A four man delegation left Dominica for Brazil on Monday to attend the Rio plus 20 Summit.
The summit which is officially known as the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development is being held twenty years after the hosting of the first Earth Summit.
The delegation included Dominica’s Ambassador to the United Nations H.E. Vince Henderson, Minister for the Environment Hon. Dr. Kenneth Darroux, Energy Minister Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore and Head of the Environment Coordinating Unit Lloyd Pascal.
The Dominican delegation will present The National Climate Resilience Strategy at the summit which begins on Wednesday June 20, 2012.
In a recent interview with the Environment Minister, he stated the importance of the National Climate Resilience Strategy. He says, “Experts have shown that there are a number of reasons why small developing states like ours are those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. For one, we can start with our fragile economies. Small economies such as ours are less equipped to deal with the ravaging effects of climate change.”
“We have witnessed this here in Dominica for the past couple of years. Back in 2010, we suffered a severe drought, probably the worst in the nation’s history. It had a serious impact on the agricultural sector. Last year we had some erratic weather patterns where we experienced flooding on the West Coast. That was unheard of in Dominica’s history... We saw road damage resulting in millions of dollars having to be spent... Monies that were originally earmarked for new developments had to be used in rebuilding efforts... We have to assist the fishermen who lost their boats during the storms, we have to repair the roads, the bridges etc so what this does is, it hinders new development. It stagnate the whole process of new development. This reason alone demonstrates the significance of the Climate Change Resilience Strategy.”
“It also means that a lot of our people are dependent on the whole environment, the land and the marine resource and these are the things that are going to be impacted by climate change and so that in itself makes it very important.”
Statistics have also shown that the poorest communities within small islands are most likely to suffer the effects of climate change.
The Rio +20 Summit is a historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all.