Climate change and its impact on our environment have begun to occupy the spotlight more frequently in recent years, but many people in the countries most affected by its fallout, including drought and more intense natural disasters, still do not fully understand its implications on our everyday lives.
This is the view of Chief Executive Officer of the BlueGreen Initiative, Mohammed Nagdee, whose organisation, in partnership with the United Nations Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme, the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation and the Future Centre Trust, will be staging the inaugural Small Island Future Fest (SIFF) next month.
While addressing a ‘mix and mingle’ event recently at the Copacabana Beach Club, Nagdee said, “We have all heard about how climate change will threaten the lives of all of us in the region, and given the seriousness of this threat we need a more balanced approach towards building resilience and to outline clear objectives towards achieving these goals. Unfortunately, the current system we are using to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals is failing us and we cannot afford to sit back and wait for positive changes to come to our doorstep; we have to create a personal consciousness that resonates towards achieving nationwide change and this will start at SIFF.”
Recently appointed United Nations Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Didier Trebucq called SIFF an “Interesting, innovative and uncommon endeavour” and commended Barbados and other Small Island Developing States for their work in tackling the challenges associated with climate change.
He noted that, “As countries seek to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals agenda, we will need new models of partnership and co-operation, including a significant shift in terms of how we finance national development, and all sectors of society will have to work together to make these goals a reality.”
In outlining her perspective on a sustainable Barbados, Project Officer with the Future Centre Trust Che Greenidge said there was a “Triple bottom line” of People, Profit and Planet that would help the process. “We are facing sustainability issues that affect us all, and the cost of not acting is too high. When we get down to people, we get down to businesses investing in people to secure a brighter future. Companies will realise that aligning with Non-Governmental Organisations to combat sustainability issues is beneficial, along with measuring the impact of their activities on the environment.”
The Small Island Future Fest replaces the Green Fair previously held by the United Nations Global Environmental Facility’s Small Grants Programme held in 2016 and 2017, and will take place on June 28 and 29 at the Pelican Arts and Crafts Centre in Bridgetown. The first day is reserved for students from the island’s schools, while the second day will be open to the general public. The organisers also said both days will end with fireworks displays featuring “environmentally friendly” devices. (DH)