Remarks by Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
Handing Over Ceremony of Climate Monitoring Equipment
Friday, March 22, 2019
- Honorable Noel Holder, Minister of Agriculture
- Representatives from the Government of Guyana,
- Neville Trotz, Deputy Executive Director, Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (5Cs),
- Members of the media
- Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a tremendous pleasure and honor for me to represent the U.S. Government in today’s handing-over ceremony of equipment to the Government Guyana. This event represents an important step in strengthening climate science networks that are necessary to protect this country’s vast assets from natural hazards. It also signals the enduring partnership the U.S. Government has with the Government, and the people, of Guyana.
As we all know, the Caribbean has endured significant weather events over the past five years. I am particularly pleased that USAID, through its work with the regional institution, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center – which we refer to as the 5Cs – has supported building the region’s adaptive capacity.
Through the U.S. Government’s three-year Climate Change Adaptation Project, we are dedicating US$10 million to creating an integrated system for the development and financing of adaptation measures to counter the impact of climate variability. The equipment being handed over today was purchased under this project.
In addition, the project will build the capacity of regional, national, and local partners to generate and use climate data for decision-making in government and other sectors. This involves the procurement across the region of critical equipment, including things like a coral reef early warning system, a “Light Image and Detection and Ranging” or LIDAR system, and automatic weather stations and related data storage equipment. And so, Ladies and Gentlemen, today we are very pleased to hand over 21 automatic weather stations as well as a computer and two hand-held scanners used for data gathering and analysis of climate related events to the Government of Guyana.
Guyana, as we know, has a huge land mass with significant tropical forests and natural resources to protect, and the use of these systems will increase the capability of the country to anticipate and manage the impacts of changing weather patterns. The expansion of the existing data generation network with these 21 new automatic weather stations will significantly close the gap in nationwide coverage, thus providing scientists and users with new and more reliable data.
Why is this important? To start, weather forecasts are more credible based on data collected over long periods. The data produced will be used to make predictions about future weather events, which will be important for planning across all sectors, including agriculture, aquaculture, water resources, coastal zone management, tourism, and health sectors. For example, farmers will be able to access updated information which they can use to select crops and plan their planting cycles with greater certainty.
As we endure the increasingly varied weather patterns annually, it is important for regional and local practitioners to reflect on the lessons learned from each weather event. What were the predictions and how did a particular event compare? What improvements can be made in a country’s approach? Continuous updating of systems based on new information will ultimately reduce the risks of damage, most importantly including lives saved, as well as using fewer scarce resources to recover from events.
Information gained from these 21 new stations will therefore greatly assist in Guyana’s ability to forecast events and to become self-reliant in taking proactive measures to protect its people and assets. We hope that these investments will contribute positively to individuals, communities, and the country long into the future.
My best wishes to you all, and much success in the use of the equipment.