Barbados’ Roofs to Reefs Programme has again received praise for its climate mitigation goals.
This time around it has come from Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Dr Yannick Glemarec who has suggested the programme should be emulated by other countries across the world.
Dr Glemarec who is in Barbados on brief three-day visit was taken on a tour of the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant and the island’s west coast Monday.
Speaking to members of the media following a visit to the City plant, Dr Glemarec lauded Barbados’ Roof to Reefs Programme, which seeks to improve living conditions and terrestrial and marine ecosystems to make the island more resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis and related natural disasters, while increasing Barbados’ ability to recover quickly from disasters.
“I am extremely pleased to be visiting Barbados. It’s a unique opportunity for the GCF to better understand the region of Barbados for our low emission climate resilient development. We are indeed extremely interested in the Roofs to Reefs Programme approach because it could serve as a model to a number of countries on how to integrate water, land, agriculture, energy in a conservative approach. So for me this visit is worth gold…” Dr Glemerac said.
Back in May, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) hailed the Roof to Reefs Programme as a “good example” of climate change mitigation.
High-ranking officials present at the tour included Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle; Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey; Minister in the Ministry of Water Resources Charles Griffith and Chief Agricultural Officer Keeley Holder.
Caddle said the issues of climate vulnerability were extremely important for countries like Barbados.
She pointed out that Barbados was one of the top water-scarce countries in the world and the climate crisis was making the drought situation far, far worse.
“We have the issue of being able to connect the water sector issues to the fact that we also have an agriculture sector that requires water. We also have a water sector that draws heavily on the energy sector and so we have to be able to make sure that we have renewable energy that is affordable for the sector and is affordable for the entire country to use.
“The relationship between water and energy and agriculture and land, all of these things we’re grappling with within the context of the climate crisis. The GCF together with the CARICOM Climate Change Centre has been one of our very strong partners. We know that in grappling with all of these issues and all the vulnerabilities that Barbados faces that we simply can’t afford to use debt and further debt to be able to respond to a crisis that we didn’t create,” Caddle said.
Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Dr Colin Young revealed that the centre was currently working together with the Barbados Government, the BWA and the GCF on a multimillion-dollar project.
He said one of the roles of the CCCCC was to work with member states to conceptualize and access financing to implement projects dealing with climate adaptation and mitigation work.
“The CCCCC is currently implementing a project here in Barbados on behalf of the Government along with the Barbados Water Authority (BWA). It’s a $45 million project; $27 million is funded by the GCF and $17.6 million is funded by the BWA. The project is aligned with the vision and plans of the government of Barbados in achieving water resilience in the water sector and we are also going to be working with the Government for another project that is also tied into the vision of Barbados, in terms of improving resilience in the wastewater sector,” Dr Young said.
“Barbados has one of the most ambitious National Determined Contributions (NDCs) and so it is demonstrating incredible leadership and we are happy to assist in any way we can.” [email protected]