The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It’s a scientific group that deals with the complex issue of climate change. Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the group on a voluntary basis. They are meeting at the Biltmore Plaza in an information sharing workshop on climate change and its relevance to the small islands. News Five’s Andrea Polanco found out that the scientists have come from as far as Australia and as close as Barbados.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
The IPCC Regional Small Islands Workshop which brought together over twenty-five climate change representatives of small islands around the world in an effort to expose young scientists to the processes that are used to assess the status of climate change globally.
Dr. Leonard Nurse, Senior Lecturer- CERMES: UWI, Cave Hill Campus
“Every four or five years or so the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the mandate of governments of the world undertake assessments in relation to climate change science. What we thought we should be doing is to begin to expose young scientists who are not yet a part of the process to get them expose to the processes that are used, the guidelines, the kind of science that is required, and to get them involve in doing research to fill some of the gaps that exists in the assessments, particularly focusing on small island states.”
One such small island participating in the workshop is Trinidad & Tobago, and for Professor John Agard who has participated in the last meeting, there are expectations for growth and advancement:
Professor John Agard, U.W.I., St. Augustine Campus
“The response to some of the issues has been disappointing, not to talk but from the measurements we make in this part of the world we know that sea level is rising that’s a fact and there are monitors through-out the region. There are certain things that we should be doing because we know the temperature is rising that’s not a hoax because it’s easy to measure and publicly available to all sundry. Yes I would find that there is a big difference between science and dealing with facts because of the political framework because the rules and decision making is far more complex something I’m yet to quite understand myself so I hope that we’ll make some advance here.”
And it is the goal to bring together the small islands because the climate change challenges are shared by everyone, regardless of state size.
Emeritus Roger McLean
Professor Emeritus Roger McLean, University of New South Wales, Australia
“I have been associated with the IPCC since the second assessment. The very first assessment was done over twenty years ago and since then there have bee five assessments. In the last three of those IPCC assessments, the small island states and small islands have had a separate identity and identity is one of the reasons why we have been coming to this particular meeting.”
Dr. Arthur Webb, SOPAC, Fiji Islands
“We do have a number of representatives from the Pacific Islands here again joining us. We again just hope to take home some of the experiences that we’re hearing from this region as well it’s great to see similar environments dealing with similar sorts of challenge whether it be historical or politically, the challenge is in climate change. We all have those and we can learn from each other in better ways to try and bring back ultimately better solutions to this problem.”
Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.
The workshop will continue through to Friday with a series of presentations and discussions.