World Environment Day was truly a global call for action and the message from Barbados was loud and clear — we need to act now and amplify our voices! On June 5, we started the celebrations at Independence Square where the opening ceremony took place. In this video, I recap the events and also share my thoughts about the experience and the importance of hosting this event. As the official host country, the government of Barbados placed great thought in organizing the events and it was especially a pleasure celebrating their local cultures and heritage. From the school children singing about how we need to act, or a dramatic representation of Nick Whittle's poem "Do you Love me", you could feel the palpable love and joy of the people of Barbados. When I was watching these performances, I became uncomfortably aware of the possibility that our inaction is putting such local traditions at risk.
I am actually sharing this message from my hotel balcony which became my favourite place to work during the time I was there. During the night, when you couldn't see the waves but hear them thrashing against the shore, I recalled how I had once downloaded 'calm ocean' soundtracks to accompany me while studying. You know how people say that such sounds can help you focus. But there, I realized how faint and fabricated the audio seemed in comparison to the real sounds of the ocean. We cannot replicate nature. I hope that by watching the video you become inspired to initiate your own learning journey about Small Island Developing States and how you can act. Local actions in your communities is definitely necessary, but we also need all of us to advocate for global cooperation and action.