The Hon. Vaughn Miller, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources addressed the opening of the Integrated Validation and Consultation Workshop for Increasing Greenhouse Gas Transparency and Climate Finance Flows, Monday, March 20, 2023 at Breezes Resort, Cable Beach.
The four-day integrated workshop is being hosted for two projects that are simultaneously being implemented on the theme “Building The Bahamas Capacity in Transparency for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation.” This Capacity-Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) project will undertake the following:
•Develop the national transparency framework, bringing international best practices, and ensuring the sustainability of the future national Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system;
•Design and develop climate finance strategy, a climate finance architecture, and the procedures for its implementation — implementing a methodology to track climate finance flows and assess financial needs.
The project was launched on May 19, 2022 in partnership with Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Environment Program. It aims to build the capacity of The Bahamas to meet the reporting requirements in accordance with Article 13 of the Paris Agreement 2015.
Minister Miller said the exchanges for long-term climate transparency and climate finance strategies are designed to strengthen efforts towards promoting sustainable development through understanding and responding to calls for measurable climate action.
He said the discussions will raise awareness among the key stakeholders that he envisions will be transmitted to the greater public with regard to raising climate awareness, and climate mitigation ambition.
Said Minister Miller, “I am indeed proud to see so many participants here today representing both the public and private sector; representing civil society organizations and NGOs.
Isolationist policies, siloed communications and environmental absenteeism are no longer the way to get things done. They are as futile as trying to turn back the clock. They simply won’t work to deliver the objectives of a critical climate project as this.
“Our communities require more cooperation, more integration, more ideas and knowledge exchange.
“Having a clearer understanding of what we must do to mitigate and adapt to climate change has been of paramount importance to my Ministry and to national development.
“In the past The Bahamas has permitted loosely-regulated climate resiliency polices and we see the results of these in the form of devastating storms, disappearing beaches, disappearing forests, loss in wildlife, and increased energy costs due to hotter temperatures – to name a few.
“It is my hope that the citizens we lead and care for, will be reminded that as it was once our duty, it will someday be their duty to continue to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling their fellow Bahamians to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.”
Moreover, Minister Miller told participants that the government decided to “get serious” about climate transparency to deal more effectively with national climate impact mitigation and climate adaptation.
He said the government also made the decision to get serious about developing a conceptual national transparency framework; developing a framework for institutional arrangement for greenhouse gas accounting; and developing a draft climate finance strategy, architecture and methodology to track climate finance flows.
Furthermore, the government also recognized that it “fell short” in developing local capacity to achieve these constructs and subsequently launched the CBIT project.
“The Government of The Bahamas has been aware of the indisputable fact that small island states like The Bahamas carry existential climate vulnerabilities: vulnerability to loss and damage from extreme climatic events; vulnerability to loss in Bahamian biodiversity and vulnerability to loss of economic development.”
He remarked that this is the reason why MENR increased the country’s representation at global and regional climate-related meetings and conventions.
Minister Miller acknowledged the participants and expressed support for the collective assistance, technical and financial support by MENR, the DEPP, the Global Environmental Facility, the Ministry of Public Works, UNEP, and Gauss International Climate Consulting Firm.
By KATHRYN CAMPBELL/Bahamas Information Services