Earth Today | Jhannel Tomlinson living her mission
KEYED UP from the global climate talks in Poland last December, Jhannel Tomlinson said three months ago that she was keen on getting more youths involved in climate change; and she is being true to her word.
Tomlinson, who was Jamaica’s youth representative on the delegation to the talks, is helping to organise tomorrow’s event to get youths, and in particular rural youths, involved in the conversation on climate change.
To kick things off, she and a fellow youth advocate, Ayesha Constable, another of the organisers, are today to host a training session for the assigned youth facilitators for the event, funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and for which the Climate Change Division (CCD) is providing direction.
“The youth facilitators are youth leaders involved in varying activities in western Jamaica. The facilitator training is, therefore, a form of capacity building that offers them a transferable skill,” explained Constable.
Tomlinson, meanwhile, is thrilled at the prospect of the event – the first youth-focused post-Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Jamaica.
“I have always known of the post-COP being primarily for persons heavily involved in the deliberations. So when UNDP and CCD decided that they wanted a youth aspect of the post-COP, I was very excited,” she said.
“And it is not only about the whole issue of youth (involvement in climate change response) but rural youths as well, who are often left out of these conversations,” added Tomlinson, who is pursuing postgraduate studies on climate change.
In addition to her training and organising duties for the event, Tomlinson is to join a number of other youth advocates in climate circles – among them Eleanor Terrelonge, head of the Jamaica Climate Change Youth Council – on a panel discussion that is to conclude the event, which is being staged at the Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay. She will share her experience of being at the Poland negotiations.
The panel discussion will, among other things, give participants the chance to think through a range of themes related to climate change and provide what is expected to be ‘out-of-the-box’ recommendations for actions, in line with considerations from Vision 2030, Jamaica’s national development plan; and the Sustainable Development Goals, which emphasise the need for urgent action to combat climate change.