Young Grenadians and other professionals in key sectors will benefit from training on the international climate change context and the importance of the issues to the nation.
Through climate diplomacy funding from the Government of the United Kingdom, the training will be done under the Improving National Capacity for Sustained Engagement and Action on Climate Change (SEAC) project as part of efforts to assist the Government and people of Grenada to better understand why dealing with climate change is important, and how attitudes and behaviours will need to change to prepare for and cope with current and expected changes.
The SEAC project will be run by the Caribbean Youth Environment Network in Grenada (CYEN Grenada) in close partnership with the Ministry for Climate Resilience and the Environment. Recognising the need to include more stakeholders in the country’s efforts to tackle climate change, National Coordinator of CYEN Grenada, Ms Kerricia Hobson, described the reason behind the project. “We are hoping that we can motivate persons, especially young people, as we equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to advocate in the country for greater local action,” she said, “and that they will then be able to identify and implement solutions here at home but also be able to express national needs in regional and international spaces.”
For small islands like Grenada that already face development challenges because of little capacity and high public debt, the added pressures from stronger and more frequent hurricanes; severe changes in the amounts of rain; hotter days and hotter nights; and eroding coastlines hurt the economy and health and well-being of communities. Pointing out the necessity for urgent action and ambition to deal with the climate emergency, Minister Simon Stiell welcomed the project saying, “we are at a critical moment in our history where we realise the existential threat posed by climate change to our very lives and livelihoods. Even with the worsening impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in our communities and the immediate need to deal with the health concerns of our people, our future survival as a country will depend even more on how we can adapt to a rapidly shifting climate and how well we can petition the global society to act. Building local capacity in and out of Grenada is essential to our success.”
As part of activities, CYEN Grenada will hold a workshop in early October to instruct interested members of the public on the science of climate change and on the global negotiations process. Priority will be given to young people 15–35 years. A series of educational tools such as infographics, videos, and a simple guide to understanding and participating in climate discussions will also be prepared. Speaking on the UK government’s support for this initiative, Resident Commissioner in Grenada Wendy Freeman explained, “The British High Commission in St George’s is very pleased to be supporting the CYEN and Ministry for Climate Resilience and the Environment through this project. In November, the UK is hosting the next Climate Conference, COP26. In the run-up to this, I have been very impressed by the level of commitment in Grenada to tackling climate change from discussions with Government and civil society. This project will further develop understanding of the issue and its impacts among young people and their communities and to help them advocate for local action and identify solutions.”
CYEN Grenada is part of a wider regional network that works to strengthen the meaningful involvement of young citizens in environment and sustainable development matters through education, participation, and engagement. Over the years the organisation has spearheaded several projects, activities, and events to raise national awareness on issues and provided a platform for youth voices to be heard.