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.
Lead for the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centres in Latin America and the Caribbean
Former Green Party Leader & Senator for Tasmania
Regional and International Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
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.
CEO of the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator
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.
National Coordinator for the Kiribati Climate Action Network
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