Barbados has been asked to prepare and present its portfolio of projects to the Green Climate Fund for consideration for funding.
This follows a just concluded high-level pledging conference of the Green Climate Fund in Germany earlier this month which saw US$9.3 billion in pledges being raised by donor countries.
Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, made the disclosure during a press conference yesterday at his Ministry???s Warrens Tower II, Warrens, St. Michael office, where he gave an account of his recent travels to Germany.
???Of course we are ready. A number of our projects are already in place including projects from the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), especially on the eastern side of the country to do some shoreline rehabilitation, and to do some reef protection work in that area,??? he said.
He added that a reef rehabilitation project was already designed to address challenges on the west coast of the island where reefs were also showing evidence of stress, bleaching and death.
The Minister pointed out that when reefs were damaged the habitats of those reefs as well as some of the vegetation and biodiversity also become threatened.
As a result, the CZMU is leading a programme to ensure that Barbados comes up with a formidable response to challenges and a response that will result in the slowing down of the degradation of the reefs and the replenishment of those reef systems through a number of techniques that they will be applying in the process.
???Once reefs are damaged you run the risk of having significant beach damage as well because some of the inhabitants of the reefs are the sand producers for the coastline. So, once you get that heavy attack on the reef system you will inevitably have a problem with some of the fish like the parrot fish and the chubs and other fish families that live in the reef systems,??? Dr. Lowe stated.
He noted that one requirement which must be met is for countries to prepare a priority list of projects with the most urgent ones on the top, based on the impact on livelihoods and the stability of small island states.
However, he added that Barbados was again ahead of that process as the Ministry was already working on creating a portfolio of projects for coastal, sanitation and other environmental areas.
At present, countries such as China, Japan, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Austria and others in the Euro Zone, have pledged their commitment to the fund which would be dispersed among needy countries.