DR. ARUN KASHYAP: Launch of Logo Competition - Climate Change Division, MWLECC

Sep 18, 2014


Dr. Arun Kashyap
UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative, Jamaica
Launch – Logo Competition – Climate Change Division, MWLECC
Forestry Department
Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.


  • Honourable Robert Pickersgill, Minister, Ministry of Water, Land, Environment & Climate Change;
  • Dr Alwin Hales, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change (MWLECC);
  • Dr. Conrad Douglas, Chairman, Climate Change Advisory Committee;
  • Mr Albert Daley, Principal Director, Climate Change Division, MWLECC
  • Director Orville Grey, Technical Officer, Adaptation
  • Representatives of the Forestry Department and other agencies of the Government of Jamaica
  • Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning! On behalf of the United Nations in Jamaica, I am delighted to be here this morning to participate in the launch of the national logo competition for the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change.

Climate change threatens to undermine global efforts to achieve sustainable development and peace keeping. The adverse impacts of climate change are causing hardships to all and especially to the poor and the vulnerable communities. That is what makes the UN Climate Summit on September 23 extremely crucial and we ae delighted that Honourable Pickersgill will participate in the Summit.

I wish to commend the Ministry for this creative initiative to heighten awareness on climate change and its adverse impacts on SIDS among youth in Jamaica, particularly among the students at the secondary and tertiary school levels. The growing global challenge of climate change and its threat to inclusive development makes it imperative to engage the youth in this effort to seek sustainable solutions.

As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon states, “Saving our Planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth – these are one and the same fight.” It is not surprising that UN General Assembly’s efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals – that will replace the Millennium Development Goals at the end of 2015 – have concerns and impacts of climate change running right through them. The United Nations System recognizes the key role of youth in our efforts to achieve equitable development and therefore in tackling climate change challenges.

The UN works closely with youth-led and youth-focussed organizations around the world through the United Nations Joint Framework Initiative on Children, Youth and Climate Change (Joint Framework Initiative) to empower young people to take adaptation and mitigation actions and enhance effective participation of youth in climate change policy decision-making processes.

Some of these initiatives include:

  • Funding by the UNDP- Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme, for projects on mitigation or adaptation to climate change proposed by youth organizations or non-governmental organizations that work with youth;
  • Development of food security and climate change educational programmes and resources for rural farmer field and life schools by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) -; and
  • Development of national climate change education programmes, policies and resources by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through its Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development Programme.
  • The work undertaken with and by youth will provide an additional catalytic influence to mobilize ambition of governments to arrive at an agreement on a new climate change regime by 2015. Tackling climate change requires concerted coordinated government action as well as conscious and informed efforts by individuals beginning with the youth. It is therefore essential to strengthen both formal and informal education on climate change and viable lifestyles.

At the recent Preconference Forum for Youth held at the Third International Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference in Samoa, youth participants from all over the world including Jamaica, committed to playing an active role in providing solutions to existing issues such as climate change in the Small Island Developing States.

The youth leaders at the Forum called for:

  • Scientific research, information, formal and informal education, and communication programmes for climate change and biodiversity in simplified language, accessible formats and through creative arts;
  • The United Nations system and States to further explore and address the ways in which climate change, disasters and environmental degradation impact on young people;
  • Improved and inclusive strategies to prevent and mitigate the risks of disasters by recognizing the unique abilities, needs and priorities of youth;
  • Immediate fast tracking of the climate change funding committed through the Green Climate Fund and other adaptation funds to reach the SIDS for use in adaptation work; and
  • Governments of the three SIDS regions to adopt a common vision on the challenges faced by SIDS in the management of sustainable biodiversity and eco-system services for the Twelfth meeting of the conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP12) which will be held at Pyeonchang, Republic of Korea in October 2014.

As you would be aware that the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate established in 2013 by a group of seven countries (Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom) has presented its Report. This Commission is made up of 24 heads of government and finance ministers, and leaders of businesses, cities, international organizations, and research institutions. The Commission has been advised by a panel of 15 distinguished economists, all of them world leaders in their respective economic disciplines. The Commission has proposed a 10 point Global Action Plan (viz., accelerate low carbon transformation by integrating climate into core decision making process; enter into a strong, lasting and equitable international climate agreement; phase out subsidies for fossil fuels and agricultural inputs, and incentives for urban sprawl; introducing strong, predictable carbon prices; substantially reduce capital costs for low-carbon infrastructure investment; scale up innovation in key low carbon and climate resilient technologies; make connected and compact cities the preferred form of urban development; stop deforestation of natural forests by 2030; restore at least 500m hectares of lost or degraded forests and agricultural lands by 2030; and accelerate the shift from polluting coal fired power generation) that can help catalyse action to achieve both better growth and a better climate.

With these recommendations we have a guiding path to engage Jamaican youth as an important part of the climate change solution by partnering with them for their effective contribution to policy development, its implementation and enforcement, and social mobilization at the community, local, national as well as the international levels.

Honourable Minister, we know you recognize this imperative as is also reflected in your important message – With Climate Change we must Change. This Logo competition is timely as it engages the youth in the ongoing efforts of the Government to address the challenges of climate change, making them a part of the solution.

“(This Sunday September 21, join hundreds of thousands of people for the People's Climate March in New York City. Sometimes collective action is what we need. We hope this gathering will uncover some new energy and morph into something a little more direct in the near future, we feel an urgent need for an eco-social movement.)”

I would like to assure you that the United Nations and its Agencies in Jamaica will continue to partner with the Government of Jamaica, and your Ministry in particular, to strengthen the capacity of the country, and to find sustainable solutions to the climate change challenges by taking into account the recommendation of the Commission and the soon to be arrived at SDGs.

As the youth delegates at the SIDS Youth Forum aptly declared, “Each one of us represents a piece of a jigsaw puzzle that when put together forms a picture of the sustainable islands we dream of. There is something special each and every one of us can do to help build a better world for all through durable and sustainable partnerships”.

I wish you every success in the Logo competition.

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