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Saint Lucia's Minister of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology Sen. Hon. Dr. James Fletcher, will later this month convene a regional meeting and launch an initiative on climate justice.

The initiative dubbed “Caribbean Voices on and for Climate Change” seeks to bring forward and amplify genuine Caribbean voices, and to build bridges between governments and civil society in our response to the threats caused by climate change. This is increasingly critical for Caribbean countries as many of our communities sit on the shoreline of climate change devastation.

The concept of climate justice is a response to the challenges of climate change that advocates for greater fairness and equity in international agreements and relations, to ensure that the realities of countries such as Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are taken into account in negotiations, trade agreements and international relations.

Climate Justice also recognises that it is the poorest and weakest in society, that are and will be the most vulnerable to climate change and its impacts on agriculture, fisheries, settlements and infrastructure.

Awareness of climate change and its impacts is growing in the Caribbean region, but this awareness is fed primarily by global (northern) media, with little focus on the concerns of Caribbean people, and in forms and languages that may not all be relevant to Caribbean culture and priorities.

In order to promote climate justice, there is a need for greater awareness of the issues, and for strong voices that can articulate the issues and positions that are most relevant to the Caribbean. 

Artists can play a major role in this advocacy for climate justice, because they understand the feelings and experiences of people, and they are legitimate spokespersons of Caribbean societies. Journalists are also critical actors, because they can interpret complex issues and inform people accordingly.

On July 30-31, Saint Lucia will host a meeting that brings together climate negotiators, artists, journalists and civil society organisations to examine climate change issues.  The meeting will examine the impacts of climate change on Caribbean countries and will develop a plan of action for communications and advocacy.

The meeting is organised jointly by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Panos Caribbean and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation of Germany.

Minister Fletcher views this meeting as an important step in preparations for the major conference on climate change that will take place in Paris, France and that is seen as a defining moment for the future of the planet.

The meeting is made possible thanks to the support of the Government of Saint Lucia, the OECS Commission and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre.

Source: Press Release, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science &Technology