[…]“With the future we’re looking at, Jamaica is not a country that contributed significantly to the problem, but it is going to be one of those that’s going to be adversely affected. It means, therefore, we have to secure assistance to cope from anywhere we can and go into international organizations that have funding available to help us do the work. We’re not begging, but trying to secure a future for Jamaica,” [Technical Officer in the government’s Climate Change Division, Dr. Orville] Grey reasoned.

He said increasing Jamaica’s resilience has to be a focus now, even though doing so has become even more difficult with the vast majority of the country’s infrastructure on its coast and 60 per cent of the population are living within three to five kilometres of the coastline.

“There is farming on the coastline, tourism, two main international airports, ports, and refineries, which all stand to be impacted by significant sea level rise. Jamaica will not be building sea walls, because we can’t afford it. We have to find other ways to deal with adapting to the impact of climate change and try to build resilience in all sectors, by building tree-lined cities, homes to manage weather, and homes that are cooler, because the temperature increase is getting worse,” Grey said, noting that a sensitisation campaign is being undertaken to make Jamaicans more aware of the issue.

Jamaica Highly Vulnerable to Climate Change, Jamaica Observer (March 2015)

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