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Earth Today | Clarendon youth have their say on climate change policy

Published:Thursday | May 30, 2019 | 12:00 AM
The recent youth forum in progress.

SOME 150 young people from more than 33 communities in Clarendon got the chance to give their input into Jamaica’s climate change policy at a youth forum in May Pen last month.

The forum was hosted on May 7 by the Adaptation Programme and Financing Mechanism (AP&FM) of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience.

“We wanted to make the youth more aware of issues surrounding climate change and how, within their own space, they can implement strategies to adapt,” said Bridgette Barrett, community animator with the AP&FM.

“We also wanted to help them to inform the climate change policy. They will get the opportunity to let their voices be heard on the policy,” she added.

The young people, drawn mainly from communities in and around the Upper Rio Minho Watershed area in the parish where the AP&FM focuses, spent the day getting familiar with climate change and how it will impact them.

Presentations were made by the National Meteorological Office of Jamaica; Jhannel Tomlinson, Jamaica’s youth representative to the UN Climate Talks and the Youth Environmental Advocacy Programme (YEAP) of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC).

“We partnered with the YEAP to present the climate change policy and get the young people to give their thoughts on it. So the YEAP can then use that to inform the policy revisions,” explained Winsome Townsend, project manager of the AP&FM.

The AP&FM is a five-year project being implemented under the MEGJC, with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank through the Climate Investment Funds. It focuses on mainstreaming climate change into national policies and vulnerable sectors. The Upper Rio Minho Watershed in Clarendon is one of its focus areas for climate adaptation work.