“If anyone thinks that climate change has not arrived in the BVI, it did a long time ago,” At Large Representative, Hon. Archibald Christian announced in the House of Assembly during the debate of “Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund Act, 2015”on 24 March.
In his debate contribution Hon. Christian announced that the Act is very important because it creates an avenue for the Territory to be able to do things to mitigate loss of property.
The Legislator stated that he has been involved in the real estate industry for well over 30 years, and has seen a lot of homes built in the BVI from Anegada to Jost Van Dyke, and has also witnessed the effects of climate change.
In pointing out that the Territory has long been seeing the effects of climate change, Hon. Christian said: “Right before our very eyes many persons who have travelled to Anegada 10 or so years ago, you would have noticed that on the western end a number of houses were built along the shoreline. I would think that the person that did that development had the best of intentions, and I remember that you could drive in front of those houses; and still see the ocean beyond beautiful and pristine clean and tranquil.”
“A few years later I went back and instead of driving around the front I was driving around the back; about three of those houses were submerged in the water, and if anyone thinks that climate change has not arrived in the BVI, it did a long time ago. What happened was that we weren’t paying attention but Anegada showed us physically the impact of climate change,” the At Large Representative stated.
In further explaining the issue with the Anegada property, Hon. Christian said: “The owner of that property has tried several times to protect it with sandbagging and so on, it is still having its impact. It just goes to show you that when Mother Nature decides to do what it needs to do man can do all that it wants, it can build and engineer what it wants, when nature takes its own course we can’t stop it.”
The legislation was presented by Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering; he told his colleagues that international experience has demonstrated that international climate change financing can best be delivered to on the ground project through the establishment of a national climate change Trust Fund.
He explained that the key goals of a national climate change trust fund are the collection, the blending and coordination as well as strengthening national ownership of climate finance.