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(Private Opening Ceremony Green Expo 2011. From the left: Mr. Robert Stephens, Chairman, JCDT; Mrs. Laleta Davis-Mattis, Executive Director, Jamaica National Housin Trust; Mrs. Amber Stewart, Chairman, Green Expo; Ms. AkikoFujii, Resident Representative a.i., UNDP; Prof. Dale Webber, Chairman, EFJ; 09 June, 2011; Jamaica Pegasus Hotel; Kingston, Jamaica. Photo UNDP Jamaica/Laura Raccio)
"The Green Expo is an important event on the national calendar, creating a period and space for focused attention on the connection between the environment and the development.This year's theme Balancing Development with Environmental Protection and the sub-themes of Water Conservation, Alternative Energy Sources, Recycling and Waste Management, and Energy Conservation sum up some of the most crucial matters facing the world today, especially with the added element of climate change." said Ms. Akiko Fujii, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. , keynote speaker at the private Opening Ceremony of the 2011 Green Expo held on June, 09 at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica".
The Green Expo is an environmental exposition organized by the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT). Green Expo is usually held during the National Environmental Awareness Week which, this year, started on World Environment Day June, 5. The slogan since its inception in 1996 has been A Better Environment = A Better Life, do the right thing! Green Expo 2011 partnered with the Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals (JIEP), which staged their 5th Biennial Conference on Environment on June 6-8. UNDP Jamaica has been supporting Green Expo as a keen participant at different levels. This year UNDP participated as both a sponsor, and significant knowledge contributor to the 5th Biennial Conference through a presentation by Dr. Chris Briggs, Environment Team Leader from the UNDP Regional Centre in Panama. Dr. Briggs gave the Keynote Address at the Opening Ceremony with a presentation on Green Development Strategies to face the challenge of Climate Change. Ms. Akiko Fujii, UNDP Jamaica Resident representative a.i. was invited to be the keynote speaker at the private Opening Ceremony of the expo.
Through her Keynote Speech Ms. Fujii raised critical environmental issues faced at the present time with particular emphasis on water governance and security. Ms. Fujii stressed the importance of effective and sustainable management of water and basic sanitation, and of ensuring equal and sustainable distribution and access to natural resources.
"All of us here today, and the most vulnerable in particular, are affected by climate change, unreliable water and energy supplies, escalating costs, poor waste management and environmental degradation" said Ms. Fujii, who emphasized that sustainability and equity are vital elements which must coexist in the development processes in order to guarantee their success and their positive results in the long term. "Maintaining balance between intra-generational and inter-generational equity is the key to successful human development" added Ms. Fujii.
Ms. Fujii pointed to the need for broad based participation in the process noting key factors for improving natural resources governance as " policy coherence, inter-ministerial awareness and actions such as a fair representation of all interested parties in decision-making". Ms. Fujii described governance as the process that determines who gets what, when, where and how; as well as the political, social, economic and administrative systems which directly or indirectly affect the use, development and management of natural resources. "Natural resources management is a development issue. The poor management of natural resources results in unequal access to vital resources, such as water and other resources that can provide renewable energy options" said Ms. Fujii.
Good natural resource governance will increase the likelihood of Jamaica achieving the Millennium Development Goals, especially Goal 7, of environmental sustainability. This aspect of governance has significant development implications. In Jamaica the effects of climate change are visible in the increased frequency of storm events which can damage infrastructure, including that used for water storage and delivery, and also in more frequent periods of drought resulting in water scarcity. All these issues affect people unequally, depending on their existing capacity, and also affectss the country's social and economic development.
Ms. Fujii spoke to UNDP strategies and responses at global and local levels which have included assisting countries to achieve equitable allocation and access to natural resources, and to strengthen capacity to implement integrated approaches to natural resources management. She noted that in Jamaica the UNDP is committed to supporting national efforts to achieve sustainable human development citing as an example, the UNDP convened consultative meeting between International Development Partners and the Minister of Water and Housing in response to the prolonged drought of 2010. Ms. Fujii said that such consultative processes need to be continued and deepened and she assured the audience of UNDP's commitment to partnering with stakeholders to build on the process going forward.
Ms. Fujii shared other aspects of UNDP's work in Jamaica including supporting the national efforts to achieve climate change resilience through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme which has financed several projects aimed at climate change adaptation, and through the project Enabling Activities for the Preparation of Jamaica's Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), implemented by the Meteorological Service, and which strengthened national technical and institutional capacity for mainstreaming climate change concerns into sectoral and national development priorities
( Ms. Akiko Fujii, UNDP Resident Representative a.i., giving her keynote speech at the private Opening ceremony of Green Expo 2011. On her right Mr. Robert Stephens, Chairman, JCDT. 09 June, 2011; Jamaica Pegasus Hotel; Kingston, Jamaica. Photo UNDP/Jamaica)
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