Roseau, Dominica: The government of the Commonwealth of Dominica and the European Union met to discuss their partnership in Brussels on Thursday, June 23, 2022. The Financial Secretary of Dominica, Denise Edwards, had an interactive engagement with European Member of Parliament (MEP) Stéphane Bijoux where she showcased the country’s journey to becoming the world’s first climate-resilient nation.
Financial Secretary Denise Edwards also exchanged greetings in Creole with the new MEP from Martinique, Max Orville.
While applauding Dominica’s efforts, MEP Stéphane Bijoux pledged support for the country and its efforts to become climate-resilient. He also condemned the efforts made by the country to build a resilient infrastructure to strengthen the war against climate change despite being a small island nation.
He further acknowledged the issues of climate change and stated that this is the defining issue of the time, and we are at a defining moment.
Bijoux has considerably raised the issue of climate change in the European Parliament and added, “Climate Change is a serious threat and scaring everyone. It is an emergency for everyone. It is also our responsibility to accompany developing countries because the solidarity cannot stop at the geographical limits of our continent.”
There were warm exchanges between Denise Edwards- Financial Secretary of Dominica and MEP @StephaneBIJOUX , the President of the Cariforum who pledged support for #Dominica and its efforts to become climate-resilient. https://t.co/gGdcCFn5Uh
— Office of The Prime Minister of Dominica (@DominicaOPM) June 24, 2022
He further lauded Dominica for its response to climate change and dared to take steps such as sustainable tourism and turn out as the frontline in the significant recovery from the effects of the global and financial crisis.
European Union always remained a helping hand for Dominica in meeting its climate-resilient goals.
Dominica has been shattered by various Hurricanes and Tropical Storms, and the European Union assisted the country in their build-back better goal.
EU provided €8.9 million in financial assistance under the European Development Fund (EDF) to Dominica at the time Tropical Storm Erika hit the country in 2015.
In addition to that, the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department has provided €250,000 in emergency humanitarian aid to Dominica following the severe destruction caused by Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in 2017.
Further, Dominica has also signed the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which highly emphasizes development cooperation.
Dominica has always remained prone to natural hazards, climate impacts, pandemics, health concerns and other exogenous economic shocks. Over the past twenty years, the country has suffered from devastating effects of several disasters, from low pressure systems and troughs to Tropical Storm Erika in 2015 and Category 5 Maria in 2017. This resulted in aggregate losses of over 226 percent to 300 percent of the gross domestic product, respectively.
The government of the Commonwealth of Dominica is adamant about fulfilling the aim of being the world’s first climate-resilient nation. They are investing significantly in the climate-resilient infrastructure. Till now, Dominica has handover resilient houses to the 5,000 beneficiaries in the country.
To fulfilling the agenda of sustainability and climate resilience in the country, the Geo-Thermal Power Plant has been taken into existence.
The construction of the Power plant has been happening in Roseau Valley. On Thursday, May 19, 2022, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, through his social media handle, stated that once the project gets completed, it will power 23,000 homes across the country.
On the progress report of the project, Prime Minister Skerrit noted that satisfactory work has happened on the Power Plant and that further work is progressing at a steady pace.