Climate Change is not a theoretical question for the people of the Caribbean.

Climate change is any significant long-term change in the expected patterns of average weather of a region over a significant period of time. Climate change is about abnormal variations to the climate and the effects of these variations on parts of the Earth.

How is it affecting the Caribbean, specially Jamaica

According to the United Nations on Climate Change (2014), recent storms have wiped out the entire sugar cane production of Cuba, banana plantations in Jamaica, St Lucia and Dominica, and decimated nutmeg exports from Grenada, while the decrease in rainfall has in some cases destroyed entire food crops.

Climate change has resulted in Jamaica experiencing higher air and surface temperatures, severe hurricanes, heavy rainfall, longer periods of drought and shoreline erosion (Jamaica Information Service, 2018).

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Effects of Climate Change in the Caribbean

These effects, affect not just the agricultural sector of Jamaica but it also affects the tourism industry.

In Jamaica, one of our biggest means of income is generated by the tourism sector. It is one of our most valuable assets which is also being jeopardized by the effects of climate change.

As a result of increasing extreme weather events such as hurricanes and the loss of coral reefs from bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures.

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Example of Shoreline Erosion at Hellshire Beach, Jamaica
Policies on Climate change

At the policy level the Government of Jamaica has:

  • Signed to the Paris Agreement, which seeks to guide the treatment of climate change by limiting the rise of the global temperature below 2 ̊ Celsius
  • Became a party to the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change which seeks to regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Implemented a Climate Change Focal Point Network ( CCFPN) – a network which is comprised of representatives of over 27 Ministries and Agencies who are tasked with mobilising resources through the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation
  • Partnered with the agencies, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Japan- Climate Change Programme to create Mitigation Actions
  • Supported the School Garden’s Pilot Project in the implementation of drip irrigation systems, and the regeneration of school gardens
  • Supported the rehabilitation of the Montego Bay Breakwater Structures.

Recently, Jamaica has also banned the use of single-use plastic bags and plastic straws.

How can we reduce Climate Change
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  1. Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
  2. Invest in renewable energy
  3. Use energy wisely
  4. Commute Green
  5. Educate future generations on the effects of Climate Change
  6. Vote for a Government that will support Sustanable Development Measures
  7. Take care of your environment

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