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4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Fostering Resilience: An Intergenerational Dialogue on Health and Climate in Small Island Developing States

Jump to Guests
Dr Terri-Karelle Johnson
Dr. James Hospedales
Ashley Lashley
Alisi Rabukawaqa
Kendell Vincent
Date & Time
10:00am, 28 May 2024 - 11:30am, 28 May 2024
About the event

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face a unique set of challenges. Their vulnerability to the effects of climate change is acute—including to rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and changing precipitation patterns. As the climate crisis escalates, severe effects on human health are being documented, including an increase in the spread of infectious diseases, heat-related illnesses and deaths, worsening maternal and child health outcomes, and disruptions to healthcare infrastructure and services.

Children and young people are among those most vulnerable to the effects of these dual crises, and it is those countries on the frontline of the climate crisis, especially SIDS, that are expected to bear the greatest burden. Strategic investments that target young people in SIDS, including in employment, education, and training, are crucial to addressing their layered vulnerabilities and bringing this key group to the forefront of advocacy for change.

This event—a partnership between the Government of Samoa and the Commonwealth Foundation—will seek to facilitate an intergenerational dialogue to address the pressing challenges faced by SIDS communities and explore sustainable and actionable solutions that involve young people. It will provide a platform for sharing documented good practices of youth leadership and engagement in climate and health justice initiatives; lessons learned about what has worked and what has not; and ideas for innovation and investment to foster health and climate resilience in SIDS. It will also explore how the Commonwealth—an intergovernmental body that counts most of the world’s SIDS among its members—and Commonwealth institutions can support the youth population in SIDS to address health challenges linked to climate change. The event will include perspectives from wider civil society via video contributions commissioned to give a voice to key sectors of SIDS civil society. Some key questions that will be addressed in this dialogue are:

• What are the most pressing health concerns (both physical and psychological) arising from climate change in SIDS, and how do they differ across regions?

• What policy measures can be implemented to enhance healthcare infrastructure and services in SIDS, with a focus on the needs of young populations?

• How can regional and international partnerships, particularly with institutions like the Commonwealth, be leveraged to support youth-led initiatives addressing health challenges arising from climate change in SIDS?

This in-person side event is organised in partnership with the Government of Samoa as part of the UN’s 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (UNSIDS), hosted by Antigua and Barbuda. It is also part of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Year of Youth Initiative.

Please note that to join this side event, you must have official accreditation to attend the conference. You may register your interest by clicking here or on the link above. For any other information about the event, kindly contact us at events@commonwealthfoundation.com and our organising team will get back to you.

Image credit: Rick Jamison

Dr Terri-Karelle Johnson Moderator
Dr. James Hospedales Speaker
Ashley Lashley Speaker
Alisi Rabukawaqa Speaker
Kendell Vincent Speaker
Dr Terri-Karelle Johnson

Dr Terri-Karelle Johnson, is a human ethernet – connector of people and dots! TV Presenter, Event Host, Speaker, Author and Podcaster. Terri-Karelle was recently awarded as one of the Most Influential People Of African Descent (MIPAD) Class of 2023 Global Top 100 for Media and Culture.

Dr. James Hospedales

Dr. C. James Hospedales is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, with 30 years’ experience in public health in the Caribbean, Latin America, UK, and USA.

An honours graduate in medicine from UWI, graduate of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a person of faith, married with three children and three grandchildren. He loves woodwork.

He was Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency, 2013-2019; Coordinator of NCDs in PAHO/WHO 2006-2012; and Director of the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre, 1998-2005.

In 2020, he founded the EarthMedic and EarthNurse Foundation for Planetary Health to mobilise health professionals worldwide to address the climate crisis beginning in the Caribbean.

Ashley Lashley

Ashley Lashley, is a 24-year-old Barbadian UNICEF youth advocate and CARICOM Youth Ambassador who has a wide focus on social development issues particularly as it relates to health, the environment, children and women’s rights. Miss Lashley began on her journey in 2015 with the establishment of The Schools Against Non-Communicable Diseases.

Since the inception of The Schools Against Non-Communicable Diseases, Miss Lashley has initiated, together with partners, a series of social intervention initiatives designed to tackle these issues. Between 2018 to 2021, she hosted three Global Youth Network Summits in Barbados with the primary focus on Non-Communicable Diseases, the Sustainable Development Goals, Climate Change and Health and Sports for Climate Action.

In 2020, Miss Lashley founded the HEY (Healthy and Environmentally-Friendly Youth) Campaign which is a Caribbean-initiated campaign on Climate Change and Health with global outreach, seeking to build bridges between youth in the Caribbean and around the world which has a network of over 100 climate change activist.

Her latest achievement was writing an op-ed with Sofia Carson for Newsweek titled Are We Silencing Youth Voices? Children’s Rights Include the Right To Be Heard. Miss Lashley is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Model Patrol which is a creative development academy whose main objectives is to create and provide the necessary enabling environment and enhance the capabilities of young and talented Barbadian & Caribbean creatives drawn from all social corridors especially in the communities to reach the international stage.

Alisi Rabukawaqa

Alisi Rabukawaqa-Nacewa has for over the past decade worked in environment conservation, climate activism and indigenous peoples’ traditional rights and knowledge advocacy. She sits on the youth-led grassroots network 350.org Pacific Climate Warriors Council of Elders as the Melanesian representative, providing traditional knowledge on working with Pacific communities and indigenous perspectives to their climate justice work. In 2017, Alisi represented the Youth and Civil Society group at the UN Ocean Conference as part of the Fijian delegation. Alisi was also part of the Pacific Islands Climate Change Negotiators Workshop at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in 2017.

Kendell Vincent

Kendell Vincent is a Youth Development and Communications professional from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, passionate about the holistic development of children and youth. Currently pursuing BA in Communications at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine.

With over fifteen years of experience in servant leadership across the non-profit sector at various levels, Kendell is a cultural lover and fuses his experience as a creative towards conceptualising innovative strategies to engage children and youth, having seen the tremendous impact of the arts in the transformation of lives. With his vast experience, Kendell currently serves as the Chairperson of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council as well as Deputy Co-Chair of the Commonwealth Year of Youth Advisory Committee.

Date & Time
10:00am, 28 May 2024 - 11:30am, 28 May 2024 Saint John Time, AST (GMT -4)
Event Partner
Government of Samoa

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