The Caribbean Youth Climate Change

Mitigation Project



Background


The Caribbean Youth Environment Network

The Caribbean Youth Environment Network is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the quality of life of Caribbean young people by facilitating their participation in the development process, personal development and promoting their full involvement in all matters pertaining to the environment and sustainable development. The organisation promotes education and training, Caribbean integration and community empowerment as tools to develop an ethic amongst young people that assists in the conservation and protection of natural resources within the Wider Caribbean. The CYEN is the leading youth environment and development network in the region. It is responsible for creating appropriate spaces for young people to participate in the design, development, implementation and promotion of new, progressive, equitable, innovative and sustainable environmental, economic and social development policies and programmes across the wider Caribbean.


The Caribbean and Climate Change

Recognising that global climate change is unquestionably occurring and understanding the vulnerability of island states to the impacts that will arise from climate change, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) has initiated an activity that will contribute towards assisting nations of the Caribbean to address the impacts of climate change.  The CYEN also recognises that for Caribbean states to achieve sustainable development, it is important that the youth of the region, as future leaders and decision makers, be provided with the opportunities to assume their critical role in this process.


Project Rationale

With this in mind, the CYEN embarked on the Caribbean Youth Climate Change Project. The objective of the project is to make the youth sector of the Caribbean aware of the impacts that climate change could have on the national development of Caribbean states. General activities of the project cover sixteen territories of the Caribbean, inclusive of the Haiti and the Dominican Republic. These comprise (1) participative awareness activities, the flagships of which is the poster competition and (2) training of youth leaders in electrical energy auditing and small business management.


Scope of Project Activities


Project activities are being conducted in Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and St. Lucia. Contributors to the project include the Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP), the Commonwealth Youth Programme, the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean, the Caribbean Policy Development Centre, the Environment Ministries of Barbados and Grenada, the Environmental Unit of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as well as the Sustainable Development Unit of St. Lucia.


Project Goals

 

Public Awareness

 

To make the youth sector (15 - 25 years old) of the Caribbean aware of the impacts that climate change could have on the national development of Caribbean states. The project intends to educate youth about climate change issues using methods that would impact their thought process to  take climate change issues into consideration as they mature and become decision makers and agents of policy development .

Additionally, the project aims to make the youth sector aware of livelihood challenges that the Caribbean region will face and is designed to draw attention to youth projects that are being undertaken to address climate change.

 

Job creation/ entrepreneurship

 

To highlightcase studies of young entrepreneurs that are operating businesses which mitigate against climate change and which can serve as examples to encourage other entrepreneurs in the specific field. 

 

Education and Advocacy

 

To develop a website based on popular social networking strategies to increase youth awareness and education about climate change. The website will also serve as an on-line resource centre which will focus on simplifying climate change issues while providing resource information for students preparing to undertake Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) Exams. The website will be officially launched and appropriately promoted by utilising all elements of the media, writing letters to policy makers and undertaking other proven advocacy strategies.

 

Project Objectives

 

To utilise the developed Internet-based facility to promote interest in hands-on climate change activities by highlighting case studies of innovative and interesting youth projects that focus on climate change activities. The facility will also include blogs from young people in each of the territories in which CYEN operates.

 

To promote entrepreneurship and the development of youth businesses in support of climate change mitigative and adaptive activities by hosting a competitive event that places the spotlight on businesses currently in operation. A nominal monetary reward will be given to the winner of the competition. The winner will be selected by popular internet selection. It is hoped that that this activity will assist in energising youth to consider or emulate the entrepreneurs in the competition.

 

To encourage young people to become personally aware of their responsibilities regarding climate change. The interactive website that is developed will include a personal guide on calculating and tracking one’s carbon footprint daily, monthly and annually.

 

Project Components

 

1. Climate Change For Dummies Too

-  Simplifying the components of climate change to be better understood by students

-  A resource centre for students identifying how climate change issues specifically impact the Caribbean

-  Identify what efforts have been made in the Caribbean to combat climate change issues

-  How to personally adapt to climate change impacts


2. Climate Change mitigative/adaptive businesses in the Caribbean

-  Identify businesses which engage in activities which mitigate /adapt to climate change

-  Identify young entrepreneurs with sustainable climate change mitigative/adaptive businesses


3. Energy Auditing

-  Showing how simple actions can lead to a reduction in energy usage by the use of energy saving bulbs

-  Assisting two poor households with reducing their energy consumption and by extension their energy costs.

-  Spread awareness of climate change issues and how energy usage impacts on climate change