Saba attends IPDC conference to develop climate adaptation plan

   Saba attends IPDC conference to  develop climate adaptation plan

Attendees of the recent International Panel for Deltas, Coastal Areas and Islands (IPDC) conference.


SABA--Representatives of the Public Entity of Saba (PES) attended the 2024 conference of the International Panel for Deltas, Coastal Areas and Islands (IPDC) at the end of March as part of its process to develop a local climate adaptation plan.

More than 100 representatives from 13 different countries, islands and financial institutions attended the conference. Representing Saba were policy advisor for economic development and sustainable development Jordan Every, nature and environmental policy plan (NEPP) programme manager Sarah van der Horn and nature project manager Justin Simmons-de Jong.

“The purpose of the conference was to share and exchange climate adaptation knowledge, including strategy, (access to) finance, policy, science and (best) practices,” PES said in a press release on Monday. “Through these discussions, representatives were able to identify similar and contrasting experiences when it comes to water management, acquiring the funding needed to implement their climate adaptation projects and plans, and the impact of climate change on a societal level.”

In Saba’s pitch, Every highlighted Saba’s unique challenges that come from climate change, which includes water resource management, food security, erosion and run-off, and loss of biodiversity.

“Our vulnerability is compounded by our geographical isolation,” Every said.

Saba often lacks the expertise, capacity and funding needed to execute large projects, said PES.

“These are all intricately linked and make Saba vulnerable,” said PES. “This is why improving Saba’s self-sufficiency will be a leading and key component in the island’s climate adaptation plan.”

Saba presented local case studies at the conference.

Iris Keizer of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute KNMI spoke about climate scenarios related to Saba, with a focus on rainfall. Van der Horn also presented on the importance of managing rainwater collection on Saba.

“The residents of Saba depend heavily on rainfall for many of their basic, daily activities, such as washing dishes, laundry, showering, flushing toilets and watering farms and home gardens,” PES said. “A decrease in rainfall as a result of climate change will impact these activities and result in more erosion on the island, both of which affect the lives of the island residents.”

PES also says it wants to develop and execute a rainwater management plan that considers both droughts and heavy spells of rainfall.

Earlier this year, a climate agenda was developed between the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Dutch Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations and the governments of the six Dutch Caribbean islands.

“From this agenda, Saba will develop a climate plan to prepare for the future by improving its self-sufficiency. Nature-based solutions will be used where possible,” said PES. “The information obtained at the IDPC conference, and the relationships formed with other countries and islands, will help in the development of this plan.”

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