Business View Caribbean | June 2019

3 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN JUNE 2019 O p e n i n g L i n e s J U N E 2 0 1 9 JAMAICA’S ‘VOICES FOR CLIMATE CHANGE’ SPREADS ITS MESSAGE WITH MUSIC F rom reggae and dancehall music to jingles extolling the virtues of everything from laundry detergent to fast food, the way to any Jamaican’s heart is through song — prompting Panos Caribbean, a media-savvy non-governmental organization, to take a musical approach to spread its environmental message. The organization has been successfully sharing critical information with the public through its Voices for Climate Change project. Those voices rang out loud and clear at the historic United Nations Conference in Paris (COP21) in 2015. There, Jamaican singer and songwriter Aaron Silk, joined forces with other musicians, including Belizean performer Adrian Martinez, to advocate for a 1.5-degree limit to global warming. The musical message, which supported the position of small island developing states, was considerable, influencing the aspirations reflected in COP21’s final document. Years later, the “1.5” message continues to resonate in the eastern Caribbean, where singers have intertwined Saint Lucian poet Kendel Hippolyte’s words with their lyrics to ensure the message hits home. The climate change crisis in 2019 is even more urgent than it was four years ago and, in Jamaica, rural citizens from farmers to fisherfolk are heeding the wake-up call. Artists, schoolchildren,