The Belize Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development hosted a 1 day workshop earlier in March, 2016, at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel under a project entitled “Capacity-building for the strategic planning and management of natural resources in Belize”. This project is being implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, with funding from the Global Environment Facility, and aims to facilitate sustainable development as we seek to manage and adapt to the effects of climate change.
The concept of a low carbon development strategy came up at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun in 2010 where developing countries such as Belize were encouraged to pursue development with minimal outputs of greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time prepare for its impacts.
A Low Carbon Development Roadmap was prepared for Belize in 2015 during which the consultancy identified and analyzed challenges and gaps with regard to low carbon development in the country. The Low Carbon Development Roadmap will strategically assist the country to follow a low-carbon economy path in order to achieve sustainable development, based on local socio-economic and development priorities. During the first roadmap consultations, low carbon development alternatives in the Agriculture, Forestry, Energy, Tourism and Transport sectors were analyzed. Citing two examples, improved farming practices will enable farmers to be more resilient as well as reduce agricultural emissions; and energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions can minimize carbon emissions while at the same time contribute to poverty reduction.
It is against this backdrop, the capacity gap assessment workshop was held. The workshop aimed at revising the Roadmap, to align the roadmap to the Growth and Sustainable Development strategy in a more coordinated, coherent and strategic manner and to identify the main capacity gaps. South Pole Carbon Asset Management Ltd. had prepared the Low Carbon Development Roadmap and was contracted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development to undertake this initiative.
Key stakeholders from regional organizations, as well as from the public and private sectors, were invited to allow for focused discussions, and to contribute of their knowledge and experience.
The outcome of this workshop will be a new version of the Low Carbon Development Roadmap that will incorporate the feedback from the stakeholders and will be aligned to the Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy to ensure coherence and integration between climate change, growth and sustainable policy framework.
Credit: Belize National Climate Change Office