Montserrat hosts 5th Meeting of OECS Environment Ministers

OECS Media Release

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 — The 5th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Environmental Sustainability (COMES 5) is currently being held at the Cultural Centre in Brades, Montserrat during the period July 9-11 under the theme “Building Resilience on the Frontlines of Climate Change”. The meeting is chaired by Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and the Environment of Montserrat Hon. David Osborne, Montserrat.

Journalists are invited to the Opening Ceremony at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, July 10 and the press briefing event that will begin at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, July 11.

Five major themes are on the agenda of COMES 5 that will gather Ministers of all OECS Member States:

  • Living on the Front Lines: Risk, Reality & Response;
  • Integrated Approaches To Building Resilience: Lessons and Proven Practices;
  • Leveraging Sustainable Economic Opportunities;
  • Advancing Climate Resilience; and
  • Aligning the OECS Environment Agenda.

Representatives of Development Agencies and key Regional Institutions will also participate to promote partnerships towards a climate resilient region, namely: UN Environment, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), CARICOM’s Sustainable Development Programme, the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF), the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF SPC), the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Rocky Mountain institute, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology & Hydrology.

Last year, the OECS Meeting of Environment Ministers was held in Grenada and mainly focused on the theme “Accelerating Sustainable Development: Addressing Challenges and Creating Opportunities“. Ministers and Senior Technical Officers explored key opportunities, including ways of facilitating access to climate finance, especially through the Global Climate Fund.

The 5th Meeting of the OECS Environment Ministers also follows another major event: the Regional Building Code Forum & Exhibition which was held in Saint Lucia last month in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The three day event allowed professionals, practitioners and policy experts a very practical understanding of the structural, capacity and institutional weaknesses which contributed to the tremendous damages to buildings during last year’s hurricane season, and highlighted the tremendous work of the OECS Commission in updating the Building Code and Guidelines and facilitating the strengthening implementation and enforcement systems.

Still reeling from the major impacts of the 2017 hurricane season on several OECS Member States and having to face yet another season, COMES 5 will provide the space for key decision makers to advance the overall environmental resilience strategy and capacity of the region. The meeting will be complemented by the staging of an exhibition over the two days, which will engage delegates, participants, local students and the general public in Montserrat.

Sponsors of this year’s Council of Ministers meeting and Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Exhibition are: the Government of Montserrat, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the iland Resilience Global Climate Change Alliance Plus Initiative (GCCA+), the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF SPC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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