
Thursday, 23 March 2017 - 9:49am

STATEMENT BY
DEPUTY PREMIER AND MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES AND LABOUR
DR. THE HONOURABLE KEDRICK D. PICKERING
The GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE ALLIANCE (GCCA) PROJECT on CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION (CCA) and SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT (SLM) in the EASTERN CARIBBEAN
MARCH 23th 2017

In January of last year, 2016, I had the pleasure of announcing an exciting project led by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour underway in Cane Garden Bay and Brewers Bay designated the North Shore Integrated Coastal and Watershed Stabilisation Project.

This project is to address the issues of flooding, sediment pollution and beach erosion in parts of Cane Garden Bay and Brewers Bay in very practical and tangible ways. This project will pilot the manner in which the OECS Member States will adapt to Climate Change and sustainably manage our lands.

Today I am pleased to announce that after preparation and a tender process, additional contracts for the performance of services and works, as well as projects have been awarded to the Virgin Islands under the European Union’s Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) and OECS projects. This North Shore Integrated Coastal and Watershed Stabilisation Project project is orchestrated under the same umbrella of these EU (GCCA) projects,

The total value of resources allocated, directly impacting the Virgin Islands under the overall project is Euro 1,297,384 (approximately USD 1,378,081). Of the 1,297,384Euro, 383,614 Euro (approximately USD 413,000), is to be shared among all the Member states of the OECS for two regional projects. Additionally, 97,000 Euro (approximately USD $104,000) will be shared among the OECS Member States of the British Virgin Islands, St. Vincent, Greneda and Anguilla.  Two service contracts totalling 221,500 Euro (approximately USD 238,000) and two physical works contracts for 595,270 Euro (approximately USD 641,000) have been allocated solely to the British Virgin Islands.

Projects for all member states include the development of best practices and recommendations for implementing the revised OECS Building Codes.  Secondly, technical assistance for the conduct of what is termed a Knowledge Attitude and Practice (KAP) Survey in the OECS to Assess Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Land Management and Implementation of Public Awareness and Project Visibility Activities will also be delivered. Project funds collectively dedicated to the British Virgin Islands, St. Vincent, Grenada and Anguilla to be employed for Technical Assistance for the Establishment of National Land Policies.

The projects solely benefitting the British Virgin Islands include the development of National Land Use Plans, or the National Physical Development Plan called for under the Virgin Islands’ Planning Act; the formulation of an Operational Manual, which will eventually guide the work of the Climate Change Trust Fund. 

Each Participating Member State has been allotted resources to design and implement physical adaptation pilot projects, which are on-the-ground projects that will help to reduce the impacts of climate change and promote sustainable land management practices within select communities.  Physical works supported under the project are dedicated towards the Brewers Bay and Cane Garden Bay drainage works and the retrofitting of the Cane Garden Bay Sewage Treatment Plant.  Additionally, the construction of a revetment wall in Cane Garden Bay will improve the sea defences along the principal road.

The Ministry anticipates commencement of the pilot projects in early February 2017.

It is important to emphasise that the problems that we now confront have accumulated over a number of years.  It is therefore necessary that we have a clear and defined understanding of the nature of the problems created, which informs our approach to the solutions.  The proposed actions under the EU Global Climate Change Alliance and OECS projects spearheaded by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour are a forward step in establishing the policy and legal framework to better manage our natural resources and anticipate the effects of climate change.  Moreover, it provides the necessary resources to ensure that practical solutions are implemented, which are based on the presence of proper studies and research.

At this stage in our development we ensure that the natural resources and green assets that our livelihood and future depend on – the environment – are properly managed and protected. The projects that have been identified are extremely important and will have a lingering and positive impact over the long term. Look forward to further updates on the progress of these projects over the coming months.

Thank you.