JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Approximately 1,000 students from secondary schools islandwide attended the second annual Youth Climate Change Conference, which was held, on September 25, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, under the theme: ‘Our Changing Climate – Trusting Youth to Act for a Better Tomorrow’.
  • The conference was staged in collaboration with the Ministries of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change; Education; and Youth and Culture.
  • Highlight of the event was a Conference of Parties (COP) which enabled high school teams to present recommendations for the first Climate Change Action Plan in Schools in Jamaica, which will be incorporated into the National Climate Change Framework Policy.

Approximately 1,000 students from secondary schools islandwide attended the second annual Youth Climate Change Conference, which was held, on September 25, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, under the theme: ‘Our Changing Climate – Trusting Youth to Act for a Better Tomorrow’.

The conference, hosted by the Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change (Ja REEACH) project, was staged in collaboration with the Ministries of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change; Education; and Youth and Culture.

Highlight of the event was a Conference of Parties (COP) which enabled high school teams to present recommendations for the first Climate Change Action Plan in Schools in Jamaica, which will be incorporated into the National Climate Change Framework Policy.

Students from 10 high schools submitted proposals for amendments to the document on topics ranging from the use of solar power to water security, preservation of the environment, and the promotion of climate change awareness among youth.

The students were invited to submit entries for the photo, poster, and video competitions, highlighting climate change impacts and issues.

Munro College student, Jadan Johnson and Kedesha Stewart from Westwood High were each awarded a $25,000 scholarship and a $20,000 cash award for being the best male and female negotiators in the COP.

The Munro College and Westwood High teams also copped trophies for best school participation in the COP.

In his remarks, Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, urged the students to become more involved in and explore innovative ways of spreading the message about environmental stewardship and adapting to and mitigating climate change impacts.

“As young people, you are capable of participating in, and changing the society in which you are all valued members. As such you have an important role to play in addressing and affecting the issues of our world, including the factors that contribute to climate change,” he said.

The Minister further said he was heartened that the Education Ministry will be incorporating climate change awareness into the curriculum for primary and secondary schools.

Stakeholder support, through sponsorship and other inputs, was provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA), as well as several local corporate entities.