Over nine hundred (900) participants including the Scouts Association of Grenada, Grenada Girl Guides Association, 4Hers Club, environmental groups such as the St. Patrick Environmental and Community Tourism Organization (SPECTO), public officers from various ministries and other organizations came together in a major climate change walk under the theme: “The Climate is changing, are you?” The three mile walk, from Sir Royston John playing field to Morne Rouge playing field, was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (MALFFE) along with the UNDP Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (ICCAS) Project.
UNDP-ICCAS is dedicated towards helping local communities survive and thrive in this era of rapid global environmental changes. Thus, the walk was geared towards sensitizing the public on the effects of climate change in our small tri-island state and offering solutions to help communities learn how they can be resilient. The Scouts Association of Grenada proudly led the groups with the banners with the themes ‘Practice Climate-Smart Agriculture,’ ‘Recycle your garbage,’ ‘Conserve Water,’ ‘Use Renewable Energy,’ ‘Protect Our Mangroves,’ ‘Preserve Our Forests’ and ‘Protect Our Reefs.’ The participants followed within the groups with their placards in hand mirroring the various environmental themes, walking and chanting to music geared towards promoting climate change awareness.
It was a delightful experience hearing the children gleefully sing, “When we touchdown, the whole place clean up…!” for the day and the days ensuing after, which was an edited rendition to a popular local soca song “Whole Place Shell Down”. Another parent asked her daughter after the walk what they learned from the experience to which she replied excitedly, “Mommy, ehh… climate change, keep your surroundings and environment clean, I love UNDP…I get a free book…!” Many people have since approached and indicated that the walk was a great initiative and should be an annual event.
Martin Barriteau the Project coordinator for the UNDP ICCAS project reported that the walk was a huge success. Barriteau stated that, “We wanted to have rural communities and children to take the lead in sensitizing the general public on climate change issues and they turned out in great numbers.”
The walk culminated in an exhibition co-partnered with the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) of the MALFFE at Morne Rouge playing field. There were display booths, which included comparative photographs showcasing changes in the Grenadian landscapes due to climate change activities over the last century. Moreover, there was a lion fish tasting booth which attracted many persons. Additionally, there were lots of giveaways including mini-notebooks, water bottles, t-shirts with printed slogans, keychains, bumper stickers, etc. throughout the event.
The ICCAS project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety under the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and jointly implemented by the Government of Grenada, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
For more information about the projects or to find out how you can get involved in future initiatives contact: Mr. Martin Barriteau, Project Coordinator via (473) 416-8980 or by email email@example.com or the Ministry of Agriculture at (473) 440-2708 ext. 3027.