VOICES OF DORIAN

In September 2019, the world watched as Hurricane Dorian stormed through the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco as a Category 5 hurricane. During it’s 3-day journey through these islands, this storm erased any evidence of life in some neighbourhoods and communities, leaving behind a trail of trauma, heartbreak, sorrow, disbelief, and death. 'I Survived Dorian', a University of The Bahamas project, aims to provide a platform for the Survivors of Dorian to share their experiences of Dorian and their views on how disaster preparedness and response can be improved.

 

"Hurricane Dorian cannot be considered a one-off incident for The Bahamas. This hurricane is just the latest example of the impact of climate change on the environment and how we experience natural hazards in The Bahamas. 

 

To redefine the next century of Climate Action and Disaster Preparedness, the Voices of the Survivors of Dorian need to be amplified to tell a more complete story — stories of movement and migration, hardship, struggle, recovery, and hope. The Bahamas is more than beautiful geology, wildlife, and scenic views. It’s a homeland—a place of history, library of cultural knowledge, a den of life and memories—to many."

Port of Spain, July 2, 2021

Caribbean civil society has begun to position itself to build a unified, coherent and amplified voice to enhance the effectiveness and impact of calls for climate justice for the most vulnerable, at a “Virtual Roundtable on a Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance” on June 11, 2021 that was convened by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and Panos Caribbean.

 

The roundtable brought together key experts, champions and thought leaders working on various aspects of climate justice – economic, environmental and social justice – from civil society organisations, academia, think tanks and other grassroots networks, to discuss a regional alliance to catalyse action, learning and influence policy and practice. This alliance would link up small and disconnected efforts by CSOs and other non-state actors on climate justice and support vulnerable and marginalised groups to advocate for pro-poor, inclusive, environmentally sustainable, and climate resilient approaches to COVID-19 economic recovery as part of a just transition in the Caribbean.

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In celebration of Earth Day 2020, the global science and policy institute Climate Analytics has released a video documentary that features the efforts of civil society organisations and individuals in the fight against climate change.

In August 2019, in order to help keep a focus on the climate crisis and the need for urgent action at global, regional, national and community levels, Climate Analytics and the Institute for Small Islands convened a meeting to discuss the "Implications of Global Warming for a Small Island State like Trinidad and Tobago".

The video presents highlights from that encounter. “We are at the frontline against climate change”, says Caroline Mair-Toby, Founder and Director of the Institute for Small Islands in introducing the video, and “as small islands, the world over, it is important that we tell our own stories”. This new documentary does precisely this, telling the story of ground-breaking climate action in Trinidad and Tobago and showing the connectedness between the various efforts.

In the video, Rueanna Haynes, Senior Legal Advisor at Climate Analytics, reminds us that “under the Paris Agreement, countries have undertaken pledges to take action against climate change … [but] the 10-year time frame before us is our last chance to be able to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels”. In this documentary, civil society and other actors in Trinidad and Tobago stress that urgency, and demonstrate that everyone has a role to play in the fight against climate change.

History will most likely – and hopefully – remember this 20 September 2019 as the day when the fight for climate justice finally took centre stage, when thanks to courageous and visionary young people it was no longer possible to ignore the fact that climate change is an existential threat that must be taken very seriously.

On this occasion, and while hundreds of thousands of people – mainly students, but joined by their parents, by trade unionists, media workers, people from all walks of life – marched through the streets of places as far apart as Sydney, Nairobi, Delhi or London, Saint Lucian poet, dramatist and activist Kendel Hippolyte once again issued his call for artists throughout the world to add their voice to the cry for climate justice.

 

Earth Day, 22 April 2019. As part of the #1point5toStayAlive Campaign that supports Caribbean and other vulnerable countries in the fight against climate change, Panos Caribbean has produced a new theme song, with lyrics by Saint Lucian poet and dramatist Kendel Hippolyte and music by musician and humanitarian Taj Weekes, who coordinated the production on behalf of Panos Caribbean.

This video is part of a series of videos produced by Panos Caribbean, in the context of COP24, to highlight the human and social justice dimensions of climate change. It focuses on the relationship between gender and climate change, and looks in particular at the impacts of climate change on women and men, at the role of women in responding to these impacts, and at the contribution of women to the global fight for climate justice.

It features 4 Caribbean heroines in the global fight against climate change: Ambassador Dessima M. Williams, former Chair of AOSIS 2009-2011; UnaMay Gordon, Director of the Climate Change Division for the Government of Jamaica; Judith Wedderburn, Gender & Development Practitioner; and Dizzanne Billy, climate activist with the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN).

 

 

UnaMay Gordon, Director of the Climate Change Division for the Government of Jamaica, tells us how policies must consider gender when they are crafted.

This video is part of a series produced by Panos Caribbean and its 1.5 to Stay Alive initiative, in the context of COP24, 2 to 14 December 2018.

 

UnaMay Gordon, Director of the Climate Change Division for the Government of Jamaica, tells us about the necessity to look at the issues of climate and gender together.

This video is part of a series produced by Panos Caribbean and its 1.5 to Stay Alive initiative, in the context of COP24, 2 to 14 December 2018.