FREEPORT, Bahamas – Senator Tanisha Tynes on September 25 officially welcomed representatives from the Adaptation Fund Secretariat to Grand Bahama.
The Adaptation Fund is an international fund that finances projects and programmes aimed at helping developing countries to adapt to the harmful effects of climate change.
It is set up under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Fund was officially launched in 2007, although it was established in 2001 at the 7th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes that reduce the adverse effect of climate change facing communities, countries and sectors.
The Adaptation Fund is mainly financed with shares of proceeds from clean development mechanism project activities and also with funds from other sources.
The one-day Adaptation Fund Accreditation Work on Grand Bahama, was staged under the theme: Supporting direct access to climate finance in the Caribbean Region. Senator Tynes brought remarks at the opening, which took place at the Pelican Bay Resort.
In welcoming the group Senator Tynes said she was particularly pleased that the Ministry of The Environment and Housing when considering the venue for the meeting, chose Grand Bahama, and she thanked the Adaptation Fund Secretariat for hosting the conclave, the first of such in the Latin America and Caribbean region.
Among the participants at the conclave were Ambassador Diann Black-Layne of Antigua and Barbuda, Selwin Hart of the Caribbean Development Bank and Ms Cristin Colon of the United Nations Development Programme.
Senator Tynes further told the gathering that the Government and people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas are deeply appreciative of the work undertaken on its behalf by the organisation and encourage them to continue their efforts.
“Grand Bahama and the city of Freeport is a small mirror of the negative impacts of climate change. This island and the entire archipelago of The Bahamas have borne the ravages of extreme events linked to climate change, global warming, rising sea levels, inundation by sea waters and storm surges,” she stated.
Senator Tynes took note that the director of the Bahamas Environment Science and Technology Commission, Peter Weech, is the current chairman of the accreditation panel, and one who had already acquainted the group on the vulnerabilities and realities of The Bahamas when faced with responding and adapting to climate change.
Further, she pointed out that all the Bahamian Islands are relatively flat and that all the critical infrastructures are in the costal zone.
“Name the tropical storms or hurricanes which have in recent times devastated the islands of the Caribbean and the continental United States and almost all of them have in some way battered our shores, wreaked havoc on our islands, destroyed property and lives and traumatised our people.
“Nature does not recognise or discriminates when it responds to a global phenomenon called climate change. Loss and damages are real, measurable and increasing in real time, affecting real people,” she stated.
She invited the gathering to look around Grand Bahama and look beyond the beauty of Lucaya and to see the faces and future of small island developing states across the world.