Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Pearnel Charles Jr., has welcomed the Government’s partnership forged with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), through the Ministry, to address the impact of climate change on Jamaica’s children.
“Children and young people have contributed the least to the current climate change and environmental degradation, but they are the most affected and will continue facing the consequences. This undermines the rights of every child, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged,” he told JIS News.
He spoke following a recent meeting with UNICEF Jamaica Representative, Mariko Kagoshima, and Deputy Representative, Vicente Teran, at Jamaica House.
Among the negative climate change factors impacting children are: limited access to potable water and healthcare, and developmental risks.
“Our children must remain at the centre of this climate change agenda and this collaboration with the Ministry will address the challenges and impact of climate change on our children,” Minster Charles declared.
Against this background, he said the partnership is expected to advance the ongoing policy and programme review exercise, to help ensure the integration of issues impacting young citizens.
UNICEF’s Representatives gave their undertaking to support the Ministry’s efforts to, among other things, rollout a youth consultation on climate change to elicit ideas from targeted participants on how to safeguard the environment.
Mr. Charles also took the opportunity to emphasize the need for greater partnerships as Jamaica looks to strengthen its resilience to climate change.