Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, is urging Caribbean media outlets and public and private sector entities to collaborate on developing strategies to help build resilience to the impact of global climate change.
“We do not have to look very far to see why” Jamaica and the Caribbean region as a whole have a major stake in combatting the effects of climate change, he said. “The Caribbean’s increasing vulnerability to climate change is evident in higher temperature, rising sea level and increased hurricane intensity that threaten the lives, property, and livelihood of the millions of people throughout our region.”
The minister stressed that economies are predicated on climate-sensitive industries and sectors, such as tourism and agriculture, according to Caribbean 360.
He also reminded that several powerful hurricanes and tropical storms ravished sections of the Caribbean last year, the result of which amounted to death of at least 200 people and over USD$100 billion in economic losses.
“Even more disturbing, according to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, studies show that the projected cost to the region due to increased hurricane damage, loss of revenue to the tourism sector and damage to infrastructure could be $10 billion by 2025 and $22 billion by 2050,” Bartlett said.
“Last year, 30.1 million visitors came into the Caribbean space…(stopover, and) 23 million (cruise). That is 54 million people, and they spent US$37 billion. The region, as a result, has experienced eight consecutive years of growth, except for 2017. Therefore you see why climate change matters to small island states and developing countries like ours,” he added.