The Commonwealth of Dominica building a resilient nation

July 6, 2023  -President Joe Biden’s administration established the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act which has put in policies to encourage Americans to reduce the use of fossil fuels in an effort to address climate change in the country.

On May 30, 2023, to June 4, 2023, the Pew Research Center surveyed a total of 10,329 American adults, 74 per cent stated that they will support the United States’ participation in international initiatives to reduce the impact of climate change, and 67 per cent said they would prioritize green energy advancements, such as hydrogen, solar and wind over the production of fossil fuel energy resources.

However, the survey findings also indicated that the United States is currently facing a challenge of American citizens struggling to make the shift to renewable energy resources and relinquishing the use of fossil fuels.

A total of 31 per cent of Americans support a gradual phase-out approach of fossil fuel energy, whereas 32 per cent do not believe the U.S. is prepared to make the shift, however, they agree to the end of the use of fossil fuel energy. And 31 per cent of Americans do not see the need for the end of fossil fuel energy in the U.S., as this drastic change will affect their daily lives and operations.

For Americans seeking a greener way of life, they can look no further than the Caribbean nation of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The country is one of the best global examples of a nation that is proactively taking the necessary steps to not only mitigate the impact of climate change but also build structural resilience.

Dominica – along with the rest of the Eastern Caribbean region – is no stranger to seasonal climate change conditions. Dominica’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Honorable Melissa Skerrit, initiated the Hurricane Preparedness Initiative in the country to support the local community to be fully equipped and prepared to protect their families and homes in adverse weather seasons.

The government of Dominica responded to climate change impacts by implementing a Disaster Resilience Strategy (DRS), which consists of a framework across the country to structure economic resilience to empower the local community. Introducing the National Resilience Development Strategy (NRDS) 2030 significantly impacts Dominica’s recovery in the shape of a climate resilience policy framework. The NRDS 2023 is a strong indicator of Nature Island striving to become the world’s first climate-resilient nation, under the leadership of the Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD).

CREAD is working together with private and public institutions and government agencies to successfully become the world’s first climate-resilient nation by the year 2030. CREAD continues to produce effective projects in response to natural disasters and develop the economy, through infrastructure projects.

The NRDS 2030 outlines the Climate Resilience and Recovery Plan (CRRP) to assist Dominica to fulfil twenty climate resilient targets by 2030, ten of which are of high priority in completing climate resilience initiatives. The CRRP supports these targets through three pillars:

1) The Climate Resilient Systems pillar has numerous processes and systems that have the financial capabilities to support the elements of resilience.

2) Prudent Disaster Risk Management assesses the best possible decisions in response to natural disasters.

3) Effective Disaster Risk Response and Recovery is the post-natural disaster phase that minimizes the impact on the local community and Dominica’s economy.

These three pillars are expanded through six areas in creating climate resilience which are:

1) Strong Communities – the ability to adapt or resist high-stress situations; these communities focus on access to basic needs such as food, housing, water and electricity to ensure adequate responsiveness and preparedness.

2)Robust Economy – limiting the impact on Dominica’s economy and efficiency to rebuild post-impact.

3) Well-planned and Durable Infrastructure – climate-resilient homes to withstand the impact, including roads and utilities in affected areas.

4) Enhanced Collective Consciousness – assist local citizens with mental preparedness and respect towards all citizens.

5) Strengthened Institutional Systems – This area focuses on effectively delivering Dominica’s socio-economic development mandate, and continuing operations post-impact.

6) Protected and Sustainably Leveraged Natural and Other Unique Assets – is a reflection on the preservation of the environment of the ‘Nature Island’.

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