Carifesta XIV keeping a Green Scene


Environmental conservation and preservation is high on the agenda, as representatives of all the nations of the Caribbean region assemble in Trinidad and Tobago this weekend for the start of the Carifesta XIV. The largest showcase of regional talents, goods and services will definitely be a “green scene” in 2019 with various initiatives set to encourage conversations, collections, collaborations, creations and of course, overall carbon footprint reductions.

Drawing upon the resources of the region, former Minister of Public Service, Information, Broadcasting, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology in St Lucia, Dr. James Fletcher has been confirmed to deliver a presentation entitled: “A Caribbean Perspective: Climate Change” on Wednesday, August 21 at the Grand Market in the Queen’s Park Savannah from 6 pm.

“Green Day” is scheduled for Friday, August 23 at the ‘Grand Market’ in Port of Spain and on Saturday, August 24 at SAPA in San Fernando with the launch and a call for artists to engage in Environmental Advocacy happening on Friday afternoon also.

Additionally, environmentalists will be happy to learn that two engaging and environmentally-sound workshops will take place at the Youth Village, with another workshop for small and medium-sized businesses specifically-designed to provide information on how they can ‘green’ their business operations. There is also a series of Change Convos with themes such as: ‘Is Art Activism?’; ‘Using design to support environmental causes’, ‘Zero Waste fashion’ and ‘How we can better engage the energy sector’. Also for the visitors, there are eco-friendly, chocolate tours happening in the capital city, which start from the Green Scene space at the Grand market.

Global Villages Development Consultant, Denyssa David reminds the public about the disastrous effects of climate change and the importance of “going green”. She said:

“Climate change has great impacts on agriculture and food production, population health, tourism, freshwater systems, livelihoods, coastal infrastructure and Caribbean economies, etc. because of our region’s sensitivity… Facing the reality of our vulnerability to climate change impacts, the urgency of strengthening our commitment to combating it and building resilience is even more apparent. It is clear that urgent action is required to prepare for the climate change impacts that we cannot avoid and to reduce the impact experienced from those that we can avoid.”

Driven by the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts through the CARIFESTA XIV Secretariat, these ‘green scene’ initiatives are supported by a host of organisations and individuals, primarily Global Villages Development Consultants and EMA’s ICare project. The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) – with the assistance of Nadia Rudder – has been particularly supportive of the initiative. They’ve provided a water refilling station at the Grand Market, as well as specially-labelled bins for the disposal of recyclable waste, along with appointed “Recycling Heroes” to ensure that all waste is properly disposed of at Carifesta XIV.

Marketing and Communications’ Coordinator at the Carifesta XIV Secretariat, Arlene Holman explained that the mandate from the Ministry (of Community Development Culture and The Arts) calls for regional education, discussion, positive and proactive resolutions and most importantly, action!

“As thousands of visitors gather for CARIFESTA XIV,” she said, “we are mindful of the opportunity for environmental education which focuses on practical changes for artists and others to reduce their carbon footprint and promote advocacy. Additionally, in the spirit of CARIFESTA XIV, we will share ideas and information on how artists and regional green enterprises are using local resources to generate environmentally sustainable solutions and creatively sharing them.”

The term “Green Scene” has been coined and allotted to eight of the festival’s ten-day life span and refers to collective efforts at greeningCARIFESTA XIV. It will focus on 5Cs:

  1. Conversation: Facilitating conversation on environmental matters especially climate change issues at various venues from 17-24 August 2019;
  2. Creation: Encouraging artistic expression on climate change and environmentally sustainable practices for CARIFESTA visitors during the festival (we will have a collective and continuous mural called Nou: Our Green Caribbean)
  3. Collection: Collecting recyclables from everyone (EMA’s ICare), compostable material from food vendors (Alliance of Rural Communities TT) and old cell phones, all batteries and e-waste (Recyclable E-Waste Management Ltd) which will take place at the QPS and SAPA
  4. Collaboration: Providing incentives for more sustainable operations by exhibitors and visitors and connecting green enterprises and organisations with potential partners, clients and allies
  5. Carbon footprint reduction: Reducing the overall carbon footprint so for example: some organisations opted for Port-A-Cools instead of a/c., we are encouraging visitors to walk with their re-usable food and beverage containers and we’ve provided free, purified drinking water in a space which will have tens of thousands of persons daily
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