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Climate Change Destroying Fishermen’s Livelihood in Jamaica – Special Reports from UN Climate Talks in Durban, South Africa
Durban, South Africa

Climate Change Destroying Fishermen’s Livelihood in Jamaica – Special Reports from UN Climate Talks in Durban, South Africa

Two Jamaican journalists, of Advanced Media Productions: (Kemorine Sinclair and Kim Ber Ley also of Caribbean Stories) listened intently as a fisherman of Rocky Point, Clarendon, explained the changes he and others have noticed about the beach where they fish to make a living. The visit to the beach was one of two field trips during a one-day journalism workshop on March 29, 2011 on climate change and biodiversity held in Mocho, Clarendon by the Mocho Community Development Association, (MCDA) and Panos Caribbean. Fishermen in Jackson Bay have been complaining that the beach is disappearing. It has not been determined if this is linked to sea level rise or storm surge or if it is as a result of climate change. The workshop among several community intervention activities under a 15 month project funded by Global Environment Facility Small Grant Programme and the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica.

As Climate Change talks enter the second week in Durban, South Africa, Jamaican journalist Carol Francis of Jamaica News Network, JNN,  talks to fishermen from the Greenwich Beach Fishing Village in Kingston, Jamaica about how climate change has affected their trade. Carol is one of several journalists from the Caribbean currently attending the global two-week conference.

The serious impact of climate change is felt more severely by those most vulnerable to the global phenomenon and persons in small, rural communities in the Caribbean are among those who will be most affected.

Stanford Gordon, who has been a fisherman for more than 30 years explained that things are so bad that he is seriously thinking about giving up fishing.

According to Gordon, warming coastal waters, and the destruction of coral reefs have seen their catches dwindle. Increasingly frequent hurricanes often means it’s too dangerous to go to sea. Many fear what the future holds.

“We having more storms than years ago and it destroy the coral on the bottom of the sea,’ one of the fishermen explained.

“It mash up fisherman life of living! And nobody cares for us! Nobody!” Another declared bitterly.

Listen to the fishermen talk about the crisis they are facing here: [audio:|titles=Jamaican Fishermen Lament the Impacts of Climate Change PANOS-CCMP]

UN climate talks entered their second week in Durban, South Africa, today with pressure mounting to salvage the UN climate change system. The EU is pushing for a new road map toward a deal that includes all countries in a binding deal to cut carbon emissions. But resistance remains over how long that ride might be and who would be on it.

Under the Climate Change Media PartnershipInternewsPanos and the International Institute for Environment and Development, IIEP, have joined forces to support developing world journalism and perspectives from the heart of the international climate negotiations.

Journalists from Asia, Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America have are attending and reporting from the conference as part of the climate change media partnership fellowship programme  designed to improve media coverage of climate change issues in developing countries.

The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is also the 7th meeting of parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire at the end of 2012, unless renewed.

One of the issues being debated at the meeting is whether a second commitment period will be agreed upon for the Kyoto Protocol or whether a new agreement will be formulated to replace the existing one. The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), including Caribbean islands such as Jamaica, are calling for firm decisions on the second commitment period. The meeting which will run from November 28 until December 9, 2011.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol is a UN treaty which sets targets for greenhouse gas emissions cuts from First World country parties.