Climate change for Barbados and other small island developing states is not just a challenge; it is a fight for survival.
As he made this assertion, Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, called on members of the Board of the Green Climate Fund, presently in Barbados for their 8th meeting to discuss the fund and its disbursement, not to leave the island without finalising plans for dispersing the funds.
???Do not leave Barbados until you are able to send a strong message to donors and other partners in the world that we are open and ready for business, because we believe that this is the time for us to move forward on all of these elements,??? he said.
Dr. Lowe was at the time addressing a cocktail reception in honour of the delegates attending the board meeting at Charles Fort, Hilton Barbados, on Tuesday night.
He stated that small island developing states were relying on donor countries to make this reality come true, and stressed that persons donating to the important fund should be encouraged to continue making their pledges.
However, he stressed, it was equally important that these pledges be mobilised into actual funding so that they could be accessed by islands like Barbados, others in the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, to meet the challenges faced.
These challenges include matters related to sea temperature rise, ocean acidification, the bleaching of corals, the death of several ecosystems and the degradation of the island???s biodiversity.
Dr. Lowe noted that the meeting was timely, as it was important to understand the implications of climate change for small island developing states, not just in terms of its impact on the environment, but also its impact on sustainable development.
???We do understand that climate change has devastating impacts on small islands, but it impacts not only the environment; it impacts the society, and it also impacts the economy,??? the Minister stated.