Climate change threatens lives and livelihoods in our country and many other climate-vulnerable countries around the world. It is critical that we mainstream adaptation to climate change in every aspect of our national planning process.
Every effort should be made to discourage new major infrastructure developments in areas that are most prone to the negative impacts of climate change, particularly with respect to flooding, land slippage and sea level rise. A National Land Use Policy and Plan should be implemented that identifies and legislates the types of development that may occur within specific zones in the country, in order to ensure the sustainability and safety of these developments and the lives and livelihoods they support. Stronger building codes and construction standards should be developed and enforced to increase the ability of the national building stock to withstand the effects of stronger storms and hurricanes. A national flood early warning system should be commissioned to help determine the areas that are most prone to negative impacts from extreme weather events and to assist in alerting and evacuating residents in these areas when a weather event threatens. A comprehensive public education and sensitization program should be undertaken to inform all residents of the effects of climate change and the measures that may be employed at the household and community levels to mitigate these effects and adapt to their impacts. Saint Lucia should intensify its diplomatic efforts in the international community to highlight the need for greater and more timely financial and technical assistance to Small Island Developing States in adapting to the effects of Climate Change.