The USAID- funded Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change II (Ja REEACH II) project and the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development launched a Climate and Disaster Risk Screening tool at the Ministry office, on June 18, 2018.
The Ja REEACH II project has been supporting the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development to strengthen capacity for mainstreaming climate and disaster risk in local planning. Following a series of consultations which included the Ministry, its agencies and all municipal corporations and a gap assessment, a bespoke Climate and Disaster Risk Screening Tool has been developed. The tool is to guide climate and disaster risk assessments for priority projects, programs, and activities of the municipal corporations.
With the training of 52 personnel, now completed, the tool is currently being piloted across three municipal corporations – St. Catherine, Portland and Manchester. The tool will allow municipal corporations to evaluate the climate and disaster risks associated with development projects submitted for approval, and also screen projects which are to be included in the parish strategic business plan. The tool guides the decision-maker through a series of questions that cover areas such as exposure to climate related hazards, impacts and vulnerability, and partner collaboration in risk assessments.
The launch also included the hand over 6 GIS compatible computer systems to the 3 corporations participating in the pilot. This will further bolster the process by providing much needed technological capacity to incorporate the risk screening tool into the corporations’ process flow.
Following completion of the pilot, the tool will be rolled out nationally by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development to further enhance proactive planning towards reducing parish-wide disaster risks and building national resilience.