Hon Minister for Climate Resilience and Urban Renewal, Joseph Isaac, says Dominica’s experiences with natural disasters has taught the island’s leaders what climate resilience truly means.
He was speaking at a ceremony to mark the end of a workshop teaching best practices in construction.
Minister Issac lamented the loss of over 226% of Dominica’s Gross Domestic Product following hurricane Maria.
He considers this loss a sobering reminder of the reality of current climate conditions which threaten small island states.
Minister Isaac says Government will begin building the first climate resilient country in the world.
He says, “Events like hurricane Dorian, hurricane Maria and tropical storm Erika underscore why we cannot let our guard down and must take the necessary action to protect lives and bounce back from the destructive forces and events. We cannot afford to linger or complain. We must look forward; hence the reason why the Government of Dominica has decided to make significant investments in building resilience here in Dominica.”
He adds that, “The Government of Dominica’s vision is guided by the National Resilience Development Strategy which outlines Dominica’s priorities by the year 2030. This policy document is shaped by sustainable development goals, the vision of building the first climate resilient country in the world, and a people-centred development approach. We are keeping in mind the needs of our people and the future development of our vulnerable island nation.”
He says however that this will take a team effort.
“This is not a one-man effort or a one man show,” Isaac says, “We are depending on the collective effort of you here, the citizens of Dominica, the support of donor agencies, friendly governments and non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations. The adage that behind every challenge is a new opportunity is most applicable in these times. We have witnessed how international communities and agencies have relied on and undoubtedly will continue to rally behind our cause to rebuild better in the face of disastrous efforts like hurricanes, storms and earthquakes.”