Unit to tackle climate change

While Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and his Caribbean Community colleagues have touted the region’s role in helping to secure a global climate change agreement late last year, a top Government official here is unhappy with the Caribbean’s efforts to combat the weather phenomenon.

Chief Agricultural Officer Lennox Chandler told participants at a drought mitigation seminar this morning, Caribbean countries were not “as serious as we should be” in confronting climate change.

Chandler said while there were those who would argue that a lot had been done, he had yet to see the evidence.

Chief Agricultural Officer Lennox Chandler
Chief Agricultural Officer Lennox Chandler

“Based on my observations, it is my opinion that we in the region have not been as aggressive as we should be, or as serious as we should be in tackling and taking steps to address the issue of climate change, neither on specific fronts or addressing it on a wider scale, in terms of plans or policies to mitigate issues relating to climate change,” Chandler contended.

“I’m certain there will be dissenting voices and people will argue that they have done a lot, but by my way of thinking I haven’t seen those things happening on the ground.”

The agricultural official said despite glaring evidence of its impact, including droughts and rising sea levels, there were some “ignorant” people who refused to accept that climate change was real.   

In fact, right at home, he charged, there were those who turned a blind eye to the reality despite prolonged water shortages which affected people, livestock and crop production.

“Here in Barbados we are experiencing issues related to climate change, such as water woes for those people who live in the north . . . and other water issues. [However], persons continually scoff at the idea of the phenomenon of climate change and for various reasons. Some reasons are religious reasons and some people are just ignorant of the subject on the whole, but people continue to say that climate change is not a reality.

“But those of us who are grounded in reality are cognizant of the fact that climate change is occurring right before our very eyes in different ways and has manifested itself globally,” Chandler stressed.

He disclosed that the Ministry of Agriculture was not prepared to drag its feet on the issue any longer and would soon establish a special unit to tackle matters related to the global phenomenon.

“As the Chief Agricultural Officer it is my intention to take this climate change matter very seriously and with that in view, I want to say that one of the early orders of business for me will be establishing a unit in the Ministry of Agriculture to focus specifically on climate change issues,” Chandler said at the seminar at the Baobab Tower at Warrens, St Michael.

He said someone had already been identified to head the unit “because we have to show that we are serious about climate change and we are doing something practical on the ground” to address the issue as it related to agriculture. (RB)

3 Responses to Unit to tackle climate change

  1. Tony Webster February 5, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Truth be told, we Do need to get serious with Climate Change.

    However, while a “special Unit ” could help national efforts, instead of setting up a new unit with -presumably new / extra staff etc, I suggest we use an existing unit, which might need “greater focus”. I suggest this well-intentioned Public-Sector manager install a plaque on the wall where a Special Force For National Good meets…every Blessed Thusduh, right there in Bay Street.

    It could say, “Fight Climate Change Today”……or “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”…or ” Less Talk…mo’ Action”…or my favourite one ” LWTT…Let’s Wuk Togedder, Today”.
    Sir, yuh cud put up all four…four walls…you know…

  2. jrsmth February 5, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    I think ,its as just a farce as renewable energy, typically find an excuse for every problem we have , which was ignored by all governments in the past 3 decades,,,we in Barbados have an infrastructure problem, as more land is used up, as more houses are built, more water is used and required , the same for power, the same for sewage, the same for roads , our shore lines which is part of the infrastructure is left to decay as well..

    Is was stated , that our region, has a pollution foot print of less than 1%,, what do we have to change, we never played any part in polluting the atmosphere, this was between ,the UK, continental Europe ,the USA and all the other who wanted to industrialize… instead we were stuck with hotels, with the one financial traffic , profits out of our island and the region.. our regional politicians are the ones who is using , climate change as an excuse to take the heat from they economic failures for decades..

    The world in its true from , which no one can control, is gradually returning , to how it was before being polluted.. which has only happened, because of financial greed, corporates, seeing where the human workforce , can be redundant, because , Electrical, Electronic , Computing ,Automation, machines ,could deliver 1000 times more products, at 100 less the cost…

    At nearing the end of last year we were told ,an agreement ,was reach , in France , that 200 plus countries , came to some bogus agreement, which suppose to limit the world warm air structure at or around a level of 1.5 ctg…but what was exposed , no penalties was impose , on any country if this limit was broken, strangely enough, we have the money box country (China) is producing more pollution , than combining all the so call 200 countries put together during the industrial revelation decades..

    How deceited, could it all be , when you know your friend has loan you lots of money over 20 years, and about to loan lots of other people the same, but is committing crime of breaking the same agreement sign by the said beneficiaries..

  3. jrsmith February 5, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Mr, Chandler said, there were some ignorant people, who refuse to accept, climate change is real, right at home is proving he is right because of water shortage,, I for one thinks its a farce , manipulated by the real culprits , who was so greedy industrializing they large countries, we never played any part in the worlds pollution, we never was invited to acquire none of the wealth ,when it was all taking place, what they did to us, privately , bought our lands , build they hotels reminding us how beautiful our islands are , while they control the one way traffic flow of profits out of Barbados and the region…

    Our water shortage is nothing to do with ,climate change. how many times we hear climate change , we never jobs are coming for bajans. Its just a political excuse to keep people minds of the real mess our country is in..the water shortage was threating decades ago, we sell the lands, build more houses, more water is used, but not replenished, the same for power which is happening , the same for sewage, we also need storm drainage infrucsture , the same for our roads , which will collapse.. the returning bajans, they is part of this, although there is a large financial contribution by them.

    Again our politicians, are hiding themselves , behind, the false front being played out by the large countries, when it comes , to the problems they caused… Realizing ,no one confronts (CHINA)they level of pollution, is more than all the deceitful countries , put together, who have loans or about to receive their loans from the money box China..


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