Even though astronauts have visited the moon, and rovers are crawling across Mars, the reality is, that unlike a futuristic film, we don’t have another planet to evacuate to. Planet earth is the only home we have, and it is up to us to protect it. This year, we have made strides in climate action to mitigate some of the impacts of the changing climate.
The youth are leading the charge for Climate Action and we are delighted to support and stand behind them! This year we worked with the Ashley Lashley Foundation formed by an inspiring young activist and the foundations namesake. The march and symposium allowed young people a chance to have their views heard and an opportunity to get more people involved in positive climate action initiatives. We also went into the community and encouraged children in Dominica to plant trees at their schools.
Smaller than a paper clip, the Union Island gecko is indigenous to St Vincent and the Grenadines and is also critically endangered. It is important to preserve this tiny reptile that weighs less than a pinch of salt and the forest rangers, with the support of UNDP, are working to do so. We are working with the government to develop the Conservation and Action Plan, as well as providing financial support to the Union Island Environment Alliance through the hiring of rangers to monitor the population and prevent poaching. Also in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we are supporting the conservation of the country’s national bird – the Amazona Guildingii! In addition to providing training for the Forestry staff, we also provided support in the parrot census after the volcanic eruption.
The key to conservation is getting the community involved. People +Planet is more than a catchy slogan and we have been working with indigenous and rural communities to find a balance between conservation and livelihood. Wesaw success with bamboo propagation, working with communities to manage protected areas and even launched a “Nature Heroes” interactive game to encourage children to preserve the environment.
Trees are life (literally) and due to increased natural disasters as well as manmade deforestation, trees across the region could use a helping hand. In Dominica we are working to plant trees to help the landscape recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria and other storms that ravished the land
Covid-19 changed the way we worked and under the Future Tourism Project we focused on cultivating more sustainable models of business. We helped individual MSMEs as well as boosted the institutional capacity of the region. 42 MSMEs graduated from the second cohort of the Virtual Open Training (VOT) of the Business Adaptation Programme (BAP) in Digital Technologies, Financial Planning and Marketing, while 30 local experts and government representatives from the 10 countries and territories in the Eastern Caribbean graduated from the Training of Trainers (ToT). 150 MSMEs received grants spanning USD 4,000 to USD 6,500 to adapt their businesses to COVID-19.