Dominica: Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica – Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, addressed a conference on Science and Data-Based Agenda for Decision-Making on Resilience in the Caribbean. The conference was organised at the Cabrits Resort and Spa Kempinski on October 20, 2022 (Thursday) by the government of Dominica, the Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica, as well as Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI).
The aim of this conference was to develop a collaboration between the agencies and the government of the country, addressing critical data gaps, challenges and opportunities. Prime Minister Skerrit, while addressing the conference, stated that the government of Dominica has always paid attention towards preserving the country’s heritage, culture and natural environment. He further highlighted that Dominica has been protecting the environment, having a 60 percent forest coverage area.
Prime Minister also stressed the formation of the latest intergovernmental panel on climate change and observed that human-induced climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme climate events, had caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damage to the natural environment and people.
He, furthermore, remembered the disastrous climate events faced by the land of Dominica. Within the span of just seven years, the country has faced disruptive cyclones, tropical storms and hurricanes. PM Roosevelt Skerrit then said tropical storm Erika and Hurricane Maria erased more than 300 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the island country.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit was quoted as saying, “In the aftermath of storm Erika, nine communities were declared disaster zones, with two of these communities requiring immediate evacuation and resettlement. We were still in the process of rebuilding post-Erika when Category 5 hurricane Maria struck. The lives lost from these two were the systems was approximately 100 people.”
He further mentioned, “Our beautiful island had suffered from cascading natural disasters and from compounding this, and we are still navigating through the effects of the covid-19 pandemic.”
As a small island developing state (SIDS) with an open economy, Dominica is more susceptible to the destruction caused by climate change as well as the upheaval caused by external shocks. However, because of its small size, the nation is also best suited to developing on all social fronts and developing practical solutions.
Prime Minister Skerrit emphasised that in light of these difficulties and their unfavourable effects, he has articulated a bold vision to make his country the first climate-resilient nation in the world.
The nature isle of the Caribbean has also launched a climate resilience execution agency-Creed to provide guidance to its residence journey, as well as much has been achieved in the five years since Hurricane Maria.
In Dominica, the government has created a national resilience development strategy as well as a plan for climate resilience and recovery. According to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, the leaders will convene in Egypt for COP 27 next month to tackle these concerns.