Two journalists from the Cayman Islands are among the 16 chosen from the Caribbean and beyond to participate in the ‘Islands Voices’ programme organised and funded by the United Nations.
Kayla Young, from the Cayman Compass, and Daphne Ewing-Chow, from the online Loop Cayman news service, are headed to New York this weekend where UN members will be attending a summit from 23‑27 Sept. focussing on sustainable development goals, climate change, universal healthcare, development financing and other issues affecting small island states.
In all, five Caribbean journalists will take part, representing Cayman, Haiti, Guyana and Jamaica, as well as 11 others from such countries as Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Mauritius and Samoa.
Young explained that the programme “offers a rare opportunity to connect with other island journalists, as well as find takeaways for the Cayman Islands, especially how to connect Cayman to the international dialogue on sustainable development”.
She added that invitations to events like this one usually are reserved for journalists in larger markets like the US and Europe, so the summit will offer an “exciting opportunity” to build connections in the region and discuss similar issues affecting the other islands.
Ewing-Chow, who has also worked in Barbados, has written about fisheries, marine conservation and agriculture as part of her focus on sustainable agriculture and food systems. Ewing-Chow is an environmental and agriculture contributor with Forbes, and has also written for The Sunday Times, Elephant Journal, Elite Daily and a variety of Caribbean publications. She is head of content for Loop Cayman.
Young has reported in the Caribbean, Latin America, the US and southern Africa on issues surrounding environment, agriculture, healthcare and community.
On a web page devoted to the Islands Voices campaign, under the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the upcoming summit is described as an opportunity to “discuss progress on combating the devastating impact of climate change, building economic and environmental resilience, and other challenges” facing small island developing states.
Calling these island states, “among the most vulnerable countries in the world”, it was pointed out, “They face a unique set of issues relating to their small size, remoteness, narrow resource and export base, and exposure to external economic shocks and global environmental challenges, including the impacts of climate change.”
The conference will look at how to deal with these numerous challenges.
“I’m excited to be able to take part in this programme,” Young said, adding, “Cayman is often on the outside of these kinds of events, and not part of the conversation. I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to participate at such a high level”.