Sun | May 31, 2020

Earth Today | St Lucian civil society wants ramped-up news reporting on climate change

Published:Thursday | November 28, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Participants at the call-to-action event, held recently in St Lucia.
Dr James Fletcher addresses the call-to-action event in St Lucia.

ON THE eve of the start of this year’s global climate talks to be held in Madrid from December 1 to 13, civil society organisations, private-sector stakeholders and members of the public gathered in St Lucia to discuss climate change and the civil society response.

Speaking at the event, Kendel Hippolyte, local award-winning poet and dramatist, issued a passionate call to artists in the region to become more active advocates in support of action to address climate change.

The event also saw the issue of a challenge to regional media to ramp up their climate change news coverage as part of the media’s responsibility to raise awareness on climate change in the Caribbean. This challenge has been issued in a campaign dubbed #caribbeanmedia4climate.

Messages were also shared on the current and historical role of civil society groups active on environmental issues in St Lucia. Major emphasis was placed on the need for climate justice in the roll-out of measures to mitigate and also adapt to climate change. Presentations were made on the state of the international process and the regional response in the Caribbean.

In addressing a call to action for the Caribbean, Dr James Fletcher, regional climate champion, outlined clear actions that are required at the individual, country and regional levels to advance climate action in St Lucia and the wider Caribbean. Actions already under way by the youth, private corporations and other organisations, in renewable energy, reforestation, green financing, desalination and solutions for waste management, were also showcased.

The presentations were followed by interactive discussions and questions from the audience for the presenters. In the course of the discussion, there was a proposal for a similar event to be organised focusing specifically on fostering youth climate activism in St Lucia.

The event was held under the Regional Climate Champions Project, led by Climate Analytics, in collaboration with Panos Caribbean and with the support of Massy Stores, LUCELEC, the First National Bank, Choice Media, the St Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, the St Lucia National Trust, the Folk Research Centre, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network and the Optimism Network.