Castries, Saint Lucia
Recognising the challenges that climate change poses to its population, natural resources and economy, the Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL) has taken considerable measures to identify and address, to the extent possible, current and future climate risks at the policy and operational levels. In 2017, Saint Lucia embarked on its National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process to facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation considerations into policies and programmes, and into development planning. Through the NAP process, initiatives to address critical climate change-related risks and development priorities will take place in an integrated and coordinated manner, utilising existing and future synergies.
Saint Lucia’s NAP has been defined as a 10-year process consisting of priority cross-sectoral and sectoral adaptation activities, complemented with Sectoral Adaptation Strategies and Action Plans (SASAPs).
Given the importance placed on ocean governance at the global and regional levels, and the priority to ensure the sustainable use of the oceans’ resources at the national level, the GOSL decided to spearhead the development of a SASAP for ocean governance in Saint Lucia, as a priority area selected in consultation with the National Climate Change Committee (NCCC) and other stakeholders.
Minister Dr. Gale Rigobert acknowledges the importance of a coordinated approach to climate change adaptation across all sectors and deems the emerging adaptation measures to be critical for building resilience in the country’s marine sector. Dr. Rigobert adds that “this approach is consistent with the implementation of the National Adaptation Plan for climate change, efforts under the OECS Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project, and will follow the steps, format and recommendations offered in the 2018 ‘Guidelines for the development of SASAPs prepared by the Government of Saint Lucia, under the leadership of the Department of Sustainable Development”.
At a turn of events, the NCCC and other stakeholders, in a session held at the Orchid Gardens on September 26 and 27, 2018, determined that the interconnectivity between coastal/marine and terrestrial resources necessitated that the SASAP be developed in a more integrated manner, connecting the land and the sea elements. Adjustments were made accordingly. The all-encompassing measures, once prioritized and validated by stakeholders, will guide decision-making processes related to development and climate change adaptation in Saint Lucia’s coastal, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, offering solutions to technical, institutional, financial, regulatory and policy limitations currently hampering adaptation in these areas.
The process will be supported by the United States In-Country NAP Support Program, implemented by International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
For more information on climate action in Saint Lucia, visit Saint Lucia’s Climate Change Website at: http://www.climatechange.govt.lc/ or call the Department of Sustainable Development at 451 8746
Department of Sustainable Development