‘Island on Alert’ gives expert insight on climate change

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By Makeida Antonio

[email protected]

A brand new insightful and impactful podcast on climate change was launched by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) on Monday.

Yesterday, ‘Islands on Alert’ host, Andy Liburd, told Observer that the podcast will bring awareness to the impact of climate change on Small Island Developing States in the region.

“Ambassador Webson, Antigua and Barbuda’s permanent representative to the United Nations, contacted me and asked me to support an initiative which, of course, is a podcast.

“I’m seeking to bring and shed new light on issues of climate change, especially heading into COP26 [UN climate change conference], those issues particularly having to do with the consequences and impact of climate change on small island states,” he said.

Liburd, who is a veteran Caribbean media professional, shared that the eight-episode series has given him a deeper understanding about the realities of people whose livelihoods have been affected by climate change.

“So far, the journey has been thoroughly eye-opening. You know, you’ve been in the news business and you deal with and cover issues related to the environment and climate change, and so on, but you never get the opportunity to really go in depth and dig deep as to what those issues are; it’s always on to the next story,” he added.

Experts have presented their work experience and findings on the podcast, according to Liburd.

“Through this opportunity, I was able to speak to those persons on the frontline of climate change, those negotiating with the big and industrialised nations,” he said.

His hope for Islands on Alert is that it will effect meaningful change about how we see persons who are being disadvantaged due to this ongoing issue.

“[For] those persons’ livelihoods who pretty much depend on the sea, the oceans, the threat is real. It was an excellent opportunity and it moved me considerably because I was a part of something that would hopefully effect a change on how we view this very important issue,” he said.

The AOSIS Chair, Ambassador Aubrey Webson, claimed that COP26 will be a mechanism to deal with the mitigation of damage and loss caused by climate change.

“Islands are depending on COP26 to mobilise rapid global action to reduce carbon emissions at a pace that will limit global warming to 1.5°C,” he said.

“COP26 will also be the platform for advancement on critical issues such as climate justice, climate finance, adaptation and mitigation, and loss and damage, all of which are integral to supporting island states and providing opportunity for a sustainable future.”

One episode will be released weekly leading up to the pivotal, two-week climate negotiations, COP26, that begin in Glasgow, UK, on November 1.

Since 1990, AOSIS has represented the interests of the 39 small island and low-lying coastal developing states in international climate change, sustainable development negotiations and processes.

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