Thursday, January 30, 2020
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Cat Island Conservation Institute (CICI) is calling for greater urgency to address United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals following recent global and local environmental catastrophes such as Hurricane Dorian, which ravaged the Northern Bahamas, and the wildfires in Australia.
In response, the local community group has developed The Bahamas’ first Climate Crisis Declaration and conducting a series of strategy meetings and workshops to accelerate climate action, community-driven conservation, youth engagement, and the development of green islands in The Bahamas.
Late last year, CICI founder and CEO Nikita Shiel-Rolle and CICI VP-policy Charles Hamilton engaged in high-level regional and international climate change conferences to expand advocacy and strategic partnerships to build a more resilient Bahamas.
Shiel-Rolle participated as an observer at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP25 Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform’s 2nd Working Group Meeting, as the sole representative from a local community.
Shiel-Rolle spoke to the urgent and pressing need for climate change mitigation and the responsibility of all countries to ensure global temperatures increase by no more than 1.5°C, as local communities throughout The Bahamas and Caribbean are struggling to survive life-threatening climate disasters.
After leaving Spain, Shiel-Rolle traveled to Cuba where the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) brought together Caribbean youth leaders to establish a Caribbean Youth Climate Network.
Hamilton attended the UNFCCC 15th Conference of Youth (prior to COP 25), where he shared the stage with both the UN secretary general and UNFCCC executive secretary, to present youth interventions for climate action.
He also highlighted the work of CICI through an online panel with advocacy group March for Science and supported bilateral negotiations for The Bahamas on climate change and health at COP 25.
At home, a Cat Island climate change workshop and Nassau green island think tank, which was hosted in partnership with Creative Nassau and Transforming Spaces in November, recognised the urgent need for ambitious climate action.
In response, CICI has launched Operation Teal – a ten-year project to transform Cat Island into a green island with a blue economy that meets the UN 2030 SDGs.
Operation Teal’s work plan adopts a holistic approach and is divided into four themes: climate action, biosphere reserve, learning island, and creative island.
Over the next decade through community-driven and innovative approaches, CICI will facilitate: renewable energy and transportation solutions; a co-managed community protected area; and develop personal and community hurricane preparedness and action plans.
The group will also develop lifelong learning programmes and certification courses to support community science and academic research, along with toolkits to support organized climate action and advocacy for businesses, organisations and agencies.
The group adds that the production of strong indicators through consistent monitoring and evaluation to support evidence-based national policymaking is essential.
CICI’s work is being supported by the Cat Island Department of Marine Resources, the wider Cat Island Community, UNESCO, Creative Nassau, Transforming Spaces, and Aliv.
Shiel-Rolle adds: “The success of Operation Teal will require strategic partnerships in the public and private sectors, and we welcome all stakeholders committed to climate action to join us on this journey.”
For more on CICI and our projects, please visit: www.cicibahamas.org.
Pictured: CICI founding thought leaders in Spain for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference (COP25). Left to right: Tarran Simms, CICI founding thought leader; Nikita Shiel-Rolle, CICI founder and CEO; Charles Hamilton, CICI VP-policy.
Pictured: Nikita Shiel-Rolle, CICI founder and CEO (far left) with delegates at the COP25 Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform’s 2nd Working Group Meeting.
Pictured: The Caribbean Climate Youth Network – Cuba, December 2019.
Pictured: Charles Hamilton, CICI VP-policy (far right) presents to delegates at the Global Climate Change and Health Alliance during COP25 on the work of CICI and ways to support The Bahamas post-Hurricane Dorian.
Pictured: In November 2019, CICI and the Cat Island Department of Marine Resources hosted a Climate Change Workshop for the wider Cat Island Community. (Photos courtesy CICI)