Last week, Shimron Miller, Marissa Mohammed, Calvin James, Reginald Burke and myself representing the Caribbean Youth Environment Network and attended a very important meeting of civil society organizations and NGOs from throughout the Caribbean region in Grenada.  Here’s a report about their trip and a bit about what’s going on in the region around climate change:

The Commonwealth Foundation, in collaboration with the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) hosted a regional civil society consultation in Grenada from June 15th – 17th, 2009. The consultation is one of many across the Commonwealth in preparation for the Commonwealth People’s Forum which will take place in Trinidad in November, one week prior to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) also taking place in Trinidad.  The outcome of these pan-Commonwealth consultations/seminars will feed into the reports that will inform the final communiqué of the Commonwealth People’s Forum to be presented to the CHOGM.

For the CYEN-350 partnership this meeting was crucial to create strategic alliances with other established NGOs and to promote the issue of climate change, especially in light of the fast approaching UNFCCC meeting in December. At this meeting the CYEN members lobbied very effectively for climate change to be included on the programs for the CPDC, the regional NGO which represents the interests of its members. Furthermore, we also lobbied effectively the issue of setting a specific goal to the reduction of carbon emissions- namely the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 387 parts per million to 350 parts per million.

More importantly, CYEN (through fair elections) now has a member on the board of the CPDC, thus ensuring that this specific goal is in fact included in the documentation presented to the CHOGM. This consultation proved to be a great capacity-building workshop for the CYEN members who attended who received invaluable information on gender empowerment, rural livelihoods, free trade, chronic non communicable diseases, disaster management and effective partnership development.  During, the process we gave out some CYEN and 350 materials, specifically about October 24th and the process in Copenhagen. We were also able to go on the very popular morning show Spice Morning

At the closing ceremony CYEN gave out 350 promotional materials- shirts and stickers to key focal points in the NGO movement. Through this consultation provision will be made to follow the process in the Caribbean and get our Caribbean leaders on board to sign a strong treaty in Copenhagen.

For a recording of the proceedings please visit:

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