A Member of Parliament is calling for climate change to be taught as a subject in school.
“If our country has to respond appropriately, then it is time to introduce climate change education within our schools,” MP for the Southern Grenadines, Terrance Ollivierre told last week’s Budget Debate.
“We must start with our young people, Mr. Speaker. They must learn; knowledge is power. And we must give them the opportunity to know what is facing them, they themselves may be able to come up with solutions to mitigate against the effects of climate change,” said Ollivierre, a former teacher.
He said such education can be spread throughout the education system the word about the impact of that climate change.
“When I look at climate change, Mr. Speaker, … I will always remember the plight of the people of big Big Sand, Union Island,” he said, referring to a beach front area where rising sea level has reduced a sandy beach front area from over 100 feet to just a few feet.
“We see it. We feel it. It is real,” Ollivierre said, adding that he has seen people spending their life savings in order to try to save.
“Now I’m seeing the same situation at Mayreau,” he said, referring to the southern Grenadines island which is at risk of being split in two and losing one of the world’s best beaches because of sea level rise.
With the threat to Mayreau’s Salt Whistle Bay, also at risk is the livelihood of islanders.
“Every time I go to Mayreau I’m bombarded by questions. There are some people in Union Island who have built their livelihood on it. And quite a number of young people have invested in small businesses that operate at Mayreau –the boat boys who build their boats and buy their engine, the T shirt vendors, the restaurant operators, the fisher folk, the laundromat that operate there, the craftsman and woman, even the Tobago Cays have anchorage there…” Ollivierre said.
“It is part of our patrimony. When we talk about beauty, it is the best anchorage site in the Caribbean, Mr. Speaker, and there is no doubt that if we let Salt Whistle Bay to be eroded, that we’re gonna regret it later. We are going to regret it, Mr. Speaker, and this is an urgent matter, which must be dealt with urgently.”