As we told you yesterday, the City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO), as part of its preparations for the hurricane season and continuing education about the threat of natural disasters to the City, began a two day symposium today in Belize City. City Councilor with responsibility for emergency management, Philip Willoughby, outlines the specific questions the conference will ask, and try to answer.
“We need to know where we are in terms of locating where the vulnerable areas truly are, and what impact has clearly climate change have over the past three years in these particular areas and how do we mitigate the impacts or at least minimize or limit these impacts. Then from there we know what needs to be done, and from there we need to start to build a road map to see how we proceed forward, what we need to do in the future, and then we divide what will we divide that from a post mortem when we go back to check again, because is not just to identify. We need to put measures and mechanisms to do checks and then revisit to see if they are actually working and if they aren’t working, we need to go back to the drawing board. I fit is working and we need to do ore, then we do that”.
Two key partners participating in the event were OCEANA and the National Meteorological Service. Chief Meteorologist Dennis Gonguez, whose business it is to predict weather patterns, says climate change is no longer an issue – it is a fact.
Reporter: “I suppose some may not accept it, but it is just about a fact now that many parts are affected by events in the atmosphere that cause polarized caps and so on and so forth”
Dennis Gonguez: “In my presentation, there I will show that our climate is warming with the longest records we have at the International Airport. Our temperatures are increasing. As a consequence, we could expect some of the weather patterns as the years go by”.
According to OCEANA vice-president Janelle Chanona, how we respond to these will impact our country in terms of future development.
“The research is showing that just within the last decade that investment in renewable was seen as a bad investment and I am happy to report that our research is now showing that is actually being seen as something now where you don’t lose money and as one researcher from MIT puts it where actually cost had being called a good investment. A writing is on the wall that when it comes to fossil fuel that there is a cutoff point where we see renewable energy and something like win energy; it is clean, unlimited and it is guaranteed not to spill. So, if properly cited, it can and will be shown to BESHO the positive alternative to other dangerous and dirty practices like offshore drilling”.
The symposium continues through Wednesday and expo next door.