PM about climate change report: “Wow, is this awaiting us?”

POSTED: 05/15/14 12:55 PM

St. Maarten – “If we look at the Nature Foundation action plan it is like – wow – is this what is awaiting us in  the future due to our small and low lying geography?” Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said at yesterday’s shortened Council of Ministers press briefing. Yesterday this newspaper reported that, according to the Nature Foundation’s climate change report, Philipsburg, the airport, all beaches and large parts of low-lying properties would disappear under water within twenty to fifty years from now if the sea level keeps rising at its current pace.

“I commend the Nature Foundation for highlighting its action plan on climate change,” Wescot-Williams said. “During the last couple of months I have highlighted two matters that I believe to be extremely important for the future growth of St. Maarten.”

One of these matters is sustainable development. For this, the prime minister said, it is necessary to look at “the inter linkage between the areas that need to be taken into account when we talk about sustainable development.” The other issue is climate change. “I believe we need to look at that as well as a small community.”

Wescot-Williams indicated that climate change is already making its presence felt. “I think it is important, as a first little step, to recognize that the effects of climate change are already visible. We need to understand what some of these effects are and come up with proposals to mitigate them as much as possible.”

The prime minister said that the Nature Foundation’s report “should serve as basis to have ongoing discussions about this important and critical issue.”

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