The JEMS Progressive Community Organisation is teaming up with two local organisations and a US University to initiate a series of climate change related workshops over the course of this month.
A release from the main facilitator, Dr Andrew Simmons said Community Risk Management workshops will be held at the Learning Resource Centre at Biabou from 6:00 p.m today, Tuesday November 15; and on the following day, November 16 at the Stubbs Primary School, also starting at 6:00 p.m, “to collect data on the areas of climate vulnerabilities in these communities and utilise GIS technologies to create new layers of climatic risk Maps for these communities in an effort to reduce the impact of Climate Change at community and national levels…”.
JEMS is collaborating with Maderia Valley Heritage Park in Biabou; South East Development Inc in Stubbs; and the St Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross to implement these Community Climate Risk Mapping workshops under a project, with support from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, USA.
Following these two community workshops, a national workshop on Participatory Climate Risk and disaster mapping will be held at the Red Cross Conference room, Kingstown on November 29 to train community and youth leaders and governmental officials.
This workshop will focus on strategies for identifying climate risk and disaster vulnerabilities at community and national levels; strategies for identifying social development challenges and their impacts, including poverty and crime; and approaches for interpreting the data collected from these participatory actions.
The release underscored the major challenges posed to communities across St Vincent and the Grenadines as a result of Climate Change.
It is “having devastating impacts on communities and people” across the nation resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars worth in damage to property, infra-structure, and the loss of lives and livelihoods over the past decade.
“ It also has crippling effects on the economic sectors of St Vincent and the Grenadines namely, in areas of tourism, fisheries and agriculture, [resulting] in the destruction of crops, depletion of fisheries, live stocks and severe coral bleaching,” the release noted.
Simmons, who is a founding member of the JEMS Progressive Community Organisation and an expert on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, also highlighted the Enhams-based organisation’s decades old track record working on environment and sustainable development issues.
“The organisation acts as a development catalyst enhancing the capacity of people by empowering them through training and other innovative strategies to manage the natural resource base of their communities to alleviate poverty, develop sustainable livelihoods and positively impacting on national policies and programmes,” he said in the release.
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