Members of the IAMovement team with students of Bishops Anstey and Trinity College East on Thursday. – Rhianna Mc Kenzie
Non-profit organisation IAMovement’s new mobile app, which it launched on Thursday, aims to increase public awareness and involvement in issues surrounding climate change in the region.
The organisation’s Advancing Climate Democracy project, funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDF), will target TT, Guyana and Suriname.
The IAMovement also held its Climate Talks initiative on Thursday at the Bishops Anstey and Trinity East College (BATCE) secondary schools in Trincity and plans to continue over the next 15 months with 40 schools in TT, 30 in Suriname and 30 in Guyana.
Project manager Ranissa Mathura told Newsday the project is aimed at increasing public awareness and stakeholder engagement on a national level in those territories. The said the app is a major driving force behind the initiative as it allows stakeholders to become more active in reporting issues related to climate change, such as soil erosion and water leaks.
The first version of the app will be available for android and iPhone users in May and version two, said Mathura, will be available by the end of the year.
“The intention (of the app) is to bring the gaps in existing policy into the public so citizens can become active in creating amendments in those policy changes, and ensuring policy is actually amended to improve what already exists.”
On the app, participants can also get information on the organisation’s Vetiver Education and Empowerment Programme (VEEP), currently being executed in hillside communities such as Paramin and Lopinot, which are regularly affected by soil erosion and landslips.
The vetiver plant can grow roots up to ten feet in length which adds to soil retention and is a sustainable alternative to landslips in hillside communities.
According to its website, in 2017 the climate-talk initiative began with over 40 events across TT. It said it worked with the High Commission of Canada and the German Embassy to take the 2016 film Small Change into schools and other public spaces, with open-floor discussions on the realities of climate change being faced by small island developing states and the Caribbean.
It said the programme continues to partner with the National Gas Company (NGC) on these projects.
The IAMovement received a 2020 Green Leaf award from the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) for its efforts in driving climate action in TT.
For more information on the project, visit the IAMovement at https://iamovement.org.