Thursday, May 19, 2016

Climate Change in the Caribbean: Crisis Diplomacy for Small Island Developing States – Conner Fitzpatrick

Conner Fitzpatrick,; via EW on linkedin

Barbados image from article
The Caribbean, characterized by the territories bordering or fully encompassed by the Caribbean Sea, is often difficult to think of as a unified entity. While institutions such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) promote integration in economic and foreign policy, in practice there is limited international cooperation relative to other globally significant regions in the area of climate change. Part of the challenge is that the Caribbean is stratified by a diverse set of peoples differentiated and simultaneously connected by their cultural, linguistic, and political ties. While connected in some aspects, the various nations and territories of the Caribbean are divided by their expansive maritime boundaries. Overcoming physical and cultural barriers through public diplomacy at the subnational level is a crucial step toward addressing climate change at its pressure points. ...
Nongovernmental organizations must be equipped to serve as a platform for stakeholders at the micro-regional level to voice their concerns macroregionally. For effective consensus-building to take place, Caribbean stakeholders must reconsider their national identities in favor of subnational ones to ensure that all those involved have an equitable role in driving solutions to shared regional challenges. The focus needs to shift toward local insight and what connects a region as a whole, not what divides it. ...
By driving public diplomacy through a model centered on subnational identity, small island developing states will gain an inclusive, collaborative approach to addressing regional and global crises such as climate change.

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