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Jamaica The First To Launch Climate Risk Analysis Tool

Jamaica now has the capacity to conduct more informed climate risk analyses to better guide the public sector’s decision-making regarding future infrastructural investments.

This follows the official launch of the Jamaica Systemic Risk Assessment Tool (J-SRAT) by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, during a ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (May 3).

Jamaica is the first country to use this system, which has been developed to help identify ‘hotspots’ across the major infrastructure networks such as energy, water and transport, that are most vulnerable to climate risk. This will ensure the effective and efficient investment of public and private resources.

Minister Samuda stressed that Jamaica is acutely aware of how the physical risks of climate change threaten the country’s development and the well-being and economic security of its citizens.

He noted that the loss and damage assessments conducted by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) indicate that total damage from seven hurricane events, two tropical storms and at least three extreme flooding events between 2001 and 2010, was estimated to be approximately at $111.81 billion, an average of two per cent of annual gross domestic product (GDP).

Senator Samuda further argued that while natural disasters cannot be prevented from happening, “we can avoid the ripple effects of climate change if we act on adaptation and resilience today”.

He noted that Jamaica has, therefore, taken a holistic approach to building adaptation and resilience, which takes into consideration the development of the right governance framework. This allows for climate-related policies to be effectively implemented and for a whole-of-government approach to mainstreaming climate change within the national development policies and processes, including public investment.

“Getting the infrastructure right is a question of making the right choices relating to investment prioritisation, planning, design, maintenance and rehabilitation. These choices must be accompanied [by] solid data, and must be able to create the spaces for partnerships within the public and private sector to flourish and… facilitate growth,” he said.

The provision of this “solid data” is a key output of J-SRAT which will be an instrument of resilience building for Jamaica and to become a point of reference for many other climate-vulnerable countries in the world.

In addition, J-SRAT will have the ability to accurately calculate the damage and economic losses from future climate risks.

Director-General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Dr. Wayne Henry; Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks, University of Oxford, Jim Hall; Executive Director, Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment, Carlos Sanchez; Head of Political and Development Team, British High Commission, Oliver Blake, who also represented the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), also gave remarks during the launch.

The J-SRAT was designed by Oxford University in collaboration with the Government of Jamaica and with support from the CCRI, the UK Government and its FCDO, and the Green Climate Fund.

Over the next three days, national experts will benefit from a comprehensive training programme on opportunities presented by J-SRAT, delivered by the University of Oxford.


Source: https://jis.gov.jm/jamaica-the-first-to-launch-climate-risk-analysis-tool/

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