District administrators educated on climate change


31-March-2012

Held at the International Conference Centre, the administrators were taught about the growing impact of climate change and on ways to deal with it on a community level. This year’s event is being celebrated under the theme ‘Powering our future with weather, climate and water’. The theme focuses on the critical roles of weather, climate and water services in powering a sustainable future for us and for generations to come.

Organised by the environment department, it was seen necessary to direct it towards DAs, as there has been a rise in the number of climate change-related incidents, for example is the recent devastation of coastal areas by high tides.

There were a number of partners and stakeholders supporting the event with their presence, such as the Sustainability for Seychelles organisation, Public Utilities Corporation, Seychelles Land Transport Agency and the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority.

Also present was a Japanese professor, who is conducting a survey on sea level rise in the country. The study being done is now in its second year and includes flood control management and coastal erosion.

It has shown that since 2004 sea level has risen to 6.6mm each year compared to 2.2mm in the previous researches, and this is very alarming for a small island state such as Seychelles.

Addressing those present the principal secretary for environment Wills Agricole – who when opening the workshop – said the it will increase their knowledge on climate change related issues that mostly affect small island states.

He also gave a brief history of the creation of the World Meteorological Day and its increased importance now that communities worldwide are striving to improve the flexibility towards recurrent disasters due to the mounting impacts of climate change.

“The Ministry of Environment and Energy recognises the significance of these events in telling us that climate variability and change is happening much faster than science has predicted. And that this underscores the urgent need to address climate variability and change with a response that is ambitious and commensurate with the scale of the problem,” he said.

“So in the face of all these changes, the most important thing to do is raise the public’s awareness and to brace ourselves for more intense storms during the rainy seasons resulting in more of the effects of regional cyclones and prolonged drought in the dry season of Seychelles, plus significant coastal erosion.”

He added it is the communities that are at the front lines in dealing with climate change impacts, which is why the administrators’ presence is needed, as partners to push forward the local approach in community-based adaptation within Seychelles.

During the event, certificates were also given to some technicians from various hotels and companies, who had received training in using and handling hydro-carbon in refrigeration.
There were also several presentations on the impact of climate change on small island developing states and their coastal zones, as well as methods of preparedness undertaken by the local meteorological centre.

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