Thursday, September 1 – During the month of September, the Public Information and Education (PIE) sub-committee of the National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) will focus on climate change and its expected impacts to the Territory.
Climate change is defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as “a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties.”
The definition continues to state that the change “persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity.”
Local Climate Change Coordinator Ms. Angela Burnett Penn in an invited comment to the PIE sub-committee said, “The Earth’s climate has changed many times over its existence. The change in climate we are experiencing now, however, is primarily human induced and is more rapid than we have experienced before. Climate change in a practical sense will mean warmer temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, stronger hurricanes and sea level rise.”
The local climate change coordinator added that, “The Territory’s exposure to and understanding of climate change information is very important if we are to plan and coordinate activities to minimize its many expected impacts”.
She continued, “Only when we understand what changes in climate to expect and how those changes might impact our environment, economy and lives can we better plan and prepare,” stressing, “an informed public is the first step to implementing the changes need to reduce our vulnerability to climate change impacts.”
The PIE sub-committee will strive to simplify the terms climate, climate change and weather and the local impacts of climate change throughout the month of September. Messages focused on climate change will also be aired on all local radio stations throughout the month. The public can listen to almanac features and participate in a special morning quiz on Radio Station ZBVI 780 AM beginning Monday, September 12.
Additionally, the Climate Change Coordinator will be the guest on the Department of Disaster Management’s television show Focus to highlight the impacts of climate change.
A separate focus show will also air highlighting information gained from a UNESCO climate change workshop held in the Territory in June. In addition, a GIS Radio Report will focus on this important topic.
The National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) is chaired by His Excellency the Governor and coordinates disaster preparedness and response readiness activities. The NDMC’s Public Information and Education sub-committee promotes public awareness of hazards and disasters among other responsibilities.