In this week’s episode, Trinidadian, Derval Barzey discusses the need for Caribbean climate consciousness.
Derval, a podcaster herself, aims to raise awareness around sustainability and climate change from a Caribbean perspective through her podcast, “The Climate Conscious.” She recognizes that conversations around climate change are typically led by the global north, despite the fact that the Caribbean and other small island developing states are at the forefront of some of the most devastating impacts.
In this podcast, Kerry Ann shares the changes she has noticed in the environment over the years, specifically on Jamaica’s coasts. Derval also highlighted that changes can also be seen in the Caribbean’s hurricane season. Though the season normally runs from June to November, the season has been extending, and the storms have been increasing in both intensity and frequency.
Unfortunately, the Caribbean is vulnerable to climate change as it experiences social, economic and physical impacts. And so, Darvel explains that our urgent need for sustainability can be met by building resilience.
Since resilience is achieved through efforts such as risk management and evaluation of infrastructure investments, Darvel encourages Caribbean countries to be proactive in planning and consider not just this generation, but also the next. However, while the Caribbean is often influenced by foreign nations, sustainability and resilience in the Caribbean should come from within us and be tailored to the Caribbean context.
Kerry-Ann and Derval also discuss current work being done across the Caribbean to advance sustainability- from the signing of agreements at the international level and CARICOM’s efforts in sustainable energy, to grassroot initiatives and children education.
This episode highlights that achieving sustainability is possible not only when the Caribbean is supported by international development partners, but also through the support of the Caribbean diaspora. The diaspora can engage in Caribbean climate and sustainability initiatives through ongoing dialogue, not just during periods of disaster; and by creating space for those in the Caribbean to tell their stories and get the international community’s attention.
Funding, expertise, networking and advocacy are also great ways for the diaspora to get involved. Kerry-Ann emphasized the need for a more proactive approach to serving the Caribbean community, rather than a reactive one.
When it comes to Caribbean climate and sustainability, we should do what we can in our own sphere of influence.
- Darvel Barzey has a podcast titled “The Climate Conscious” which aims to raise awareness around sustainability and climate change from a Caribbean perspective
- The Caribbean is vulnerable to climate change due to human activities and there is a great need for sustainability.
- There are ongoing efforts at all levels- international, regional, national and grassroot- to help improve Caribbean sustainability.
- More efforts are needed across the Caribbean in areas such as risk management, planning and infrastructure development, to build climate resilience.
- There is a need and opportunity for the Caribbean diaspora to help this cause.
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