December 3, 2021

Youth Ambassadors to COP26

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1ST November 2021 –

The National Trust for the Cayman Islands (NTCI) is attending COP26 over the next two weeks in Glasgow, Scotland, along with young Caymanian representatives including Dejea Lyons, Isabela Watler and Dinara Perera. The world unites to tackle climate change at the UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 COP26 and the summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Our youth representatives will have an incredible platform to speak about climate change and learn from experts. This exceptional opportunity will allow them to bring home knowledge to help implement beneficial climate policies.

The NTCI’s Environmental Programmes Manager, Catherine Childs, was able to secure these very difficult to obtain passes to the event through the generosity of the International National Trust Organisation (INTO). INTO is made up of National Trusts from all over the world, and the Cayman Islands is one of the only countries to be given passes, and the only one bringing a delegation of students. INTO thought it important to support a country that will experience some of the worst effects of the climate crisis and that young Caymanians must be a part of the conversation. “The National Trust for the Cayman Islands is proud to be attending COP26 along with youth representatives that includes Dejea Lyons, Isabela Watler and Dinara Perera. This global event is an excellent opportunity for the National Trust and the youth of the Cayman Islands to discuss climate change with experts from around the globe. It is envisioned that the knowledge gained will be shared with our community as a whole which will help create a positive impact on our environment as we continue to preserve our island for all “ says, Olson Anderson, NTCI Chairman.

Our students have been invited to participate in several events and panel discussions. On Friday, November 5th, Isabela Watler will be part of a panel discussion entitled “Culture Driving Climate Resilient Futures: An Intergenerational Dialogue” to discuss the power of youth-led care for culture. On Saturday the 6th, Dejea Lyons will be representing Cayman on a UK Overseas Territory panel entitled “Our Vision for Healthy Oceans – UK Overseas Territories” to showcase the Territories and their work in tackling climate change and protecting their unique marine and terrestrial environments. On Sunday the 7th, Dinara Perera and Catherine Childs will be part of a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) event called ‘Coast to coast: nature- based solutions for climate, biodiversity and people – lessons learned and stories from the ground’ that will feature the Cayman Islands and the conservation work of the National Trust and the Mangrove Rangers. Isabela Watler stated “As student delegates and representatives of a generation that will be significantly impacted by climate change, I think it is crucial that we share our voices and participate in networking opportunities. This will not only help us work towards our global collaborative initiatives, but will also function as a learning experience that we can bring back to Cayman.”

The local community stepped up to support the students, allowing them to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. In fact, the National Trust was so successful in their fundraising efforts, they were able to secure accommodation for the weekend between the two-week conference for other Caymanian students that are attending university in the UK and Europe. Even without passes to enter the main conference, these students will be able to meet other young people from around the world, reconnect with each other, and make their voices heard on the world stage concerning this very important issue. This second group of students includes Joshua McField, Tahiti Seymour, Richard Weber, Rickeem Lashley, and Hayley Roulstone. Steff McDermot will also be in attendance having secured her own pass through Unite for Climate Action and the International and Student Movement for the United Nations. Supporters of this worthy cause include the Cayman Islands Government, CUC, Tim Ridley,, the Caffarelli Family Charitable Fund, the Perera family and Plastic Free Cayman. Tortuga Rum Company also donated rum cakes so that the students will be able to share the sunny taste of Cayman with INTO sponsors and new friends. The NTCI is very grateful for the incredible outpouring of support for this worthy effort to promote Cayman’s young people and fight for climate action.

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