Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Behaviour change integral to mitigating climate change

Published:Monday | September 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM
A view of Hellshire beach is St Catherine.

Climate adaptability and mitigating climate change can only be achieved through behavior change, according to senior technical director in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Marlon Morgan.

Representing Education Minister Ruel Reid on the last day of the Kiwanis Club of North St Andrew Climate Change Disaster Risk Management Project at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean in New Kingston last week, Morgan stressed the importance of engaging young minds in combating climate change, lauding the club's initiative for doing just that.

"We (the Ministry of Education) recognise how important it is with initiatives like these to start with our young people because if you think about it, for many of us, by virtue of lack of education [and] awareness, we care very little for the environment," he said.

While referencing how one of St Catherine's most popular beaches has changed, the senior technical director pointed out that Jamaica is already being affected by rising sea levels as a result of climate change.

 

Urgency of sensitisation

 

"You are among the generation of Jamaicans who have not experienced what many of us have, and that is the magnificence of the Hellshire fishing beach.

So for those of you who are eight, nine, and 10, when your parents or guardians take you over to that spot, what you are seeing and interacting with today is starkly different," explained Morgan, speaking directly to students of the Half-Way Tree and St Francis primary schools who participated in the project.

He said that climate-change sensitisation efforts are even more pertinent at this time, not only given the recent announcement of the ban on some plastic items by the Government, but also due to Jamaica's status as a small-island developing state.

"We are seeing phenomena that are characteristic of climate change, and these events have little regard for size of country, wealth of a country, and other considerations," Morgan said.