ST. JOHN’S: The European Union (EU) is providing EC$39 million (one EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) for environment projects in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean States, Mikael Barfod, said the project is part of the EU’s Climate Change Alliance and would help small islands like Barbuda to mitigate against climate change.
“On your doorsteps scientists are warning that your 62-square mile sister isle of Barbuda is becoming one of the vulnerable spots on earth due to the consequences of climate change,” he said during the signing ceremony last week.
Barfod said there is already accelerated erosion taking place because of the rise in sea levels “and it is estimated that if this erosion continues a third of the island could be lost”.
Chief Environment Officer, Dianne Black-Layne, said Antigua & Barbuda has undertaken many initiatives to deal with climate change and would need a significant injection of funds to deal with its effects.
“Just to get prepared to adapt to climate change we would need to spend 40 to 50 million EC dollars a year,” said Black-Layne. “That’s about US$20 million that is additional money we would need to run the country to prepare for climate change.”
The OECS consists of Antigua & Barbuda, Dominic, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.