Diana McCaulay, CEO of the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), says “climate change is a justice issue”. During her enlightening presentation at the 13th Annual CIN Lecture Series in New York, Diana emphasized that climate change is an existential threat to the Caribbean.
Diana’s stimulating presentation about The State of The Rock was well received by a large audience at the Schomburg Center in New York. The environmental activist received a standing ovation after outlining several overwhelming issues facing the Jamaican environment and the wider Caribbean – sewage, solid waste, beach erosion, coral reefs and climate change – and how the diaspora should let their voices be heard when it comes to preserving our natural assets.
In her speech Diana said “the time is long past to stop delaying strong action to reduce emissions by the large producers of greenhouse gases, including the US, as well as to assist developing countries to make an energy transition to renewables and to adapt to the changes that are coming.” She continued with a report from The World Bank that says the global average of persons living on the coast is 40% so if a hurricane season like the most recent should become ‘the new normal’, our entire economic base will be destroyed and will not have time to recover before the next storm hits.
Preceding Diana’s presentation, Prof. Trevor Munroe, Executive Director of the National Integrity Action (NIA), title sponsor of this year’s CIN Lecture, spoke of the similarities between the mission of JET and NIA in Jamaica. He explained that JET’s purpose is to enhance environmental education, advocacy and conservation, but there is no effective conservation unless there is full transparency, strong accountability and awareness building in governance to ensure that ignorance among the public and corruption in high places does not allow the development of policies – and the issuance of permits – destructive of our natural environment.
Stephen Hill, CEO of CIN, ended the evening’s activities by remarking that the lecture is a celebration of excellence and Diana embodies that excellence by being the voice and conscience of the environmental lobby in Jamaica.
CIN continues to educate and entertain by presenting activists such as Diana McCaulay at the CIN Lecture in New York and bringing compelling Caribbean content on CIN TV.