The Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are one group of countries acutely vulnerable to climate change issues. SIDS are often characterized by limited resources. The islands typically lack sufficient land, food, water and fuel and are predisposed to tropical weather systems. In addition, many of the islands are threatened by tectonic movement and volcanic activity. As such, it is important for youth to know the potential impacts of climate change and what they can do to combat it.
Work is already underway to raise awareness of climate change through creative means of information communication. The Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) has initiated several activities to raise awareness about climate change. The popular campaign “1.5 to Stay Alive” involved art in the form of poems, spoken word, song and visual art to portray climate change impacts. While the Paris Agreement was being signed, 50 paper lanterns were lit in Barbados to promote climate change. This was done with the support of private companies and their associated environmental programmes. Youth led the World Wide Views Citizen Consultations on climate and energy in 5 Caribbean countries (Barbados, The Bahamas, Grenada, Guyana and Haiti), resulting in around 500 citizens from those countries receiving education on the impact of climate change on the environment.
Jamilla Sealy, is a 29-year environmental educator and advocate from Barbados. She is the Regional Chairperson of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network and the Queen’s Young Leader Awardee (2017). Jamilla was also recognized as a Commonwealth Young Achiever (2015), she enjoys raising awareness about environmental issues, particularly climate change.