By: Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- The Ministry and Department of Physical Planning on the island of Nevis in collaboration with UNESCO conducted a press conference on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at the headquarters of the Disaster Preparedness Unit in Long Point.
The occasion was to demonstrate UNESCO’s commitment to support national adaptation policies to climate change and to announce an upcoming conference on climate change that will be held on May 16, 2013.
Ms Claudia Walwyn chaired the conference. She also welcomed the press and introduced the members of the panel.
Hon. Troy Liburd, Junior Minister responsible for Physical Planning gave the opening remarks. He indicated that his Ministry and the NIA, on a whole were fully supportive of the imminent conference. He indicated the importance for us in these tiny islands to pay special attention to climate change and natural disasters.
Mr. Liburd indicated that history has shown that our islands have been on the receiving end of a number of hurricanes over the past few years. He highlighted the fact that residents of these islands need to be vigilant to such disasters. In closing the minister said he was pleased and gratified to be a part of the ceremony.
Mr. Antonio Maynard, Secretary General for UNESCO also gave some brief remarks. He noted that precautionary measures should be taken at all cost to combat natural disasters. He stated, ‘We have to prepare ourselves as a Nation and everyone should be a participant in this preparation towards climate change’. He appealed to the government to take these matters seriously. He said, ‘There is no margin for error when it comes to a situation where our climate can be profoundly affected’.
Dr. Leighton Naraine, was the last speaker to address the gathering. He spoke about the plan that UNESCO has for the conference in May. He said at least two regional agencies comprised of scientists with a wealth of experience will be attending the conference. Government officials from inside and outside the region will also be in attendance.
Mr. Naraine, concluded that, ‘We have people in the Caribbean who are well trained and qualified when it comes to matters such as climate change’.