PRESS RELEASE – (City of Belmopan, Belize; November 26, 2020.) The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) saluted its former long-serving Executive Director and pioneer of the Centre, Dr Kenrick Leslie in an appreciation ceremony. Dr Leslie retired earlier this year.
In a 90 minute virtual ceremony held on Wednesday November 25th, 2020, the veteran scientist was honoured with live tributes from Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Honourable Allan Chastanet; Ambassador Irwin La Roque, Secretary General of the CARICOM Secretariat; Ambassador Selwyn Hart of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC); Dr Warren Smith, President of the Caribbean Development Bank; Mr Cletus Springer of the Organisation of American States, Dr Colin Young, current Executive Director of the Centre and several Board Members of the Centre, including Ms UnaMay Gordon, current Chairperson of the Board of Governors.
Among the many accolades Dr Leslie was credited for, are:
- Advancing the Climate Change agenda in the Caribbean through partnerships and collaborations;
- Building the capacity needed to address and mainstream Climate Change, into the day to day activities of both the private and public sectors;
- Supporting the development of a Master’s programme at the University of the West Indies where some 90+ Students have gained the knowledge in the field of climate change and environmental studies;
- Establishing a network of hydro-meteorological and oceanographic stations throughout the Caribbean to monitor future climate and weather patterns, and most importantly leading the Centre to acquire an airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system, a vital piece of equipment used to gather accurate climate data;
- Developing a regional policy framework and a suite of tools to guide policy-makers in planning and developing long term climate change programmes. One such tool is the online facility, CCORAL, which allows policy makers to assess climate risks and better plan for mitigation;
- Increasing the Centre’s access to climate finance, in a relentless progression that has resulted in the leveraging of USD 260 million dollars; in particular, leading the Centre to be the first Caribbean entity to be accredited to the Green Climate Fund, the largest global funding mechanism, which has enhanced the region’s access to financing for climate change adaptation and mitigation actions;
- Advancing and strengthening the Centre’s institutional capacity by supporting the educational and professional development of its personnel
Not only were there live tributes, but a number of pre-recorded tributes flowed in from additional friends, well-wishers and associates of Dr Leslie. These included Ambassador Byron Blake, Professor Michael Taylor, Dr Ulric Trotz, Dr David Farrell, Dr Percival Cho, Ms Patricia Mendoza, and Mr Francesco La Camera.
The appreciation ceremony was attended by over 80 invited guests from around the world representing regional agencies, international agencies, development partners, national governments and the private sector.
During the ceremony, Dr Leslie also received a number of gifts including a sculpture of a pod of dolphins carved by Belizian sculptor, Mr. Raymundo Chi.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre coordinates the region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre is the key node for information on climate change issues and the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change. We maintain the Caribbean’s most extensive repository of information and data on climate change specific to the region, which in part enables us to provide climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to CARICOM member states through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Programme, and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. The Centre is also a United Nations Institute for Training and Research recognised Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few. Learn more about how we’re working to make the Caribbean more climate resilient by perusing The Implementation Plan.