Tomorrow, Thursday, governmental and non-governmental environmental stakeholders will conclude the first step of preparing Grenada’s 5th National Report, as required by the United Nations Conventions to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the islands’ alignment to the global strategy to implement the articles of that convention, which was a direction recommendation of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
The UNCCD, established in 1994, is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The aim of the convention is to mitigate the effects of drought through National Action Programmes that incorporate long term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangement.
It is against this background that Grenada was able to secure funding for the 2009 to 2012 Sustainable Land Management project, and in 2012, implement a Land Degradation Assessment project to determine the extent, severity and impact of land degradation.
Merina Jessamy, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture said that though Grenada ratified the convention in 1997 and established a national coordinating body, it was not until 2005 that a National Action Plan (NAP) was developed to guide the implementation of the convention. Since then Grenada has completed its national reports on the convention.
“You might note that the implementation is challenged by some lapses and we will try to be more consistent, although the factors causing the lapses are not always in our control.” Jessamy said in her feature address at the opening ceremony of a 3-three day workshop on Tuesday, that the convention remains important to Grenada. “As a ministry we cannot close our eyes to the challenge of land degradation because it threatens food security, livelihoods and biodiversity.”
In 2007, ten years after the convention was established and two years after Grenada created its own NAP, the UNCCD developed a ten point strategy as a guide for implementing the convention. The three day workshop at the National Stadium is not only aimed at reviewing the 5th national draft report, but also to develop the structure and content of the National Communications Strategy on the NAP, review the UNCCD National Action Plan and undertake a NAP Alignment exercise. The exercise is funded by GEF, the Global Environmental Facility.
By Linda Straker