News ID: 253313
Published: 1044 GMT May 25, 2019

Multi-sector representatives explore how to respond to climate change challenges

Multi-sector representatives explore how to respond to climate change challenges

Following the success of its first gender and climate change conversation in Barbados in 2018, the Commonwealth Foundation is bringing together delegates from 11 Caribbean countries to explore the intersection of climate change and gender, and develop responsive strategies that give voice to vulnerable groups.

The impacts of climate change do not play out evenly. Marginalized groups, such as women, indigenous peoples, fisher folks, older persons, and people with disabilities, face greater vulnerability to climate shocks. The specific risks to their lives and livelihoods require attention if nations are to comprehensively prepare for and respond to climate realities, wrote.

The Commonwealth Foundation is partnering with the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the University of the West Indies for this three-day conversation.

Delegates, who are meeting for three days from 29-31 May 2019, include key stakeholders from the Caribbean such as Jamaica Environment Trust, Climate Trackers, the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations, and the Windward Islands Farmers Association.

Suzanne Stanley, Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Environment Trust, said: “Climate change poses an existential threat to the Caribbean — to all small island developing states. It is a justice issue, we did not cause this problem, but we are going to be disproportionately affected by it, and the most vulnerable groups among us will be affected most of all. We cannot effectively or proactively tackle climate issues without understanding the varied and intersectional impact of climate change on marginalized groups.

“I am looking forward to working together with other organizations from the Caribbean to take the lead in broadening the conversation around climate change to one which is inclusive and sustainable and addresses its impact on those most vulnerable to its impacts across the region.”

Kimberly Carr-Tobias, Institute for Gender and Development Studies Mona Campus Unit, The University of the West Indies, added: “The degree to which people are affected by climate change is determined by their social, cultural and economic contexts. The practical and social needs of people differ. That’s why policy cannot be one size fits all.

“It is our pleasure to work with the Commonwealth Foundation to highlight the need for climate solutions that are representative, responsive, and truly leave nobody behind.’

Reineira Arguello Sanjuan, event organizer and women’s rights and gender expert from the Commonwealth Foundation, said: “We are excited to offer a platform to organizations across the Caribbean to better understand the intersection of gender and climate change and to include marginalized and vulnerable communities, and facilitate their engagement with climate change policy making.

“The vulnerabilities of certain groups must be embedded into policy frameworks to ensure all needs are accounted for. As climate threats loom large, over small island states in particular, this conversation has never been more timely.”

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