Rising Tides, United Voices: Cayman Islands Rally for Climate Action Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

In the wake of a strong Nor’Wester that battered the Cayman Islands coastline, environmental activists both locally and abroad are urgently seeking solutions and preventative plans to steer the Cayman Islands towards a safer, more sustainable future. Despite the idyllic perception of the Caribbean as an untouched paradise of palm-fringed beaches, the harsh reality paints a different picture. Each passing Hurricane Season takes its toll, gnawing away at the coastline while rising ocean temperatures jeopardize the vibrant coral colonies that adorn our shores. This impending catastrophe threatens not only the tourism industry and the economic backbone of our nation but also the safety and security of Caymanians during periods of hazardous weather.

The absence of implementation and tangible climate change action plans has spurred the local non-profit organization ‘Sustainable Cayman’ to respond to these needs. As part of the Community Partnership Programme and in collaboration with ‘OnePlanet,’ a platform for joined-up climate action, Sustainable Cayman aims to shine a spotlight on the dire situation unfolding in the Cayman Islands. Being a British Overseas Territory, the UK holds a significant responsibility to engage with Caymanians on matters of national security. The looming climate crisis has the potential to devastate low-lying islands like ours and should, therefore, be a top priority for UK representatives, including starting to plan for evacuating the islands.

To initiate this critical collaboration, six members of Sustainable Cayman have meticulously compiled a report “Rising Tides, Departing Shores: Resilience Amidst Adversity for the Cayman Islands” outlining the current state of environmental risks and the impending challenges facing the Cayman Islands. The report delves into topics such as sea-level rise, infrastructure vulnerabilities, and the broader implications for Caymanian culture and the International Finance Centre. 

Highlighting the urgency of UK-Cayman collaboration, as part of a wider ‘Young Leaders’ programme, OnePlanet and Rewired Earth will provide an opportunity for Cayman Youth Ambassadors to present the report at an event at the House of Commons later in February. During this forum, UK Young Leaders will present their ‘Climate Manifesto‘. Sustainable Cayman will share crucial insights from their report and engage with attending Members of Parliament. Aleigha General and Danielle Seales, youth ambassadors from Sustainable Cayman, will facilitate genuine discussions on proactive climate change action and underscore the UK’s pivotal role in securing the future of the Cayman Islands.

Rickeem Lashley, a contributor to the report and a participant at COP28 in Dubai, emphasizes the urgency of the situation: “Securing our future requires a pyramid of needs, the very basis of our survival is under threat and we need a lifeline. We hope this report ignites a beacon of hope.”

For more information and to view the report, please visit: https://sustainablecayman.org/unite-for-climate.  

(Source: Sustainable Cayman)