Antiguan wins top spot in Resilient Caribbean Cities Photo Competition 2022

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

The top prizewinners are announced today in a photo competition that showcases resilience to climate change across the Eastern Caribbean. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP.

The competition invited members of the public to share their unique perspectives on how the region is adapting to the impacts of climate change. The long-listed photographs and captions appear in an open online gallery.

Amateur photographers submitted entries in three categories:

People Power: social and business innovations for resilience.
Nature-Based Solutions: green and blue infrastructure that boosts resilience.
Design and Technology: resilient features of the built environment and infrastructure.

People Power and overall competition winner

Sherrel Charles of Antigua and Barbuda won the top competition prize and the ‘People Power’ category with her entry, ‘People Power in the Back Garden’. Her photo depicts a homegrown solution to Antigua and Barbuda’s prolonged droughts. In the picture, her young cousin uses a simple but effective drip irrigation system that the photographer’s parents rigged up for their kitchen garden.

“I believe the younger generation should be introduced to these concepts from an early age so that they know how serious climate change is and how important it is to manage resources properly,” Charles said. The home-made drip irrigation system has reduced the impacts of climate change for her family.

Nature-based solutions winner

Runner-up and winner of the ‘Nature-Based Solutions’ category is Alexis Armande of Guadeloupe with her entry, ‘Mangrove Conservation in Guadeloupe.’ Her entry illustrates a project carried out by the municipality of Morne-à-l’Eau, which includes a wooden footbridge crossing the mangrove to Babin Beach. Thanks to this project, the ecosystem is preserved and offers many amenities to visitors – people can enjoy mud baths, picnics and peaceful walks in nature.

What is more, “the Eastern Caribbean is often exposed to climate hazards, and this conservation measure enables nature to regenerate faster,” Armande said. “The nature-based solution depicted here considerably reduces the impacts likely to be caused by humans and helps to raise awareness of the importance of nature conservation,” she added. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP.

Design and technology winner

Runner-up and winner of the ‘Design and technology’ category is Shanis Cato of St Vincent and the Grenadines with ‘Resilient Seafront in Georgetown’. Her photograph shows so-called ‘X-blocks’ in a newly-constructed sea wall, which are designed to absorb wave energy and reduce damage to the town.

“The sea wall is a relief for many of the townsfolk,” Cato said. “It protects the community that has been subjected to many floods, especially during the hurricane season. The coastal defence project, completed in 2021, not only protects against severe wave action affecting infrastructure, but also protects many as the sea – despite its beautiful nature – has claimed many souls.”

More inspiring stories

Sherrel Charles, Alexis Armande and Shanis Cato all speak about the stories behind their pictures in a celebratory event broadcast.

From the long-listed entries, the judges also awarded four ‘honourable mentions’:

Che-Raina Warner, St Kitts and Nevis, ‘Building Green deFENCES Against Climate Change’.
Sandrine Myrtil, Guadeloupe, ‘Commercial Areas in Baie Mahault Become More Resilient’.
Delphine Touzouli, Guadeloupe, ‘Another Look at the Memorial ACTe, Guadeloupe’.
Reichel Neil, Jamaica ‘Defending Vital Infrastructure.’

The organisations behind the competition are the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, the University of the West Indies, the Université des Antilles and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Adapt’Action programme.

The competition is part of a larger initiative by these partners to increase awareness, understanding and skill for strengthening adaptation to climate change in Eastern Caribbean cities.

Crispin d’Auvergne, Programme Director for Climate and Disaster Resilience at the OECS Commission said: “It’s been amazing to see people’s motivation and imagination as they have shared their stories of resilience through this competition. People are showing how they’re finding enjoyment in nature, food and water security, and protection from natural hazards in some of the adaptation solutions shown in the photos. The competition shows that there is a lot of energy among citizens of the Eastern Caribbean for the climate change adaptation agenda. I trust this energy will grow and grow to meet our shared challenge.” CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP.

Elodie Afonso, AdaptAction Regional Program Coordinator for the Caribbean – Expertise France added: “Throughout its work in the Eastern Caribbean countries, AdaptAction showed that these territories share many climate vulnerabilities and risks. Their impacts on cities have become increasingly clear. The projected increase in the number and intensity of extreme weather events, together with the lack of resilience and socio-economic fragility of urban centres in Latin America and the Caribbean region, exacerbates the risk of floods, landslides, droughts and other natural disasters. Climate change therefore poses a profound challenge to built environments. This photo competition was a way for our organizations to show that art can be an efficient way to raise awareness about the needs for adaptation to climate change.”

About the project

The project, Building climate-resilient cities in the Eastern Caribbean, seeks to equip today’s and tomorrow’s urban planners and practitioners with the tools, expertise and critical thinking skills to transform Eastern Caribbean cities into places that are socially just and resilient to climate hazards. The project is doing this by developing a new, tailored educational curriculum for urban planning students and professionals in the region. This has the potential to transform the way Eastern Caribbean cities adapt to climate change.

The project also seeks to raise broader public awareness of climate change and support for resilience measures by running this photo competition – which will engage and motivate citizens from across the Eastern Caribbean region. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP.

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