High on the agenda of this 16th Meeting is the issue of climate change (CC) which the Ministers will discuss during a panel discussion on the packed schedule for the day. During this discussion, the Ministers are expected to be jolted by debates on how improved land management can help reduce impacts to climate change and climate variability.
The discussions will be guided by presentations from four (4) perspectives:
1. Global trends in land policy,
2. Regional perspectives on land issues,
3. Member state successes, aspiration, and challenges on land issues, and
4. Technical aspects and tools to support and inform decision-making for land administration
Ministers are well aware that land degradation is expected to exacerbate, especially as a result of increase incidences of floods, landslides, as well as drought. These conditions can have devastating impacts on farms and farmlands, roads and infrastructure, thereby challenging vulnerable communities and major sectors and worsening poverty rates in an already fragile region. The climate change discussions are therefore expected to be a highpoint in their one-day deliberations and Ministers are expected to provide guidance on current and future climate change programming activities in the OECS Secretariat.
In addition to this panel discussion, the Ministers will also be presented with reports on other programmes areas in the Environmental portfolio of the OECS Secretariat and will provide direction on priority areas for future programming work in areas such as sustainable energy, oceans governance, disaster risk reduction and environmental management and planning.
Ministers will also receive presentations from Donor Agency representatives on their environmental mandate and activities in various OECS Member States and will share their perspectives on future projects for sustainable development in the region.
The Meeting of Ministers will be preceded by a meeting of Chief Environmental Officers and Permanent Secretaries, who make up the OECS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on the Environment and Sustainable Development.