Caribbean Youth Environment Network officially launches Bahamas Chapter

Staff and Scholars of Akhepran International Academy and Executive Advisors of CYEN showcase Environmental Universal Symbols including: Globe, Map of Bahamas Ocean taken from Space by Astronaut Scott Kelly, eagle, kente cloth, mirror, water, scarabeous beetle, plant and Bible.

Scholars of Akhepran International Academy (AIA), Fox Hill have become the first members of the Bahamas Chapter of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN). It is a formidable regional and international platform for young people to be trained as Climate Change Ambassadors. 

CYEN is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of Caribbean youth by facilitating their personal development and promoting their full involvement in all matters pertaining to the environment and sustainable development. The organisation promotes education and training, Caribbean integration, and community empowerment as tools to develop an ethic amongst young people that assists in the conservation and protection of natural resources within the wider Caribbean. 

AIA’s president, Dr. Jacinta Higgs proudly ushered in the scholars to CYEN during a special school assembly held on the International Day of Education, January 24, 2023. The assembly also commemorated World Environmental Education Day, which is held each year on January 26, 2023. 

Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, Vaughn Miller attended, elated that this group of students would commit to being climate change ambassadors for their country and the world. Civil Society Bahamas and Akhepran Ambassadors, a non-profit organization, also joined hands in support of the new Bahamas CYEN Chapter.

Each scholar made a pledge and a declaration to do their best to lead fellow scholars to become environmental stewards and protectors of the environment for future generations. 

Dr. Higgs said that staff and scholars gathered in a “beautiful spirit of celebration” and joined millions of students around the world along with officials from the United Nations to promote environmental education and stewardship under the theme:”to Invest in People, Prioritize Education”. 

“The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture,” Dr. Higgs said. 

“Around the world, young people are driving change and claiming fundamental freedoms and rights. Young people are also improving conditions for themselves, for their families and their communities. Young people are also finding new opportunities to learn, work and participate in decisions that affect them. Young people are using their voices to talk about and speak out about issues that are urgent and important to them.”

Dr. Higgs attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt in November last year, along with the President of the Fox Hill Charitable Organisation, Dr. Ricardo Taylor. They also chaperoned three AIA scholars who represented The Bahamas at the 17th UN Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY17) in Sharm el-Sheikh. Jeremiah Young, Arvadranique Rolle and Evan Hanna became the first three climate change international ambassadors under the AIA banner.

The school’s official establishment of the CYEN Bahamas chapter solidifies the school’s position as a forerunner in climate change education. CYEN’s causes include: achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), youth employment; education and training; climate change and Small ISland Developing States (SIDS); environmental biodiversity; water resource management; disaster resilience; health and wellness; and participation and advocacy. 

Source: Felicity Darville

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