Caribbean Nationals Playing Key Roles In 2010 Climate Negotiations

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By Ana Scarlett
Panos Caribbean

CaribWorldNews, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thurs. April 8, 2010: At least twelve Caribbean nations will play a key part in moving climate negotiations forward during this year, through service to the bureau of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Meeting of the Parties (CMP) to the Kyoto Protocol.

Chief among them is Jamaica`s Clifford Mahlung, who was reappointed to serve on the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism, for which he served as vice-chair in the last year.  This year, Mahlung, a meteorologist and one of Jamaica`s senior climate negotiators, was named chairman of that board.

The executive board of the CDM oversees the work of the CDM, which is provided for under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that, among other things, prescribes greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for developed countries dubbed Annex 1 Parties. Specifically, the CDM facilitates the development of projects that address the sustainability needs of developing countries, such as the Wigton Wind Farm in Jamaica, while at the same time affording developed countries the opportunity to offset their greenhouse gas emissions.

Projects that reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide or methane, can earn the investor, whether government or industry, credits if approved by the CDM board. The proceeds from the project activities are used to cover administrative expenses while two per cent of the credits go toward the Adaptation Fund.

Another Jamaican who will serve in the bureau is Jeffrey Spooner, also a meteorologist and one of the island`s senior negotiators. Spooner will again represent the Group of Latin America and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) on the Adaptation Fund Board. That board oversees the operations of the Adaptation Fund which developing countries, such as those of the Caribbean, could soon be able to benefit from.

The Adaptation Fund will allow developing countries to apply for monies to finance projects geared specifically at ensuring that they are able to deal with the effects of a changing climate. Such effects include rising sea levels and the associated threat to coastal lives and livelihoods; increasing global temperatures and the associated increase in extreme weather events such as hurricanes and droughts; as well as the increase in the incidence of diseases, such as dengue and malaria.

Other Caribbean nationals to serve over the next year include:

1) John Ashe, of Antigua and Barbuda, who will chair the Adhoc Working Group under the Kyoto Protocol for GRULAC;

2) Rulleta Comacho, of Antigua and Barbuda, who will serve the Consultative Group of Experts on National Communications for GRULAC;

3) John Ashe, of Antigua and Barbuda, who will serve as chair of the Adhoc Working Group under the Kyoto Protocol for GRULAC;

4) Phillip Weech, of the Bahamas, who will serve as a vice-president of the COP for GRULAC;

5) Arthur Rolle, of the Bahamas, who will serve on the Expert Group on Technology Transfer for GRULAC; Derrick Oderson, of Barbados, who will serve on the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee for the Alliance of Small Island States;

6) Carlos Fuller, of Belize, who will serve the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee for GRULAC;

7) Hugh Sealy, of Barbados, who will serve as a member of the CDM;

8) Janine Coye-Felson, of Belize, who will serve the Compliance Committee -Facilitative Branch; and

9) Luis Carlos Castro, of Cuba, who will serve as alternate member on the Adaptation Fund Board for GRULAC.

10) In addition, Jocelyn Paul, of Grenada, will serve the Consultative Group of Experts on National Communications, while June Hughes, of St Kitts and Nevis, will serve as alternate member on the CDM board for GRULAC.

The Caribbean has been identified as one of the area`s most vulnerable to climate change.

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