Castries, St Lucia — Civil society and government representatives from Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member states will on Wednesday share their issues regarding climate change as well as discuss ways of strengthening support for OECS negotiators at the global climate change process in Paris 2015 later this year.
The activity to be held in Saint Lucia is a climate change symposium guided by the theme: Climate change matters to me and to you.
The one day event in Castries will also hear of the level of awareness and participation by civil society on climate change and its relevance to them.
Presentations by focal points are expected to highlight the outcomes of efforts undertaken in OECS countries in support of stakeholder engagement in the Working Partnership of Climate Change (WPPC) 2015 work programme.
The climate change symposium is in collaboration with partners including fisherfolk organisations, tourism groups and youth networks.
In 2015, the OECS Commission in partnership with the embassy of France to the OECS formed an alliance to allow for the inclusion of greater civil society voices at the upcoming global climate change negotiation (COP 21) scheduled to take place in Paris in December of this year. In the same year the Working Partnership of Climate Change was launched comprising of a nominated representative from each of the OECS member states along with donor partners.
The general purpose of the WPPC is as follows:
1. To provide a platform for information exchange among member states of the OECS and European partners on issues relating to climate change;
2. To support the process of engagement to allow for active participation of OECS member states in Paris 2015; and
3. To facilitate a programme of sensitization among civil society on climate change issues with a view to supplying information and securing input in the development of national and regional negotiating positions.
As part of the work programme, feedback, input and discussion from civil society are given priority and in this regard, a symposium is seen as an excellent medium to achieve this aim which includes: bringing greater awareness of the global diplomatic process of UNFCCC and COP 21; and to solicit views and garner feedback from the targeted group to empower the negotiators in reflecting the Caribbean and SIDS realities at COP 21.