It’s been raining everyday for the past few days here in Jamaica and in other countries in the Caribbean. There have been landslides, flooding and loss of life due to this in Haiti.
Over the past two days I attended the JIEP’s biennial conference where the keynote address on was about climate change and what us developing countries need to do in order to cope with the effects of climate change. This leads to the question of how high on the agenda climate change is. I will allow you to form your own opinion on this.
As we can see from the devastation caused by the ongoing rains if there are no changes we will be spending billions of dollars each year repairing infrastructure just because a little water drops from the sky. Myself and my car have felt the devastation. As I was making my way out of town on Monday evening we encountered a large pothole that was not there a few days ago. So one of the questions is why can’t we build roads that do not fall apart when there is rain? Isn’t the infrastructure supposed to be built with a life span? And shouldn’t this life span take into consideration events such as this? What about maintenance? Why are we giving billions of dollars to persons to do the work when a few months down the line we are back to square one? Who is doing the auditing? Who is being held accountable? We are spending too much money on “mopping up exercises” that could be spent on education, health, debt repayment, etc.
Next year will make 20 years since the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and plans are now being made for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil. The objective of the Conference is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges. The conference will focus on two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.There will be a number of preparatory meetings prior to the conference and later this month in Georgetown, Guyana the SIDS Preparatory Committee Meeting for the Caribbean Sub-Region will be held. For more information on the conference visit http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=14 where you can find out how you can get involved http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=30. There are number of resources, including a publication “Green Economy:Why a Green Economy Matters for the Least Developed Countries” which are available for download.