Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Young caribben people are very responsable to face climatic change and fix social and economic problems.

CYEN group on beach clean-up after workshop in August 2009

Published on Wednesday, September 2, 2009

By Andrea Downer KINGSTON, Jamaica (Panos) -- Thirty young environment advocates from 12 Caribbean islands met in the Dominican Republic recently to discuss climate change issues in the region and to gain insights into effective ways to get the public and their respective governments to engage with climate change in meaningful ways. The three-day workshop, which was a joint initiative of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) and, was part of efforts to mobilize Caribbean youth in light of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen in December where world leaders will meet to decide on a new global treaty on climate change. Many of the participants were not native Spanish speakers but they spoke the same language on one thing: climate change. They all had stories to share about the impacts they were experiencing, and the work they were doing to take action in their home countries. “I am from a depressed community; there was not much happening there for youths. Marijuana smoking was the main social pastime for young people. So meeting on a corner and smoking weed was the main form of social interaction,” Says Nintus Magre, a 31 year old environment advocate, teacher and performing artiste from St Lucia explained. He is also the Caricom Youth Ambassador for St Lucia. According to Nintus, farming is the main subsistence in Desruisseaux, the rural community in St. Lucia where he lives and as a result, he sees preserving of the environment as crucial to the livelihood of the persons in his community. Recognizing the potential and effectiveness of youth, he sought to get them productively involved in environmental initiatives. He explained that he seeks to engage young people in his community in projects geared at environmental protection, advocacy; climate change and bio diversity, among other areas. Nintus explained that through CYEN, he has been able to organize a number of events aimed at raising public awareness about the environment. “These include special assemblies, a pageant, radio and television interviews annual environmental challenge/quiz for primary schools which is held in a different school district each year,” said Nintus, who is also the president of the southern division of CYEN, St Lucia. “We participated in the Coastal Clean-up for two years, partnered with the St Lucia National Trust as recent as this year to stage Earth Day activities in St Lucia. Also worthy of mention is the involvement of CYEN in the development of a plan for the sustainable use of the Point Sable National Park in Vieux Fort in the south of the island.”

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