Faith leaders from around the world are endorsing and supporting an inclusive Loss and Damage Fund in preparation for COP28, with a focus on championing the cause of the poor. Pope Francis’ bew apostolic exhortation on climate, Laudate Deum, has prompted faith leaders to call for this fund, which aims to mitigate the detrimental and unjust impacts of climate change, particularly affecting the poor. (CIDSE)
Laudate Deum “invokes the immediate urgency of faster action, takes pains to offer point-by-point rebuttals of climate denial and climate complacency, including corporate complicity and widespread greenwashing, attacks the “technocratic” worldview he sees behind planetary exploitation, defends climate protesters by describing them as filling a vacuum of global leadership, and calls out “the ethical decadence of real power.” He also emphatically endorsed the “abandonment” of fossil fuels — outing himself as a “keep it in the ground” guy as well, writes David Wallace-Wells in The New York Times. “In his short exhortation, Francis devotes long stretches of text to rethinking our use of power, the weakness of international politics, and “climate conferences”.
Participants in a June online dialogue on Loss and Damage — with senior Vatican officials, church leaders from climate-vulnerable countries, and Catholic civil society experts — focused on the moral case for action on Loss and Damage, applying ethical perspectives rooted in Church teachings, scripture, and ancient wisdom. (CIDSE)
- The prolonged subsidization of electricity rates in Trinidad and Tobago has had unwanted consequences, including excessive per capita consumption and a lack of investments in alternative energy sources, reports an article by journalist Ryan Bachoo for Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network.
- A new series by the Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network focuses on civic space in Jamaica: “ Interwoven in the social framework of the civic space is the seeming lack of consideration for members of society who must live with the decisions taken by governments or others who shape their daily lives.”
- At least 21,000 women were victims of sexual exploitation in Trinidad and Tobago between 2015 and 2020, according to a report by NGO Connectas. Many of the victims are Venezuelan migrants who are lured with “normal” job offers through social networks. Upon arrival, the women live locked up in brothels, without the right to move freely until they pay off the debt incurred in order to leave Venezuela. (Infobae)
- The United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution regarding the establishment of a regional office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Caribbean Community. The resolution welcomes the initiative of the Bahamas to host this regional office.
- While there are numerous public beaches in Jamaica, many of them are challenging to access, in disrepair, or charge entrance fees. There is an ongoing debate surrounding beach access and the many concerns raised by various individuals and groups, including the advocacy work of the Jamaica Beach Birthright Environmental Movement (JaBBEM), which seeks to address issues related to beach access and colonial-era laws. (Global Voices)
- Five Law Lords of the UK-based Privy Council dismissed a challenge against Trinidad and Tobago’s colonial-age sedition legislation. (Trinidad and Tobago Guardian)
- Millions of scanned documents from the archives of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) are now digitally searchable through the GLOBALISE project. These documents, known as the Transmitted Letters and Papers, offer insights into various aspects of Dutch colonial history in the 17th and 18th centuries, including topics such as enslavement and colonial violence. (NL Times)
Climate and Environmental Justice
- Over the past 70 years, more than 60% of natural hazards that have hit small states have been in the Caribbean? These disasters have harmed >24 million people and caused 250,000 deaths, write Sonia Griffen, Stacy-ann Robinson in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.
- Recent hurricanes and floods have caused significant damage to indigenous communities in St Vincent and the Grenadines and they are at risk of being completely wiped out unless immediate action is taken to address the impacts of climate change on their health, lives, and livelihoods. (Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network)
- Suriname wants to become the first country to sell carbon credits under the Paris Agreement scheme and has set a price of $30 per credit in an effort to raise $144 million, according to the country’s Environment Minister Marciano Dasai. (Reuters)
- In Suriname’s capital, Paramaribo, residents face recurrent flooding, which is attributed to multiple factors, including government negligence in maintaining drainage systems, the consequences of climate change leading to increased heavy rainfall, and the role of plastic pollution in clogging drainage systems. (Climate Tracker)
- The Caribbean region is facing increasing challenges related to heat exposure and heat stress due to climate change. This is affecting outdoor workers across various sectors, including horticulture, farming, construction, road maintenance, security, and more leading to heat-related health issues such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat rashes. (Climate Tracker)
- The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has introduced a groundbreaking financing tool called the Biodiversity and Climate-Linked Mechanism for Ambition (IDB CLIMA). This tool is the first of its kind among multilateral development banks and is designed to reward countries for achieving nature and climate objectives. (IADB)
- Coral bleaching, driven by climate change, poses a severe threat to the tourism industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This bleaching affects the attractiveness of marine ecosystems, leading to a decline in tourism revenue, negative brand image, loss of biodiversity, compromised recreational activities, job losses, and additional economic impacts. (Vanburn Harry via Linkedin)
- Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have come together to emphasize their shared status as ‘big ocean states’ to strengthen their collective voice on the global stage regarding climate change. They discussed key climate-related topics, including adaptation measures, renewable energy, sustainable transportation, and climate transparency, and outlined specific action areas for the future to address climate challenges. (United Nations Climate Change)
- The Climate Conscious Podcast examines the intersection of urban development and climate change in the Caribbean featuring Dorraine Duncan, founder of the Jamaica-based Island City Lab. Listen.
- There is a significant and far-reaching impact of climate-related disasters and extreme weather events on public health, particularly in Pacific Island nations such as Vanuatu. Most of the effects included damage to health facilities, reduced capacity to distribute malaria prophylaxis, and an increase in mosquito breeding sites due to standing water left behind by the cyclone. (UNDP)
- The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) has awarded the first Yves Renard Fellowship to five Haitian environmental professionals. This nine-month fellowship program will support their efforts to strengthen sustainable livelihoods for biodiversity conservation in Haiti. (CANARI)
- “The killing and hurting of our people should not be a political issue; it’s about all of us and how we plan to operate going forward. It’s all hands on deck to end this seeming epidemic. We all watched with our eyes wide shut as they spawned, bred, and grew”, argues Jamaican member of parliament Lisa Hanna in a piece on homicides for the Jamaica Observer.
- Glasgow University in partnership with the University of the West Indies launched the world’s first master’s degree in reparatory justice. This degree program is part of a broader reparative justice initiative and focuses on addressing historical injustices related to slavery. (The Guardian)
Economics and Finance
- A new episode of CESaRE Voices Navigating Caribbean Climate Finance: Fuel Innovation focused on a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between international finance and regional development in the fight against climate change featuring Dr. Graham King, Director of the Saint Augustine Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Listen.
- Esther Jones, a multimedia specialist who works on social media campaigns and programs for the Government of Barbados, discusses the emerging medicinal cannabis industry in Barbados, focusing on its potential for economic growth and the challenges it faces, in Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network.
Voices From The Caribbean
- The UNESCO program Transcultura: Integrating Cuba, the Caribbean, and the European Union through Culture and Creativity hosted the online debate ‘Waves between the Caribbean and Europe: Connecting Creative audiences through Podcasts’.
- Stronger Caribbean Together released their Stronger Podcasts which launches a monthly episode featuring voices from across the Caribbean as they share their general knowledge and accounts of their experiences in the struggle against disaster capitalism and its many faces. Listen.
- Neville Linton, who passed away at the age of 92, was “an elegant and intelligent man” with a distinguished career in international relations. He served in senior roles at the Commonwealth Secretariat and played a crucial role in issues such as ending apartheid and developing guidelines for Commonwealth election observer missions. (The Guardian)
- Three Jamaican guitarists, Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore, Ernie Ranglin, and Earl “Chinna” Smith, have been recognized and ranked among the 250 greatest guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. (Loop)
- The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner’s Special Rapporteur on Climate Change is input for a report on corporate accountability in the context of human rights and climate change. Apply.
- The Commonwealth Foundation’s annual grants call is accepting applications until 23 October for projects that relate to one or more of our three priority themes: health justice, freedom of expression, and climate justice. Apply.
- Climate Analytics Caribbean launches an open call to win US$ 2,000 for all individuals or organizations working on climate change or environmental projects related to emissions reduction, environmental cleanup, recycling, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and other initiatives aimed at addressing climate change and its impacts. The submission deadline has been extended to October 30th. More information.
- The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has opened a public consultation process to seek input from Indigenous Peoples, local communities, or groups working with them on how to meaningfully engage with them regarding the work of the Supervisory Body and the mechanism under Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement. This consultation period runs from October 5 to November 2, 2023. More information.
- Call for proposals for the First Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean for inclusive, sustainable, and equitable global taxation focused on prioritizing issues for the work plan of the Platform for Taxation in Latin America and the Caribbean in Cartagena.
- CAN Southeast Asia invites your organization to endorse a critical petition aimed at eliminating fluorescent lamps by 2025.
- 18 October — Webinar “An Island in the Chain” organized by the Haitian Studies Association will be held via Zoom. Register.
- 19 October — Webinar Transportation 2050: pathways to Decarbonization and climate resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean organized by Inter-American Development Bank. Register.
- 16-22 October — The Caribbean Philanthropy In Action Week — Organized by The Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance, Theme “Targeting Finance for Gender Equality, Climate Action & Partnerships”. Register.
- Oct. 27, 28, Nov. 3 and 4 — Today Today, Congotay! is a climate justice-themed micro-theatre festival organized by The Cropper Foundation in partnership with the Micro-Theatre Festival of T&T, with the support of Open Society Foundations. Tickets.
Jordana Timerman/Just Caribbean Updates