Declaring climate change an “existential threat”, Prime Minister Mia Mottley is seeking to enlist the Barbados Defence Force in the fight against the phenomenon’s effects.
For this role, the BDF’s Sea Cadets are to be drafted into the island’s sea defences, noting that her administration has made $1.5 million available to the BDF to recruit 1,000 Sea Cadets.
“If we do not start to deal with the scale of the problem by having the scale of the solution necessary, then we would have lost the battle before it even started.”
She did not explain how the Sea Cadets would be deployed in the climate change battle.
In a speech at the BDF’s medal awards ceremony in the Lingwood Hall at the BDF headquarters at St Ann’s Fort, The Garrison, the Prime Minister revealed that such was the scale of the problem that Government intended to expand the programme soon.
In addition to training young people to combat the impacts of climate change, Mottley contended that the programme also enabled young people to get much-needed structure and discipline.
Mottley said: “I thank the Barbados Defence Force in readily accepting this challenge and I say to you that it is the intention of my Government to expand both the numbers and the funds available because we believe that there is as good but no better a noble pursuit for the training and maturing of young people in this country, particularly as we continue to fight the existential threat of climate change.
“There are so many different ways I can put it but I have come to love the simplicity of communication and the appropriateness of repetition and therefore I say to you as I say to others across the nation that many hands make light work.
“If we could take our young people as they enter secondary school and imbue in them a sense of patriotism, a sense of service, a
sense of commitment, then I believe that we would have gone further in building the platform for the prosperity and security of our nation.”
Mottley charged that it was the Defence Force’s duty to make all of its youth programmes attractive to young people.
This afternoon, 219 officers received medals, which included the categories of Meritorious Service Medal, General Service Medals and the Regional Security System Medal. [email protected]