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Caribbean stakes space at COP21

wider caribbean pavilion

 

For the first time ever, the Caribbean has a designated space at the international climate talks — one designed to facilitate deliberation on emergent issues while providing a taste of the region and its offerings to the world.

It has been made possible through the collaborative efforts of Caribbean partners, notably the Caribbean Development Bank, the Regional Council of Martinique, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Panos Caribbean, the Saint Lucia Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science, and Technology, and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

“The Pavilion provides a space for coordination, the sharing of experiences, consultation with like-minded partners, and for developing a greater awareness of the Caribbean’s experience with climate change,” noted Sharon Lindo, policy advisor with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre.

“It is the avenue for the countries that are washed by the Caribbean Sea to engage with the world,” she added.

The Pavilion — a home for Caribbean negotiators for the next two weeks — forms a part of the region’s ‘1.5 to Stay Alive’ campaign.

The campaign is intended to bolster the region’s negotiating positions at the talks, which constitute the 21stmeeting of Conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, being held in Paris.

Caribbean negotiators are intent on a 1.5 degrees Celsius target as a cap in global temperature increases below pre-industrial levels. They want, too, provisions for loss and damage associated with climate change as well as, among other things, new, additional and adequate financing for adaptation.

Meanwhile, after only one day, the Caribbean Pavilion has seen considerable action, with more expected in the coming days.

“A side event on energy has been held here while several delegations and organizations of the Caribbean have used the space for bilateral meetings and coordination. They have also used it for the sharing of a wealth of information through actual documentation and visuals,” Lindo noted.

“The coming days will see an expanding of the same. Towards the end of the second week, it is expected to offer delegations a space to come together and resolve critical issues,” she added.

Since its launch in Saint Lucia in October, the ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ campaign has gained momentum, with the implementation of a variety of activities.

Those activities have included the launch of its Facebook page, website (www.1point5.info) and Twitteraccount (@1point5OK) that have attracted hundreds of followers and the ‘1.5 Selfie Video’ Challenge (http://www.1point5.info/actscentral).

In addition, there have been a number of creative outputs from artists, including Jonathan Gladding, out of Saint Lucia, who has done a painting that bears the name of the campaign; and the production of a ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ campaign theme song.

The song — available at https://soundcloud.com/panos-caribbean — was the work of Kendel Hippolyte and Ronald Boo Hinkson, with the voices of Banky Banx, BelO, Kendel Hippolyte, E.sy Kennenga, Jessy Leonce, Ace Loctar, Shayne Ross, David Rudder, Aaron Silk, Taj Weekes, and Deridee Williams.

Credit: The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer

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