The Hon. Dr Joyelle Clarke Shares Key Insights on Nature-Based Coastal Resilience In SIDS4 Side-Event

St. John’s, Antigua

“No one country can survive while the rest of the Caribbean disappears”. Profound words delivered by the Hon. Dr. Joyelle Clarke, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Climate Action, and Constituency Empowerment in her presentation at a roundtable on “Nature-Based Coastal Resilience in Caribbean SIDS”.

The event, organized by the Ministry of Climate Resilience, Environment and Renewable Energy of Grenada in collaboration with key partners such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Fugro and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was geared towards addressing the importance of sustainably protecting the Caribbean’s natural resources with a specific focus on enhancing the integrity of our coastal areas.

The Minister’s flashtalk highlighted the significance of coastlines as a critical element in the sociocultural and economic experiences of the people of the Caribbean. Minister Clarke went on to further identify that the strong connection between people and coastline increases the intensity of the impacts of coastal erosion on sustainable development. From the national perspective, Dr. Clarke shared the Federation’s own experience, referencing data coming out of the Coastal City Risk Profile Assessment undertaken through the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI) Project, where it was identified that our capital city of Basseterre has the highest coastal vulnerability rates.

This engagement underscored that sustainable coastal resilience and other nature-based mitigation efforts require more than just verbal pledges, building on the running theme of the Government’s engagements here at the SIDS4 Conference. There is an intense need for actionable championing on all levels using data and scientific fact as the ultimate guides propelling us forward.

The Minister’s presentation emphasized the importance of “harnessing the power of the collective” and praised the work of Civil Society Organizations in pushing adaptation efforts and the climate action agenda forward through their volunteerism and passion.

“Protecting planet to protect people” was the messaging that the Minister left with the audience which encompasses the guiding principle of the Government’s sustainable island state vision.

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