Grenada’s lone international airport at Point Salines and the world famed Grand Anse Beach will be threatened by climate change through rising sea levels in the Caribbean.
This assessment is contained in a report submitted by an Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (ICCAS).
According to the document, revealed to local reporters, up to 75% of Grand Anse Beach could disappear and that by 2050, an estimated 3% of agricultural lands could be lost due to a rise in the sea level rise and incurring a cost of US$4 million per year to the island.
The report indicated that Grenada is expected to suffer severe negative impacts as a consequence of sea level rises.
Climate change projections for Grenada includes hotter weather conditions with less annual rainfall; sea level rise by one metre by 2090, heavy rainfall events and frequent and severe heat wave.
The information was disclosed during the launch of Grenadapts, an ICCAS Outreach programme aimed at making the issue of climate change more visible throughout the country at a ceremony held last week Tuesday at the National Stadium.
The ICCAS programme is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safely (BMU) under its International Climate Initiative (ICI).
It is being implemented by the Environment Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and Environment in conjunction with the Deutsche Gesell-schaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The programme runs from January 2013 to October 2016.
ICCAS has noted that while Grenada has developed many policies and strategies relating to adaptation over the years, what is lacking is a strategic and comprehensive approach to adaptation, including coordination across sectors and the implementation of concrete measures.
During the launch, Minister for Agriculture, Roland Bhola delivered the feature address and reiterating the importance of recognising that climate change is real and upon the country.
Minister Bhola warned islanders that they have a tight rope to walk between progress and protection as the issues bring a real potential for danger and damage.
“Let us adapt with the changes of Climate Change,” he said.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell also called on Grenadians to become more aware of climate change issues as hotels along the island’s beaches are at risk to rises in the sea levels.
The Prime Minister urged nationals to understand the impacts of climate change and made a plea for local groups, as well as the churches and other organisations to get involved in the process and start a discussion on climate change and to do their part in protecting the environment.
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and the Environment, Merina Jessamy, reminded Grenadians that climate change is real and cautioned them that they too need to wise up.
Jessamy stressed that Grenada is one of the Caribbean islands most threatened by Climate Change and is cognizant of the fact that the launch of the project Logo will makes climate change issues a little more visible in the country.
Head of GIZ-ICCAS, German national Dieter Rothenberger, used the words of US Secretary of State, John Kerry, to remind the participants that Climate Change is a global problem as serious as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and called on all nations to respond to the “the greatest challenge of our generation”.
Head of the Environment Division in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment, Aria St Louis, identified climate change as a serious challenge to Grenada, but said that it can be an opportunity for the island to look towards better integration in its approach to build capacity especially within communities and to promote collaboration where resources are limited.
During the conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa in 2011, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safely (BMU) committed £5 million to Grenada to support the country’s climate change adaptation efforts.
Following the signing of a joint ministerial declaration, it was agreed that the Government of Grenada and the BMU will jointly undertake a Pilot Programme on Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (ICCAS) and it is currently ongoing.