Climate Action from the Islands: Mitigation and Adaptation

We are already witnessing the disruptive impact of climate change on our daily lives, environment, and economies, in every country in every continent. Islands by nature being isolated, having relatively large coastal zones and marked by smaller low-lying landmasses are one of the most vulnerable to impacts of extreme and frequent weather events triggered by climate change. These have been disrupting islanders ways of life, creating large devastations, creating water shortages, impacting their livelihoods and threatening their very existence.

Countries recognizing the global threat of climate change adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015 to strengthen the global response to this threat. The same year the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were adopted which also recognized “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” as a key goal as climate change itself pose a threat on our ability achieving many other SDGs.

Introduction to session: While historically the islanders have developed resilience and adapted the impacts of climate change at various degrees, it is important to understand if the islands are set to address the current and predicted extreme climate change impacts and achieving their sustainable development goals. The Panel brings together a unique set of experts from the islands to understand the policies and actions for low emission sustainable development in smart climate resilient islands.

Speakers

Vintura Silva

Lead for the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centres in Latin America and the Caribbean

Vintura Silva heads the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre for the Caribbean, based in St George’s, Grenada and is also part of the Caribbean MRV Hub team. He has been with the UNFCCC secretariat since 2008. Before his current posting, he lead the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centres for Africa , Latin America and coordinated the office for Asia Pacific. Prior to joining UNFCCC, Vintura had worked as an international consultant on climate change mitigation and national GHG inventories. He had completed his doctoral studies in International Business Administration and holds Masters degrees in international Business Administration, Industrial Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry.
Vintura Silva

Lead for the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centres in Latin America and the Caribbean

Christine Milne

Former Green Party Leader & Senator for Tasmania

Christine Milne was the first woman to lead a political party in Tasmania and was the Leader of the Australian Greens from 2012 to 2015 in the Australian Parliament. She was elected to represent Tasmania in the federal parliament in 2004 after a distinguished career in the Tasmanian state parliament (1989-98). She was instrumental in developing the Clean Energy Package, which was the core legislation responsible for addressing global warming. Christine also served on the Global Council of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) from 2000-2008 with four years as one of the four global Vice Presidents. She represented the organization at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Climate Change Convention. She was appointed to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global 500 Roll of Honour in 1990 and has received many awards during her distinguished career.
Christine Milne

Former Green Party Leader & Senator for Tasmania

Carlos Fuller

Regional and International Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre

Mr Carlos Fuller is the Regional and International Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. His primary responsibility is to coordinate CARICOM Member States in the international climate change negotiations. He is a Meteorologist and was the Chief Meteorologist in the National Meteorological Service of Belize. He has represented Belize in the climate change negotiation process since 1990. In that capacity he served as the Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC) in 2017 and 2018. He is presently the Chief Negotiator on Climate Change for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) under the Chairmanship of Belize. He is also the Special Advisor to the President of the Commission on Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on High-level Science-Policy Climate Related Issues. He holds the George Price Lifetime Achievement Award for Emergency Management and the Officer of the Order the British Empire (OBE) for public service.
Carlos Fuller

Regional and International Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre

Racquel Moses

CEO of the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator

Racquel Moses is CEO of the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator. She has served in several executive-level positions at large multinational organizations and Caribbean leadership organizations including country head of Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago and the regional director of the public sector for Microsoft Caribbean, portfolio head Europe and Americas and Head of Caribbean and International projects for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), president of InvesTT Trinidad and Tobago as well as leadership positions within JP Morgan Chase, Cable & Wireless and Fujitsu.

Although the bulk of her career has been international Racquel was born and raised in Trinidad. Through all of her appointments she has served as an agent of change and high performance. Racquel is a married mother of two, has run 4 international marathons, was the winner of a World Bank innovation award in 2013 and currently serves as the trustee for the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee.

Racquel Moses

CEO of the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator

Pelenise Alofa

National Coordinator for the Kiribati Climate Action Network

Pelenise Alofa – also known as ‘Maike Pilitati’ – is from Kiribati’s Banaba island and is National Coordinator of the Kiribati Climate Action Network (KiriCAN) a network of 20 organizations active on climate change. In 2012 Pelenise established partnership between KiriCAN and Live & Learn Environmental Education International, an organization doing adaptation projects in Kiribati and she now sits on the Board.

She is currently employed by the University of the South Pacific, Pacific Centre of Sustainable Development as In-Country Coordinator for the European Union/Global Climate Change Alliance project which aims to develop and strengthen the Pacific ACP countries’ capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change through capacity building, research and community engagement.

Pelenise Alofa

National Coordinator for the Kiribati Climate Action Network

Partner

Regional Collaboration Centre - St. George's

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat has signed a partnership agreement with the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) to establish a regional collaboration centre in Saint George, Grenada in an effort to assist in the development of clean development mechanism (CDM) projects in the region.

Countries supported: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname