The National Climate Change Office under the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management in collaboration with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), and the National Red Cross, has embarked on a nationwide survey to capture citizens’ knowledge and attitudes towards climate change, and its impact on their country.
The Knowledge Attitude and Practice (KAP) survey is a key output of the communications component of the project, “Enhancing Climate Resilience in CARIFORUM Countries”, which is funded by the European Union (EU) under the Intra-ACP Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+). The project is part of a global programme seeking to support the climate compatible development of the CARIFORUM countries to combat the negative impacts of climate change and disasters, while simultaneously exploring opportunities presented.
“Building awareness of climate change and variability at all levels of the Caribbean society is important for us to achieve climate compatibility and strengthen national development, that is why the KAP survey is being launched in some of our Member States, to gather the baseline that we need to set the context for the public awareness drive that is to be subsequently initiated”, says Ms. Tecla Fontenard, Communications Specialist at the CCCCC.
While predictions are that Caribbean countries are expected to face more adverse weather events, many citizens have not connected extreme weather events to climate change. Awareness of how climate change can and will intersect every aspect of daily life is also lacking. The findings from Belize’s Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) on Climate Change and its subsequent use in developing a National Climate Change Public Education and Outreach Strategy will make these connections and close knowledge gaps.
Chief Climate Change Officer Dr. Lennox Gladden also encourages citizens to welcome the Red Cross team, and make their voices heard, “It is important to hear from our citizens so that their specific information needs and recommendations concerning climate change is obtained. It’s the only way we can customise our awareness and capacity-building strategies to inform and empower citizens, decision-makers, and all layers of society to make changes that will build climate resilience and reduce their carbon footprint” he said.
Belize is one of five (5) CARIFORUM countries participating in the survey. The others are The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts & Nevis, and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Each country’s National Red Cross team will call or visit randomly selected households, in all instances strictly observing national COVID 19- safety protocols, to administer the survey. The National Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) Survey on Climate Change commenced on September 1, 2021 and concludes in October.
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