January 31, 2023

OECS-GIZ host Town Hall Meeting on Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change in Saint Lucia

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Friday, July 26, 2019 — Residents of the coastal community of Anse-la-Raye and members of the general public in Saint Lucia had the opportunity to learn and share experiences on the topic of Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change at a town hall meeting organised by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission in partnership with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

The community event, held at the Anse-la-Raye Primary School on Saturday, 20 July 2019, sought to raise awareness on the impacts of climate change, population migration and urgent relocation caused by natural disasters. 

The event featured the screening of a short film on the impacts of climate change and four video testimonials, which featured affected persons from the Anse-la-Raye community. Participants were further engaged in a panel discussion and Q&A segment with key environmental sustainability stakeholders and members of the community.

Panellists included:

  • Experts in the area of Environmental Sustainability in Saint Lucia;
  • Members of the Anse-la-Raye Community Council;
  • Representatives from the OECS Environmental Sustainability Cluster; and
  • Representatives of the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).  

Dr. Annett Fleischer, Regional Coordinator of the GIZ Global Programme on Sustainable Management of Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change, emphasised the need to better understand human mobility including migration, displacement and planned relocation and climate change to proactively address the topic.

“Planned relocation is a sensitive issue since it is not only connected to land use and financial requirements, but there is also an emotional aspect. The German word ‘Heimat’ explains the emotional attachment to a place and highlights the challenge to leave and start living in a new home.”

Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Coordinator at the OECS Commission, Crispin D’Auvergne, noted the importance of community-level dialogue to effectively share information and sustainably manage the inevitable displacement of persons in a disaster.

“For communities such as Anse-la-Raye, that have been repeatedly and heavily impacted by extreme weather events, it is important that the residents be fully involved in identifying appropriate solutions.”

This town hall meeting is the first of three community sensitisation events on Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change scheduled to be held in the OECS region. Upcoming town hall meetings will be held in the Commonwealth of Dominica on Saturday, 27 July 2019 and in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday, 10 August 2019. More information to follow.

About the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States:

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an international organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

About the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit:

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GmbH or GIZ in short, (English: German Corporation for International Cooperation) is a German development agency that provides services in the field of international development cooperation. GIZ mainly implements technical cooperation projects of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), its main commissioning party, although it also works with the private sector and other national and supranational government organizations on a public benefit basis.

In its activities, GIZ seeks to follow the paradigm of sustainable development, which aims at economic development through social inclusion and environmental protection. GIZ offers consulting and capacity building services in a wide range of areas, including management consulting, rural development, sustainable infrastructure, security and peace-building, social development, governance and democracy, environment and climate change, and economic development and employment.

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