One of the one most devastating and destabilizing issues affecting Belize and the globe is Climate Change. Now, many of you may think that discussions and coverage surrounding this issue have been exhaustive but at today's National Climate Change Consultation held at the Radisson, the stakeholders made it clear that this issue can never be overemphasized. Today's consultation centered on the presentation of a National Climate Change Policy, Strategy and Action Plan geared at addressing climate change in Belize. Climate Change Specialists commented on the grave factors that are affecting Belize in terms of climatic and environmental conditions and the impact this plan will have on the regulatory process.
David Simons, Consultant, National Climate Change Policy for Belize
"We have been working on this plan now for a few months. The whole idea is that I haven't recognize that climate change is a phenomena which is affecting Belize and the government has decide that the way to approach this is to develop a national policy, strategy and action plan. Basically what the policy do is to kind of set the guidelines that will determine how they are going to go forward; the goals, objectives, action plan - things which ought to be done. So what we've been doing over the past few months is engaging with stakeholders just to ensure that we can get an input from them to understand clearly what their concerns as far as climate change is concern, how it's affecting Belize."
Dr. John Charlery, Climate Change Modelling Specialist
"Belize as every other country in the world is going to be affected by the changes in climate. The issue of course is to what extent those changes will produce effects which can be negative or positive maybe in some cases. There are some of them that we can immediately see. As my colleague David just mentioned here the issue sea level rise is a big one. As you know much of the Belizean coastline is actually below sea level and many of the barrier reef islands are probably in that same category as well. So any sort of change in the level of the seas will create some kind of problems. We can see immediately where some of those changes will affect the country. Much of the changes that we are seeing in the climate are not coming out of what it is that we are doing here in Belize as a country, in fact our contribution to the global system is extremely small, yet we are going to suffer disproportionately because of what people are doing. But on our own there are certainly things that we can obviously do; have we manage our energy? Have we manage our water? - I think it's a practice that has to be develop very early, so as the situation deteriorates further into the future we are into the habit of already doing those things."
Joseph McGann, Program Manager, CCCCC
"The idea here is to ensure that climate change is mainstreamed into the national development process of Belize. We will have it properly planned and budget allocation should be made in line with the ministries to implement climate change adaptation and mitigation actions in the country."