Wed | Mar 3, 2021

Project launched to advance gender and climate change agenda

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2021 | 4:40 PM
Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. (contributed photo)

A project aimed at strengthening the nation’s institutional coordination, promoting gender responsive climate action and ensuring that policies, programmes and projects address gender inequalities, was officially launched during a virtual ceremony, held today.

The project, ‘Facilitating a Gender Responsive Approach to Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Jamaica’, is being financed by a grant of US$270,000 from the Green Climate Fund Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme.

The project is being administered by the Planning Institute of Jamaica.

In his address, Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment & Climate Change, Pearnel Charles Jr., said climate impacts affect men and women differently.

“That’s part of the reason that this project is so important to us as a Government, because it will lay the groundwork for normalising climate and gender considerations in all our policies and programmes, making our approach to disaster risk reduction and development planning more strategic and effective,” the Minister said.

He informed that the initiative will build the gender and climate change nexus by executing a gender assessment of policies and plans, and the preparation of a Gender and Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and promotion of gender mainstreaming of sectoral policies.

The project will also strengthen coordination mechanisms by increasing dialogue between gender focal points and the climate change focal point network within Ministries, Departments and Agencies, to strengthen the institutional linkages for climate action.

“It will also develop functional multi-stakeholder mechanisms and that will be done by establishing a gender thematic working group under Vision 2030 to ensure that the Gender and Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan is implemented in line with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Gender Action Plan, and that the gender issues are mainstreamed into the Sectoral National Action Plans and our Nationally Determined Contributions  implementation,” Charles Jr. said.

Meanwhile, director general in the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Dr Sharon Crooks, said that the project emerged out of an assessment conducted five years ago by the Climate Change Division, which revealed that the Climate Change Policy Framework could benefit from the presence “of a gender lens.”

“It found that Jamaica’s institutional and policy framework for gender and climate change development was disjointed, with little or no integration at all in relation to gender, as the Climate Change Division and the Bureau of Gender Affairs are sited in different Ministries of Government, but are also guided by separate policies,” she said.

Crooks pointed out that while the Climate Change Policy Framework of Jamaica does articulate the need for gender equitable development, in line with the Vision 2030 Gender Sector Plan, as well as the National Policy for Gender Equality, it is still limited in terms of the actions necessary to integrate gender considerations.

Simultaneously, she noted that the National Policy for Gender Equality could benefit from the inclusion of climate change into consideration.

“This project, therefore, will be a critical foundational peg in the Government’s development of coordination mechanisms and its response to disaster risk reduction. We believe it will take us several steps closer to increasing resilience among Jamaica’s vulnerable men and women.”

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