Dominica’s Strategic Programme on Climate Resilience was in the spotlight on Wednesday May 20th when stakeholders, project staff and the World Bank met to monitor the programme’s progress.
Dominica’s US $39.5m project was approved for funding from the World Bank’s Climate Investment Fund three years ago.
Dominica’s project was selected in addition to projects of 17 other countries to pilot their climate proofing strategies.
In September 2014, a coordinating unit was formed to lead the resulting Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project.
There are 13 projects identified to receive attention including interior roads, storm drains, a seismic monitoring network and a spatial data management system.
On Wednesday, the objective was to report on the implementation status as well as to learn of other countries’ progress.
Lead Environmental Specialist with the World Bank, Kanta Rigaud presented on the challenges, lessons as well as the progress of the countries selected for the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience or PPCR.
Importantly, she said, stakeholder involvement has been commonly identified as critical.
“...the requirement to document stakeholder engagement exercises is really important and we’re finding, as we go through these programmes, that that process has been very important because people were engaged.
“I think that one of the reasons for the monitoring and reporting on an annual basis is to engage all the stakeholders. It is not for the programme itself but towards the national agenda. That process of engagement has been every important in moving the agenda forward and we hope that you continue to do that because it really enhances positive relationships even at the level of the [country] project,” Rigaud noted.
She acknowledged that Dominica is doing well in that regard.
The Hon. Minister for Health and the Environment, Dr. Kenneth Darroux, initially presented the strategy to the World Bank when it was conceptualised.
“Much progress has been made since the launch of the SPCR however funding remains inadequate to meet all of the needs identified since many of the costs initially estimated were indicative.
“A more detailed look at the costing revealed that the scope of the SPCR was greater than the initial available funding and your Government has been exploring ways to address the agenda by assessing the needs including that of financing,” he described as a challenge.
Hon Darroux also proposed a possible solution. He said further, “We are pleased to announce that our SPCR and our Low-carbon Climate Resilient Strategy have been tabled at the United Nations Framework on Climate Change.
“We’re very optimistic that in Paris later this year at the Conference of Parties (COP21), which promises to be a breakthrough year in international climate change negotiations and funding, our progress can be rewarded by allowing us to leverage further funding.”
At that event, staff of the project coordinating unit reported on Dominica’s progress and the island’s next steps were discussed.
Ten additional countries have been approved to begin piloting the SPCR this year.