Remarks - Launch of Community Based Adaptation Programme

Dec 14, 2012

Minister in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development, Hon. Senator Lisel Alamilla; Minister in the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and NEMO, Hon. Senator Godwin Hulse; representative members of the National Climate Change Committee; representative members of the National Steering Committee of the Small Grants Programme; state and non-state partners;  invited guests.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC), very early after its establishment, boldly defined climate change as one of the defining challenges of our time. It threatens the very basis of countries sustainable development pathways, resulting in greater difficulties in achieving national development objectives and the Millennium Development goals, and the securing of a safe and sustainable future beyond 2015. It extensive impact on the economic development of countries, the well being, security and quality of life of citizens makes it the greatest threat to sustainable human development.


In response to this threat to development, The United Nations Development Programme, with its universal presence and positioning, took immediate steps to include climate change support including adaptation and mitigation within its service portfolios. UNDP’s Programme Portfolio globally now include assistance in the form of technical know-how, policy guidance, practical on the ground support, the mobilization of multilateral support for the fight against climate change and poverty. UNDP is also dedicated to developing capacities for the promotion of more effective and responsive policies in combating climate change, and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable. UNDP’s approach to adaptation is ultimately about promoting a more sustainable development approach, where climate change risk management is integrated into MDG-focused initiatives. In that respect, UNDP is working with countries to increase their climate resilience, and ensure that whatever development gains have been recorded thus far are not reversed.


Just less than a week ago, the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol concluded at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar.


Under the auspices of this United Nations Conference, and after long anticipation, countries successfully launched a new commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, agreed on a firm timetable to adopt a universal climate agreement by 2015, and a path to raise necessary ambition to respond to climate change. The need for new institutions and agreed ways and means to deliver scaled-up climate finance and technology to developing countries was also endorsed. This is indeed an important breakthrough, the accrued benefits of which remain to materialize to ensure that all countries vulnerable to climate change are fully equipped to do so.


Our coming together today marks the expansion of UNDP’s climate change programming in Belize. The UNDP SGP Community Based Adaptation Programme is crafted out of the recognition that small communities are likely to be the most severely affected by climate change and yet they are the least equipped to cope and adapt. The elaborated Community Based Adaptation Strategy for Belize provides for opportunities at a local level to respond to individual impacts of climate change and climate variability. The programme promotes climate change as a cross cutting development issue and reinforces the thinking that sustainable development, poverty reduction and climate change are inextricably linked. Our successes, your successes, the communities’ successes in adaptation will be measured by the extent to which communities are empowered to effectively respond to the effects of climate change.


I close by thanking you for your show of interest and commitment, and by inviting your participation in forwarding global and national goals of building resilient countries, building resilient communities; as the challenge of climate change requires concerted efforts.