Caribbean conservationist wants change in focus

NEW YORK, USA, February 28, 2007 – A leading Caribbean conservationist wants local communities to become involved in the efforts to achieve sustainable development in the region.

Leslie Walling, Executive Director of the Caribbean Conservation Association was speaking during the Inter-governmental preparatory meeting for the 15th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

He said that after reviewing the
participatory approaches used in the past decade to develop climate change capacities and projects to support adaptation efforts and increase resilience that the focus should now turn to the community level, and that there ought to be a review of lessons learned from major projects in his region.

He specifically reviewed the work and successes of the former Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change (CPACC) project of which he was deputy project manager and said that if the successes were to be maintained there needed to be “overall participation”.

“Such participation and participatory planning should ensure the early active and continual involvement of all stakeholders, the incorporation of the views and opinion of individuals, as well as stakeholder groups, and, among other things, provision of information to allow stakeholders to make decisions,” he added.

The Barbados delegate, speaking at the meeting, complained of a slow response from donors to assist vulnerable countries.

The week long meeting which ends Friday is considering range of measures including policy options and possible actions to equip governments with better tools to address energy for development and climate change.