|Overview : |
Belize ratified to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1994, the Kyoto Protocol in 2003 and the Paris Agreement in 2016. In that same year, Belize submitted its Third National Communication and its first Nationally Determined Contributions which embodies planned efforts to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. By ratifying to the UNFCCC, Belize committed to addressing climate change issues, protecting its people and resources from its impacts through both adaptation and mitigation means, and putting in efforts and measures to curtail the emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
Climate change is a very serious threat to sustainable development in Belize especially considering its geographical location and dependence on natural resources. Belize’s geographical location causes the country to be vulnerable to the risks of sea level rise and increasing frequency and intensity of tropical storms, while the economic dependence on natural resources are threatened by rising temperatures and resulting impacts on climate sensitive sectors of the economy. To facilitate climate resilience, in 2015 the Government of Belize developed the first edition of the National Climate Change Policy, Strategy and Action Plan (NCCPSAP) which describes the country’s efforts to address climate change and directs the implementation of sectoral initiatives to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
According to the NCCPSAP, the document is to be revised to accommodate for new scientific findings and the determination of updated measures to help enhance the resilience of sectors and built infrastructure and to reduce potential vulnerabilities to the effects of climate change and climate variability. Its goal is to guide short, medium- and long-term processes of climate change adaptation and mitigation in accordance with national prospects for sustainable development in addition to regional and international commitments.
The Policy covers the persistent issues that Belize faces including its vulnerability to crop production, food security, natural disasters, loss in biodiversity, human health conditions and as well as on housing and infrastructure. Therefore, the National Climate Change Policy, Strategy and Action Plan provides policy guidance for the development of an appropriate administrative and legislative framework, in harmony with other sectoral policies, for the pursuance of a low-carbon development path for Belize.