Last April, Belize hosted a workshop for scientists from the region that are studying the effects of climate change on small island states. The purpose of that workshop was for scientists to share their findings on how the effects of the Global phenomenon, were impacting small economies like Belize.
In 1992, Belize became a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. And, as a party to that convention, the country must report on the steps being taken to implement the necessary controls on greenhouse gas emissions. Having submitted its first two required reports, the country is in the process of completing its Third National Communication, to be submitted to the UNFCC.
To achieve this, a workshop was hosted at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City where experts from the Climate Change Office and other interested stakeholders met to review and consider the project. 7 News spoke with veteran Meteorologist, Carlos Fuller from the Caribbean Climate Change office.
Carlos Fuller - Caribbean Community Climate Change Center
"The first obligation of Belize on the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change is to meet the sustainable development goals of the country - that and to overcome poverty. That is our main obligation under the convention and it is written there. However in doing that we say we do not want to follow the unsustainable path that the develop countries have followed in the use of its fossil fuels in the way it has used its lands, in the way it has cleared its land. So we saying yes we want to aspire to your ultimate goals, but we'll do it in a much better way."
"It's generally accept that the major industrialized nations are the culprits the main culprits of the phenomenon - this global phenomenon called climate change. So where are we - as small countries - how do we contribue to this whole global phenomenon?"
"Well, Jim, as you said, it's quite right. Belize contributes less than 1 thousandth of a percent to the global emissions of greenhouse gases. In fact, a communication usually shows that Belize is absorbing more greenhouse gases than it is actually emitting. So, we are one of the good guys in the convention. Unfortunately, we are one of those countries that are suffering the most from climate change. Being a low -lying state, we have faced problems of erosion and sea-level rise. Global warming is warming the seas which are affecting our coral reefs. It has caused pine bark infestation that decimated our pine ridge. It is producing outbreaks of dengue in the country. So in fact, we are facing the worst part of climate change, and we are not doing anything to contribute to it. So, in fact, the international community has a moral obligation to assist Belize to overcome climate change."
The United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change entered into force on March 21st, 1994.