KINGSTON, JAMAICA: As the world experiences the COVID-19 pandemic and island communities are being dramatically affected, urgent solutions are needed for island communities to combat both the short and long term impacts.
Tourism is particularly important to many islands and the sudden withdrawal of this vital income stream presents a potential crisis for many communities. There is a need to build “digital bridges” between the world’s islands, to share solutions and approaches being taken in all corners of the world.
Island Innovation is hosting a free webinar series to discuss and raise awareness of the island context for this global issue. The organisation is a social enterprise that works with rural and island stakeholders, with one of the principal aims being to assist islands with implementing sustainable solutions to economic, environmental, and social issues.
Speakers in the series include:
- Anaitee Mills, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Jamaica
- Dr. Didacus Jules, Director-General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
- Vittus Qujaukitsoq, Minister of Finance and Mineral Resources, Greenland
- Francesco Sindico, Co-Director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance, Scotland
- Tahirah Banks, Partner at Thoughtful Digital Agency, Anguilla
- Daniel Trigg, President of the Lanzarote Business and Residents Association, Canary Islands
- Mohamed Raaidh, Managing Director of Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation.
Island Innovation Director, James Ellsmoor, commented on the webinar series:
“Our world is being impacted by COVID-19 in many ways, governments and institutions everywhere are doing what they can to stop the spread of the virus. Solutions are needed to cope with economic impacts on the tourism industry, shortages of essential resources, and other issues that islands endure. We are gathering global island experts to discuss this unprecedented challenge, so that experiences that have proven to be successful can be repeated in other islands.”
Island Innovation’s Island Response Webinar Series will explore different island scales, starting at the global level, then focusing on the Caribbean region before finally looking specifically at the case study of Jamaica.
Francesco Sindico from The University of Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance, who will be chairing the first session, commented:
“We are collaborating with Island Innovation to collate raw data from islands worldwide that can be used by researchers and policymakers to help show how these communities are responding to the pandemic. It is important to discuss the special needs of islands, which can be both protected and more severely impacted when compared to mainland areas. This webinar series and our research bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to compare coping strategies and good practices that can be implemented globally.”This first webinar in the series will be held on Wednesday, 4th May at 11am (Jamaica local time). We urge experts and the general public alike to sign up to obtain valuable information and to contribute their own knowledge.
The registration links for each of the three sessions are:
1) Islands Responses to COVID-19: http://bit.ly/IslandsCOVID-19
2) The Economic Future of the Caribbean: http://bit.ly/CaribbeanFuture
3) Responding to COVID-19 in Jamaica: http://bit.ly/JamaicaCOVID-19