Climate change and its impact on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) was the focus of discussions between France???s new Ambassador to Barbados, Eric De La Moussaye, and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, when the two met during a courtesy call last Tuesday.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place in Paris, France, in December and Prime Minister Stuart told the French diplomat that he was looking forward to putting the case for the SIDS as Chairman of CARICOM.
He stated: ???The issue of climate change for Barbados is not an academic issue but rather an experiential one. We see the evidence all around us in, for example, the recent disaster in Dominica, and in unseasonal rainfall.?????Mr. Stuart said that Barbados and other small island developing states had to pay attention to global warming because of the threat of sea level rise.
???We do not contribute much to global warming but we have to do so much by way of mitigation and adaptation as a result of what other countries do. I am looking forward to making our position clear in Paris and having a binding agreement that will regulate the conduct of all nations and avert the disaster that awaits us if there is no control of global warming,??? he stated.
The Ambassador, who accompanied Prime Minister Stuart to Dominica earlier this month to observe the damage to that island from Tropical Storm Erika, acknowledged the seriousness of the issue, noting that Dominica presented clear evidence of the consequences.
The French diplomat also outlined other areas in which Barbados and France have cooperated, including training for Barbadian security forces to help combat drug trafficking and the provision of fellowships and awards in education to support the teaching of French at the tertiary level. He promised that a contingent of Martiniquan soldiers would join the parade for Barbados??? 50th anniversary of Independence next year.
Prime Minister Stuart welcomed the contribution of France to Barbados, and said that he looked forward to a deepening of that relationship in areas such as tourism and agriculture with France, as well as its departments in the Caribbean ??? Martinique and Guadeloupe.