We must learn together, or we will stagnate apart.
This is the clarion call of Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit as he urged his fellow leaders to take concrete actions to address climate change in a two-day conference on Building a Science and Data Based Agenda for Decision-making on Resilience in the Caribbean held Thursday.
Skerrit said that “we are already dealing with the impacts of climate change,” and “not only are we seeing stronger, larger, more frequent storms, but more intense droughts, record heat waves, invasive species, among others.”
He challenged all the regional organizations, including the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the host of the conference, Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD), to launch a climate resilient action program and learn from the experiences of other regional blocs like Asia and the Pacific when it comes to the effects of climate change.
“Dominica is fully prepared to share the lessons and experiences from its efforts at becoming the first climate-resilient nation in the world,” Skerrit said.
“I intend to table resolutions on this, first in my Cabinet and Parliament and thereafter in the OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) and CARICOM. We must learn together, or we will stagnate apart,” he added.
The island of Dominica has expressed its desire to become the world’s first climate-resilient nation.
After being devastated by Typhoon Erika in 2015 and Hurricane Maria 2017, the government has promised to build back better by providing its residents infrastructure that could withstand the effects of climate change.
One of the grandest initiatives is the Housing Programme of Dominica that has promised to build 5,000 houses for affected families using the funds from the country’s Citizenship By Investment (CBI) Programme and developed through Public-Private Partnership.
To date, about 2,000 housing units have been completed by MMC Development Ltd., a private company that has long been trusted by the government of Dominica to oversee its housing projects.
There are 12 more on-going housing projects under MMC Development Ltd., and on top of this, the company is also in charge of the country’s first international airport.
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