JIS News

The Jamaica Climate Change Youth Council (JCCYC) will be staging a week of activities from April 19 to 24 in recognition of Earth Day 2021.

Earth Day, which is observed annually on April 22 in more than 190 countries, is being marked this year under the theme ‘Restore the Earth’.

Youth across Jamaica will have several opportunities to engage in climate action through the week-long activities that the group is aiming to use to raise awareness about the global event and spur greater stakeholder participation in climate-related issues.

The activities slated include an open-mic virtual concert on Tuesday, April 20, featuring a special appearance by Poet Laurette Olive Senior; a ‘Climate Ribbon’ Ritual of Reflection on Wednesday, April 21; Down to Earth Tree Planting Day on Thursday, April 22; Games Night on Friday, April 23; and a panel discussion on ‘Thinking Sustainably’ on Saturday, April 24.

JCCYC Associate Director and coordinator for the week’s events, Emme Christie, said the Climate Ribbon Ritual is the equivalent of the AIDS Quilt – a mass distributed ritual focusing on potential losses due to the climate change, and affirming solidarity in the fight against it.

“Earth Week represents a period of reflection and calls to action towards the protection of our natural resources and the resilience of our people. We are one with the earth, and it’s important to climate change mitigation and environmental protection efforts that we see ourselves through these lenses,” the Associate Director said.

The JCCYC highlighted the importance of diversity in the events’ offerings, noting that “environmentalism is not just for scientists and those with nature-facing affectations”.

“It’s for the economists, digital artists, market vendors, gardeners, unemployed and employed alike. We all stand to lose something precious during this climate crisis, and the JCCYC’s advocacy platform represents grassroots efforts with significant emphasis on justice, equity and inclusion,” the Council pointed out.

Against this background, the JCCYC emphasised the importance of ensuring that “we bring Earth Week to the Jamaican people in culturally relevant ways, even if we have to do it from behind a screen during a pandemic”.

The activities also mark the fourth anniversary of the Council and its work in youth climate engagement.

The JCCYC invites youth and other interested persons to connect with the organisation at ourfootprintja on social media or visit https://ourfootprintja.org.

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