Petre Williams-Raynor, Country Director for Panos Caribbean (Jamaica) plants a tree with daughter Rayne for her first birthday on April 9, toward Earth Day 2016. (Photo: Kayon Raynor)
PANOS team members, together with artistes from our Voices for Climate Change Education Project, have worked collaboratively to make Earth Day 2016 count: we have planted trees!
“About two weeks ago, one of our team members — Nastassia Fyffe — came to me indicating that Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) was looking for ‘partners’ to help them plant 5,000 trees this Earth Day while undertaking to donate JMD100.00 to the Forestry Department for every photo uploaded of individuals planting these trees. And I thought, what a beautiful idea?” said Petre Williams-Raynor, Country Director for Panos Caribbean, Jamaica.
“And so we have ran with it: planting trees, capturing the photographs of us doing so and then sharing them via social media — with #PanosEarthDay #JMMBEarthDay. Planet Earth will not lose for our efforts, certainly not given the climate change realities facing Jamaica, as other small island developing states of the Caribbean,” she added.
“What is more, we encourage others to follow suit and thank, very specially, our Voices for Climate Change Education artistes who continue to lend their talents and individual brands to the climate change adaptation cause,” Williams-Raynor said further.
Voices for Climate Change Education has been a Flagship project of Panos since it started in 2009.
In 2013, it partnered with the Meteorological Office of Jamaica to implement a part of the public education programme of the European Union Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Project.
In 2014, the Planning Institute of Jamaica supported the project in working in three vulnerable communities in Clarendon, St. Andrew and Manchester.
Singer/songwriter Boom Dawn — another of Panos Caribbean’s Voices for Climate Change Education artistes — plants a tree with the help of a young student as part of her Earth Day 2016 activities. (Photo: Contributed)
Last year, artistes from the project lent their talents to the ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ campaign, designed to raise awareness about climate change in the Caribbean while rallying support for the region’s climate negotiators at the international climate talks held in Paris in December.
The artistes — Aaron Silk, Minori Russell, Pam Hall, and Lloyd Lovindeer — wrote four songs on the ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ message, all of which have won high praise from a variety of audiences and stakeholders.
Now, Cameal Davis, Black Dice and Boom Dawn — all accomplished singers/songwriters and themselves also members of the Voices project — have joined Panos staff in putting their support behind the tree planting for Earth Day 2016.
Today, Earth Day 2016, marks the day when the Paris Agreement — brokered at the Paris climate talks — opens for signatures in New York.
The signing ceremony is expected to be attended by some 150 world leaders, including Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith and others from the Caribbean.
The Agreement is to enter into force “on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 per cent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession”.