Leading up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme implemented by UNDP, in collaboration with the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) and Pinelands Creative Workshop hosted the “Civil Society Climate Change Consultation”. The event brought together over 18 CSO representatives, including SGP grantees, to broaden their knowledge on climate change and to facilitate consensus on a strong civil society national position for COP21.
The UNFCC COP21 is crucial in climate change policy discourse as it will craft a new legally-binding international climate agreement to reduce carbon emissions beyond 2020.
Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP, Ms. Chisa Mikami said, “Today is an opportunity for CSOs to contribute to the process and add their voices as key stakeholders who stand at ground zero of the effects of climate change.”
GEF SGP National Coordinator for Barbados, Mr. David Bynoe stated, “For SIDS like Barbados, climate change is not a story. The sea level rise around our coastline, increased flooding and drought events, wide spread coral bleaching and the scorching temperatures we have been experiencing make climate change a reality and the reality of a changing climate means that we must change too.”
“GEF SGP remains committed to providing the catalyst required to foster metamorphosis of Barbadian civil society, along with civil societies in over 126 countries, as we partner to save the world taking community action that cumulatively has a positive global impact,” Mr. Bynoe stated.
Mr. Rodney Grant, Chief Executive Officer of Pinelands Creative Workshop, added, “We are not doing well in the governing space and we must insert ourselves in dialogues. Climate change is an issue that we cannot ignore as it reflects on our affinity and co-dependence on nature.” He stressed that we each have an individual responsibility to play a role.
Mr. Mohammed Degia, Senior Foreign Service Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade provided an overview of the COP process, its importance and the possible implications of the outcomes. He stressed that if we do not obtain 90% of what we will need, we will cease to exist.
At the end of the session, it was agreed that a communique expressing the concerns and the outcome of the consultation would be shared with the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Environment and Drainage. The CSOs present also committed to the further development of the Major Groups initiated in 2014.
This article was taken from the Green Reporter Issue #3 Volume#1 an initiative of the
Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme