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Two students from the Cassava River Primary and Infant School, located in Glengoffe, St. Catherine Parish, Jamaica received the 1st and 2nd place prizes in a poster competition organized to promote climate change adaptation for children. The winners were selected on February 29, 2012. The initiative, sponsored by a community-based project, was entitled "Adapting to Climate Change: We're Ready. Are You?" One additional winner, Bellevue Primary in Portland, was recognized for their work in advocacy on "communities' communication and responsibility in Climate Change Adaptation". Shania Lawrence, 12, from the Cassava River Primary and Infant School, was the first place winner. She will be awarded USD300 for her poster entry titled "Today's Effect....Tomorrow's Climate." Bradley Evan, 11, also from the Cassava River Primary and Infant School, was the second place winner. He will be awarded USD150 for his poster entry titled "Human Destruction". Glenroy Henry of Bellevue Primary will be awarded USD75 for his entry- "Adapting to Climate Change" in recognition of the role that advocacy plays in adaptation. As the school with the winners, Cassava River Primary and Infant School will receive the following: 1.) as first place winner, a trophy and USD750 to develop an adaptation unit model for awareness raising among its population and others, and USD 400 towards an environmental activity; and 2.) as the runner up school, USD300 towards an environmental activity and the runner's up trophy.
As today's children will become tomorrow's leaders, the objective of this event was to build the student population's awareness on climate change adaptation. The Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) project uses participatory and inclusive approaches and works with all ages, groups and genders in efforts of building the adaptive capacity of communities to address climate change impacts.
The competition was opened to students, in two age cohorts, 8-13 and 14-19, who attend schools in the areas where CBA projects are implemented. These areas include Bunkers Hill Trelawny, the Portland Bight Area of Clarendon, Woodford and Cascade in Rural St. Andrew, Portland and Glengoffe in St. Catherine.
"Awareness is one of the first steps of reducing ones vulnerability, and so this competition serves an important role of building this awareness among this group of marginalized persons, who are important actors in this process of community-based adaptation," said Michelle Curling-Ludford, Community Development Advisor and United Nations Volunteer, who organized the competition. This event was funded by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV), one of the project partners.
Hyacinth Douglas, National Coordinator in Jamaica for the GEF Small Grants Programme, lauded the venture as an "exciting and feasible communication strategy that can be employed in building awareness among small children and their parents, about climate change and its impacts. The entries received show that already there is a level of understanding among students and we need to further build on this, as these students are our hope in becoming advocates of the environment, but more specifically advocating for us to implement and continue to upscale lessons learnt from adaptation strategies. "
Adjudicating was done by members of the National Steering Committee which consisted of representatives from UNEP, UNDP and Association of Development Agency (a civil society group). Criteria for judging included originality, relevance, visual impact and evidence of research. The presentation of the awards will be made at the school at a date yet to be determined.
The Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) Project is a five-year global initiative supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and largely funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) along with other donors. Delivered through the GEF-Small Grants Programme (SGP) and UNDP Country Offices, the goal of the Project is to strengthen the resiliency of communities addressing climate change impacts. The Project is piloted in ten (10) countries: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Samoa and Vietnam. UNDP partners with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to enhance community mobilization, facilitate volunteers' contributions and ensure inclusive participation in the project, as well as facilitate capacity building of partner non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs).
(2nd Place of the poster competition "Adapting to Climate Change: We're Ready. Are You?" – “Human Destruction” by Bradley Evan“. Photo Credit: GEF Small Grant Programme)
(Award for advocacy Place of the poster competition "Adapting to Climate Change: We're Ready. Are You?" – Award for Advocacy, Glenroy Henry. Photo Credit: GEF Small Grant Programme)