Dominica PM issues passionate call for urgent action in addressing climate change


"It would allow us to rebuild our nation not as it was but in a manner that is far more capable to meet the realities of rising sea levels and warmer oceans". But yet, we are among the main victims - on the frontline.

"Dominicans, Mr President, has been responsible members of the global community".

Skerrit said one of Dominica's major tourist attractions, the Morne Trois Pitons has been a national park for 40 years and a UNESCO World Heritage site for two decades. This is how my people and my country earn and survive.

But what is our reality at this moment?

"We will rise because Dominica's people are strong; because Caribbean people are resilient".

Skerrit said the time has come for the global community to make a stand and to decide "whether it will be shoulder to shoulder with those suffering the ravages of climate change worldwide; whether we can mitigate the consequences of unprecedented increases in sea temperatures and levels; whether to help us rebuild sustainable livelihoods; or whether the global community will merely show some pity now, and then flee".

Hurricane Maria slammed into Dominica as a Category Five storm early last week, flattening more than 90 per cent of the island's infrastructure and leaving hundreds homeless and in desperate need of food, clothing, shelter and basic medical supplies.

Skerrit said climate change can no longer be ignored given the hurricanes and storms which were wreaking havoc across the Caribbean and eastern United States. We buried loved ones yesterday (Thursday) and I am sure that as I return home tomorrow there shall be additional fatalities as a outcome of these encounters. "Our hospitals are without power and schools have disappeared beneath the rubble". Our crops are uprooted.

"Where there was green, there is now only dust and dirt". The desolation is beyond imagination. "I promise you that Dominicans will do our part", he said. "There are no generators, they have been set aside because of the flooding", the prime minister said.

Yet, today, he said 72,000 Dominicans "lie on the front line in a war they did not choose, with extensive casualties from a war that they did not start".