i. Climate change context
Saint Lucia, a Small Island Developing State, is a mountainous volcanic island of 616 km2 in the Caribbean Sea. According to the World Bank, the country's population is around 183,000. Most residents live in coastal cities and towns, and the rural population mainly lives near the flatter coastal regions. Prominent economic sectors include tourism, commercial and industrial-based sectors, and agricultural development, primarily in the coastal areas.
The World Bank reports that Saint Lucia, a socio-economically disadvantaged country, is disproportionately affected by climate change, given its small geographic size and location in an area of increased hurricane activity. With most agricultural developments located in coastal regions, the country is more prone to climate change impacts. In particular, the potential for landslides will increase, given the higher occurrence of tropical storms, hurricanes, and wildfires.
The Global Carbon Atlas classifies Saint Lucia as a low- to medium-emitting country that produced 2.4 t CO2 per person in 2020. Saint Lucia’s 1st Biennial Update Report (2021) states that the energy sector is the highest emitting sector in the country.
Saint Lucia, a Non-Annex I Country within the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC), signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998, ratified it in 2003, and accepted the Doha Amendment to it in 2018. The country signed and ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016. Saint Lucia signed the Escazú Agreement in 2018, which promotes public participation in environmental decision making, access to justice, and information on environmental matters. The Government of Saint Lucia has signed on as a Party to this agreement and endorses it.
ii. Relevant government agencies
Climate action in Saint Lucia is supervised by a Climate Change Team situated within the Sustainable Development and Environment Division of the Department of Sustainable Development, within the Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training. The Team implements activities related to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on behalf of the Government of Saint Lucia.
The Department of Sustainable Development leads the process of achieving sustainable development through facilitating an integrated and participatory approach to governance, promoting environmental management and innovative technologies, building capacity to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change, and demonstrating the value of building a green economy. The Department houses the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) focal point for Saint Lucia, together with a representative from the Caribbean Youth Environment Network. The Department promotes environmental management, supports building capacity to adapt and mitigate climate change impacts, and promotes a green economy.
The Sustainable Development and Environment Division serves as the Secretariat for the National Climate Change Committee. This Committee, established in 1998, has the mandate to provide advice and support to national climate change-related programs and processes. The Committee comprises public, statutory, academic, and private sector bodies whose work is related to climate change, as well as civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations. The Committee is the designated coordination body for the National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) and leads facilitation of cross-sectoral measures listed in that Plan. Saint Lucia is strengthening the role of the Committee, including revision of its terms of reference in 2019 to include a technical subcommittee on finance. This core group of national stakeholders guides and advises on national coordination of climate finance decisions. The subcommittee is co-chaired by the National Designated Authority to the Green Climate Fund. The Committee has a role in coordinating and facilitating the implementation of climate change actions, including that of the Nationally Determined Contributions.
Ministries within the Government of Saint Lucia, such as the Ministry of Infrastructure/Transport Division, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Cooperatives, and the Department of Forestry, address climate change adaptation and mitigation through active involvement in climate change response initiatives and actions and through implementation of climate change plans and policies.
The Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and the Youth Economy allocates national funding and its use within national frameworks. The Ministry records information about international donors and agencies and their provision of climate funds that are explicitly directed to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Saint Lucia. The Ministry also intends to track Saint Lucia’s public sector financing of climate change.
Education and communication
The Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training has a pivotal role in climate change response in Saint Lucia. It is responsible for all forms of formal education, communication, planning, and more. The Ministry’s Basic Education Enhancement Project works on improving education through, for example, providing training.
The Ministry of Education’s Curriculum and Materials Development Unit supports lifelong learning skills and human resource development.
iii. Relevant laws, policies, and plans
The Government of Saint Lucia has initiated legislation that supports actions to address environmental issues and climate change, with the involvement of not-for-profit organizations.
Saint Lucia has developed a Climate Change Bill and an Environmental Management Bill. The Bills seek to develop a “framework for ensuring intersectoral coordination and financing for effective planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions” (2018, n.p.). The Bills address environmental issues and their management, including climate change, as umbrella legislation. According to a February 2021 virtual country conference held by the University of West Indies on Saint Lucia’s Climate Policy Environment, the Climate Change Bill was under finalization. According to the country experts, the objectives of the Bill include developing and implementing guidelines and standards, processes, programs, and projects on climate change, including mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, education, training, and public awareness.
The National Environment Policy and National Environmental Management Strategy (2004; revised in 2014) establishes a broad framework for environmental management, including climate change, in Saint Lucia. It links stakeholders and legislations for more effective collaboration. The Policy and Strategy takes into account the needs to protect the environment while also developing socially and economically. Disaster mitigation is also part of the document. Communication, monitoring, and evaluation are key aspects, including capacity building and education. Activities the document proposes are:
- the inclusion of environmental issues and subjects in the formal education system, through continued attention to curriculum development;
- the sensitisation and training of media personnel and other communication professionals to enhance their capacity to report on environmental issues, programmes and trends;
- the promotion of informal and popular media in support of information and communication;
- the promotion of incentives and rewards, particularly with the introduction of a National Awards on the Environment. (p. 20+21)
In 2015, the Saint Lucia Cabinet of Ministers approved the Climate Change Adaptation Policy, which seeks to build resilience to climate change for people, livelihoods, and social systems. The Policy also provides a framework for response to climate change across sectors, based on adaptation. It indicates developing “sustained and appropriately resourced education, training, and awareness strategies to build resilience” (p. 8) as a facilitative adaptation measure and outcome. Proposed actions involve developing and implementing climate change education and awareness. Expected outputs by 2022 include facilitation of climate change awareness to ensure sensitization of individuals, households, firms, and communities to climate change impacts and adaptation measures through education, training, and awareness strategies.
The government initiated a process to develop a National Adaptation Plan in 2017, with the aim of integrating climate change adaptation into national development planning (medium- to long-term) and budgeting. The National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) establishes sectors of focus that require immediate climate adaptation interventions. It lists water, agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure and spatial planning, natural resource management/resilient ecosystems, education, health, and tourism as priority sectors deemed most vulnerable to climate change impacts. Stakeholders ranked these sectors in this order based on each sector’s need for urgent adaptation action. Sectoral Adaptation Strategy and Action Plans complement the National Adaptation Plan by focusing on one of the eight priority sectors listed above. Sectoral Plans were developed for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Water in 2018. In 2020, a Resilient Ecosystems Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan was developed to drive Sectoral Adaptation Strategy and Action Plans for implementation of effective actions, with the goal of safeguarding Saint Lucia’s natural capital from the impacts of climate change while harnessing biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services to reduce vulnerability and build resilience. Remaining sector plans will be developed as funding becomes available. At the time of this review, a Green Climate Fund Adaptation Planning Readiness grant is currently under review to assist development of Sectoral Adaptation Strategy and Action Plans for infrastructure, education, and tourism.
For the Caribbean region, climate change guidance is provided through the Regional Climate Change Strategic Framework and its Implementation Plan for Development Resilient to Climate Change. This Plan defined the region’s strategic approach for coping with climate change for 2011–2021. The Plan established how regional and country bodies would work together: securing investment to support the action plan, proposing a monitoring and evaluation system, and obtaining buy-in from governments and funders across the region.
Education and communication
The Freedom of Information Bill (2009) prioritizes public access to official documents and reinforcing principles such as public participation and transparency in national decision making, including climate change and environmental matters.
Saint Lucia signed the Barbados Declaration on Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States in 2012. The Declaration has voluntary commitments that Saint Lucia agreed to adhere to, including implementing a proper sustainable energy education and awareness program. Education objectives include making a “critical review of their personal lifestyles and rethink[ing] the impact of individual action on the environment,” developing future sustainable scenarios, and encouraging actions oriented toward sustainability (2018; p. 49).
Saint Lucia’s Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience (2011) and Climate Change Public Education and Awareness Strategy (2014) complement the Saint Lucia Climate Change Adaptation Policy (2015). The Strategy is proposed as one goal under the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (2017). According to the 2018 National Adaptation Plan Roadmap and Capacity Development Plan, the implementation plan for the Strategy has been revised and implementation was in process at the time of this report.
The Saint Lucia Education Sector Development Plan 2015-2020 (2016) sets the main priorities and principles for the education system in Saint Lucia from 2015 to 2020. The Plan acknowledges the successes of the preceding Plan (2009–2014) and aims to address any shortcomings and gaps. The 2016 Plan lists “Incorporating learning outcomes for primary and secondary schools related to climate adaptability and environmental sustainability” (p. 36) as one of the implicit priority actions. Changes to education infrastructure are prioritized to ensure increased resilience to climate change and disaster.
In 2018, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States received an Education Plan Development Grant, funded by Global Partnership for Education, to develop an educational framework and assessment framework for primary grades. The Caribbean Examinations Council, under the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States- Education Sector Strategy 2012-2021, developed the Primary Grades' Learning Standards for Science and Technology in 2018.
The Saint Lucia Technical and Vocational Education and Training Policy and Strategy 2019-2025 (2019) approaches technical and vocational education and training from a transformational perspective. The Strategy highlights Sustainable Development Goal 4, which prioritizes increasing the quality of education, and connects it to the growth of technical and vocational education and training in Saint Lucia as a way to lead to mainstreaming of sustainable development.
Several climate change strategies and plans have been established under the National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018). For instance, Saint Lucia’s National Climate Change Research Strategy 2020-2030 (2020) and the Climate Financing Strategy (2020) propose many climate-centric initiatives and strategies that address climate change communication and education. The Climate Change Research Strategy responds to the urgent need at all levels of government and society in Saint Lucia for the generation of, access to, and use of science-based information to identify, implement, monitor, and evaluate effective and efficient climate actions, including mitigation, adaptation, and addressing loss and damage. The National Adaptation Plan provides information on the planned Climate Change Education, Awareness Raising, and Civil Society Participation Strategy for Saint Lucia under indicators for fulfilling strategic objectives. However, the Strategy was not available at the time of this review.
The National Climate Change Research Strategy 2020-2030 (2020) is elaborated in the framework of the Decade of Research and Innovation, which was launched by the then Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training in 2019. Priority sectors and thematic areas for adaptation action are water, agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure and spatial planning, natural resource management/resilient ecosystems (terrestrial, coastal, marine), education, health, and tourism. The Strategy also covers detailed issues in specific fields (such as biodiversity) and cross-cutting climate change-related research questions and research outputs that were identified and validated by national stakeholders as critical for decision making and policy making. These include improving knowledge on observed and future climate conditions and their current and expected impacts in Saint Lucia, understanding the drivers and distribution of vulnerability to climate change, evaluating climate change-induced risk, limiting and addressing climate change, communicating crucial climate change information across audiences, and improving stakeholder engagement in climate action. The Strategy aims to create a framework for collaboration by research partners on the existing critical knowledge gaps that limit climate change-relevant policy and decision making in the country. The Strategy facilitates access to science-based information such as monitoring, implementation, and evaluation of climate action, including mitigation and adaptation for enhancing Saint Lucian institutions, businesses, and communities to gain information and knowledge on how to address climate change.
Saint Lucia drafted the Climate Change Communications Strategy (2018) that supports the National Adaptation Plan 2018–2028 (2018) process by offering strategic advice on climate change communication. The Strategy provides short- and medium-term advice on how the government can take further initiatives and action to develop climate-centric communications that support the National Adaptation Plan.
iv. Terminology used for Climate Change Education and Communication
Saint Lucia uses multiple terms to address climate change response through communication and education. According to the National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018), national efforts are directed toward climate change communication and education. ‘Climate change education,’ ‘awareness raising,’ and ‘training and capacity building’ are discussed in the context of building climate resilience. In the Plan, climate change education is described as disseminating knowledge and delivering messages on climate change through training. The Plan uses the term ‘climate adaptation education.’ Facilitating ‘climate change teaching’ is discussed as a strategic objective, with outputs of “integration of climate education materials, modules on hazards, impacts and risk reduction” (p. 112). The Plan indicates the significance of climate change-based education by stating that climate change adaptation in the education sector entails taking the necessary steps to safeguard education continuity, retrofitting and building the climate resilience of education facilities, continuously updating the knowledge transferred, and ensuring that all members of society systematically receive the information they need to make informed decisions.
Saint Lucia’s Climate Change Adaptation Policy (2015) also focuses on climate change communication and education. Education, training, and public awareness campaigns are designed to “engage the general populace on the problem of climate change” (p. 5).
Saint Lucia’s Climate Change Communications Strategy (2018) consolidates ‘climate change education’ under the proposed integration of climate change content in school curricula and youth outreach. ‘Training’ is addressed under shaping public knowledge and opinions, through which media specialists are given access to training in climate change communication (p. 21).
The Government of Saint Lucia prioritizes adaptation and mitigation. Climate change is not directly addressed in formal educational curricula, but resilience to climate change is highlighted. ‘Climate adaptability’ and ‘environmental sustainability’ are included in the Education Sector Development Plan 2015–2020 as part of “learning outcomes and experiences that develop requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes” (p. 36) for primary and secondary education. Core values of the Plan include “demonstrating sensitivity to the environment” (p. 19) as a practice to promote the value of ‘respect.’
v. Budget for climate change education and communication
The Government of Saint Lucia can access both domestic and international financing for climate change adaptation and mitigation. The support process of the National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) develops supplemental documents that further the overarching implementation process of the Plan. A Climate Financing Strategy (2020) provides guidance in periodically evaluating the funding needs and opportunities for implementing projects and program concepts identified in Sectoral Adaptation Strategy and Action Plans. According to the National Adaptation Plan, the Climate Financing Strategy “is an ongoing and iterative process that would regularly evaluate funding needs and opportunities and would develop project or programme concepts to implement and assess the progress and impacts of these measures” (p. 5). The Strategy states that from 2016 to 2017, around US$ 31 million (2% of Saint Lucia’s gross domestic product) was set aside for adaptation-related projects. The approximate total cost to implement the concept notes developed for water, agriculture, fisheries, and the Resilient Ecosystems Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan is US$ 54.1 million, which does not include the full range of measures prioritized.
Saint Lucia receives funding from international funding agencies such as the Green Climate Fund, the Global Environment Facility and Adaptation Fund. The Climate Financing Strategy (2020) acknowledges a need to improve capacity to track and monitor public expenditure on climate resilience. According to the Strategy, public investment in climate change adaptation needs to be prioritized for “raising awareness and understanding of climate change, mobilizing resources (by demonstrating national commitments to adaptation) and improving monitoring and reporting of climate change policy and progress” (p. xi). Climate change communication and education are priorities in the Strategy, defined in outcome 1 “Enhanced enabling environment for climate adaptation education” and outcome 2 “improved and expanded climate change education as the basis for effective adaptation” (p. 48). While the strategy specifies which organizations are in charge of specific tasks, it does not specify exact funding amounts for climate change communication and education.
Saint Lucia is accessing readiness support from the Green Climate Fund to further enhance the National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) through the help of Sectoral Adaptation Strategy and Action Plans. The Climate Financing Strategy (2020) notes a focus on “capacity building and awareness-raising initiatives” (p. 9).
In 2020, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Global Environment Facility put together a Country Brief on Saint Lucia. The Brief focuses on the National Adaptation Plan and the learning that can be gained, stating that the government aims to finalize policies that further the national adaptation process. The Brief analyzes preparation of adaptation planning and implementation plans, along with support programs that advance the country’s climate change adaptation. The US National Adaptation Plan Support Program has provided technical and financial support, implemented by the International Institute for Sustainable Development. In terms of lessons learned, the Brief states that there are limits to adaptation.
In September 2021, the Department of Agriculture with support from the Department of Sustainable Development began a project entitled Building resilience for adaptation to climate change and climate vulnerabilities in agriculture in Saint Lucia. The Adaptation Fund approved US$ 9.8 million in grant financial support for this project to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to increase resilience of rural farm communities, farm productivity, and water and livelihood security and reduce vulnerability to natural hazards, climate vulnerability, and climate change.
Saint Lucia’s 3rd National Communication (2017) states that the country should pursue funding from international donor agencies to implement adaptation measures, which include furthering education about future impacts of climate change on local communities.
Saint Lucia’s National Adaptation Plan (2018) states that the country should aim to form partnerships and alliances that will assist in developing additional Sectoral Adaptation Strategy and Action Plans and in implementing measures, programs, projects and activities outlined in them. It further states that “Saint Lucia is prepared to welcome support, that is, finance, technology transfer and capacity building, from a variety of sources, including public, private, bilateral, multilateral and alternative sources, all in an effort to help the country build climate resilience and address the seemingly insurmountable phenomenon of climate change” (n.p.).
i. Climate change in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education
The Curriculum and Materials Development Unit develops curricula and guides for primary and secondary education levels. Subjects such as Natural Sciences for primary and lower secondary levels cover ‘climate,’ ‘weather,’ and ‘the environment.’ Climate is covered in the Grade 5 Science and Technology curriculum only, but ‘the environment’ is covered in those subjects beginning in early grades. The Social Studies Curriculum for primary grade to Grade 6 includes the study of ‘climate’ and ‘environment.’ The Primary Grades' Learning Standards for Science and Technology include concepts in pollution and environmental stewardship in the Science curriculum. The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States’ Learning Standards of Social Studies for Grade 5 also cover ‘climate change.’ The Standards focus mostly on knowledge, asking students to:
Describe main components of global warming and climate change and the possible effects on the Caribbean environment. Understand the need for country/Region to sign on to international climate change agreements. (p. 54)
Saint Lucia’s Education Sector Development Plan 2015–2020 (2016) proposed development of an “environmental sustainability strategy for schools aimed at better utilization of inputs and a reduction in the need for new resources” (p. 49). Engaging students in recycling initiatives to lower operating costs increases school resource efficiency. Under the priority to manage risks to infrastructure, the Plan lists actions such as reviewing and updating disaster management plans for schools and libraries. A description of the types of climate change-related keywords discussed in the curricula may be found in section 4.II of this profile.
Saint Lucia participated in the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience, designed to finance national development plans to incorporate climate change and adaptation. The Sustainable Development and Environment Division of the Department of Sustainable Development collaborated with the National Climate Change Committee to prepare a Pilot Program that supports development activities in Caribbean countries. Phase 1 of the Pilot Program produced a Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (2011). This Strategic Program lists expected results and indicators, which include strengthening knowledge and awareness around ‘climate risk management.’ The Strategic Program also places strong emphasis on “public education and outreach for climate change resilience building” (p. 51).
The Government of Saint Lucia directly contributes to spreading awareness about climate change. It undertakes this role, particularly within schools, through public awareness initiatives that include presentations at schools and to youth environmental groups, press releases, talk shows and interviews, public service announcements, creative opportunities (such as songs, poetry, and art), training sessions for specific audiences, newspaper articles, and other publications. In-person events, radio, television, print, and social media are among the means used. In 2021, the Department of Sustainable Development collaborated with UNICEF in developing a climate change video entitled Saint Lucia's Climate Change D.R.A.M.A., along with a lesson plan on Saint Lucia’s Nationally Determined Contributions to be taught in schools. The government website reiterates that education will continue in many schools around the country to ensure that students receive education on the impacts of climate change and learn more about the role they can play in combating climate change.
The 2017 Pilot Program for Cliamte Resilience (PPCR) Report that tracked the progress of the Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (2011) and its implementation was prepared by the Sustainable Development and Environment Division. It is currently overseen by the Department of Economic Development and lists activities aimed toward climate resilience in Saint Lucia. The National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) aims to expand and improve climate change education as the foundation for effective climate adaptation, and to create a supportive environment for climate adaptation education. Climate change adaptation in the education sector demands essential steps to ensure education continuity and build resilience in educational facilities. Knowledge dissemination and transfer are also regarded as priority areas. For these goals to be implemented, the National Adaptation Plan states that objectives will focus on the Sectoral Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan for Education, which will be developed through stakeholder consultations and a review of adaptation needs. Public education and sensitization measures are proposed for each sector and area listed in the National Adaptation Plan.
Building resilience to climate change is an important priority for a Small Island Developing State like Saint Lucia. Food security is one component that has been integrated into support programs that schools can access. Some primary schools have been retrofitted with greenhouses, with the support of the Department of Agriculture. The students are involved in gardening with the support of farmers from the community, caretakers, and extension officers. These programs support the national school feeding program, funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in more than 10 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. These programs promote food sustainability and security.
In 2015 the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology gave a presentation to Ciceron secondary school students on topics related to climate change and natural disasters and their increased occurrence due to climate change. The government website reiterates that the education process will continue in many schools around the country to ensure that students receive education on the impacts of climate change and learn more about the role they can plan in combating climate change.
A 2017 report that tracked the progress of the Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (2017) and its implementation was prepared by the Sustainable Development and Environment Division. The report states that the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project and its activities reflect the aims of the Strategic Program in reducing Saint Lucia’s vulnerability to climate change. The Project was established in a collaboration between the World Bank and the Government of Saint Lucia. It is overseen by the Ministry of Education, Innovation, and Sustainable Development and lists activities that aim at climate resilience in Saint Lucia. The Project prioritizes climate change communication and education. The 2017 report observes that the Project successfully submitted a Climate Change Public Education and Awareness Strategy (2014) to the World Bank in 2015. Presentations at schools and youth groups to increase public awareness were ongoing while the Strategy awaited approval. More information on this Project is not available at the time of this report. Saint Lucia’s 1st Biennial Update Report (2021) states that the Strategy was developed and will be executed through a public awareness campaign led by the Department of Sustainable Development.
Saint Lucia’s 1st Biennial Update Report (2021) emphasizes climate change education, increasing its quality, and making adaptation more effective. The Report recognizes climate change education, with its related aspects of training and curriculum design and delivery, as a “skills deficit and capacity gap” (p. 218). The Report recommends measures and initiatives, with integration of climate change and adaptation in policies, programs, and training to be made accessible to government ministries. However, recommendations are not included for other education levels and schools.
The Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2019) reports that initiatives that focus on building the resilience of education institutions have been established, and many schools serve as hurricane shelters. Drills and preparation for natural disasters are also established in schools. This engages schools in climate change adaptation. As an example, in 2019, the Department of Education and Innovation collaborated with the National Emergency Management Organization in organizing evacuation drills. Multiple primary and early childhood schools were expected to perform test evacuations as part of the project's first phase.
The 3rd National Communication to the UNFCCC (2017) notes that the National Climate Change Committee has made national efforts in education, training, and public awareness campaigns on the impacts of climate change. Saint Lucia’s 1st Biennial Update Report (2021) expands on the role of the Committee and its facilitation of implementing guidelines and standards, projects, and programs on climate change and topics related to it, such as adaptation and mitigation education and training, and public awareness.
The updated Nationally Determined Contributions (2021) highlight the country’s efforts to make schools more energy efficient and green campuses. Nevertheless, they do not go beyond that.
ii. Climate change in teacher training and teaching resources
Saint Lucia offers teacher training and education, but not explicit environmental education and climate change-oriented programs. The Government of Saint Lucia proposes integrating climate change in teacher training through climate-centric policies.
Saint Lucia’s Climate Change Communications Strategy (2018) reports that individual teachers have proposed integrating climate change into their teaching plans and developing their own materials. An online portal will be made accessible by the government to share these materials.
The National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) included “training and provision of teachers on climate change science and on adaptation on a national curriculum basis” (p. 113) as an adaptation measure. The Plan addresses development of a Climate Change Education, Awareness Raising, and Civil Society Participation Strategy for Saint Lucia to be drafted and implemented. Outputs include provision of training materials that are part of the proposed strategy, which will be delivered to teachers on a curriculum basis. More information on this strategy is not available at the time of this review.
In 2011, the then Ministry of Physical Development, Environment and Housing, entered into a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to undertake a number of education, training, and public awareness activities on climate change. A climate change tool kit for teachers was one activity undertaken as part of this memorandum of understanding. In 2011, the Government of Saint Lucia published a Climate Change Teacher’s Tool Kit for senior primary and secondary school teachers, which was developed in workshops with teachers and the National Climate Change Committee. The series of workshops was a part of a public education and awareness strategy for the World Bank-funded Saint Lucia Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project. The Toolkit includes technical information on climate change, its impact on small islands, and solutions. A press release from 2017 states that the updated version of the Toolkit would be available by the end of 2017. Hard copies of the Toolkit have been distributed to schools across Saint Lucia.
The Primary Social Studies Teacher’s Guide (2006) allows teachers to access helpful suggestions on how to develop their teaching and learning methods for Social Studies for students in Grades K–6. Climate change is not explicitly addressed in the Guide, but students learn about the environment facing negative impacts such as pollution. For instance, in Grade 2, students learn the concept of pollution and how to dispose of garbage properly. After discussions and an activity that involves students observing how the garbage collection system works, students can meet the learning outcome of understanding the importance of proper garbage disposal. Value-based activities include giving students opportunities to discuss “their care for the environment” (p. 42). Another value-based takeaway for students in Grades K–6 is developing “an understanding of one’s self and one’s relationship to others and to the environment in which one lives” (p. 57).
According to the country experts consulted for this profile, teachers incorporate climate change into the curricula through subjects such as Geography, Social Studies, and Integrated Science. It is not unusual for students working on School Based Assessments to request information on climate change from the Department of Sustainable Development. Similarly, students working on their Bachelor’s, Masters or PhD degrees regularly request information on climate change polices such as negotiations, implementation of strategies and plans, and involvement of youth and civil society.
The Department of Sustainable Development unveiled a climate change website in 2017 where students, researchers, technical and policy staff, civil society groups, and others can access information. A new climate change website will be launched in 2022 through the efforts of the Department of Economic Development (the National Designated Authority to the Green Climate Fund) working in collaboration with the Department of Sustainable Development. This new website will draw content from the previous website and have a similar role. The 3rd National Communication (2017) notes a need to build climate change knowledge and sensitivity in the public domain. To enact application and effect, teachers are one group that the National Communication recommends receives the appropriate knowledge.
iii. Climate change in higher education
In Saint Lucia, four universities and community colleges offer a variety of programs and courses, some incorporating climate change. The Climate Change Research Policy 2020-2030 (2020) emphasizes research activities and indicates that Saint Lucian students enrolled in national or international academic programs could become researchers in climate action. Recognition is awarded to students in academic and research institutions and organizations engaged in climate change-related research and information management. Students are encouraged to participate and further Saint Lucia’s knowledge of climate change to facilitate climate change research. Potential research initiatives that address climate change and encourage student participation can be submitted to the government for approval. Primarily, the Research Policy is an invitation to researchers to propose climate change research for Saint Lucia.
The National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) lists strategic objectives that provide adaptation measures and indicators, including engagement with universities and research institutions to offer programs relevant to the Plan. Building professional capacity in climate change adaptation is prioritized as an outcome through proposed partnerships between national and regional universities and the Government of Saint Lucia. Financial assistance and scholarships to interested students who study abroad, specifically in professional development on climate change adaptation, are highlighted as important. Outputs include students being trained in climate change programs and related programs. Material is based on adaptation in multiple development sectors, covering subjects such as Climatology, Marine Biology, and Hydrology.
The Center of Biosecurity Studies at the University of the West Indies offered a conference opportunity in February 2021 in Saint Lucia under the theme Visioning sustainable futures: Confronting the threats of climate change and climate variability. It was presented at the university’s Open Campus Saint Lucia site. The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre collaborated with the National Emergency Management Organization and hosted Earth Science Week in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The week focuses on education and public outreach on reducing disaster risk and learning about natural disasters.
The website of the Curriculum and Material Development Unit in the Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training mentions an online course covering climate change This free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is delivered through a partnership between two internationally recognized institutions: the University of Seychelles and the Commonwealth of Learning.
The website of the Curriculum and Material Development Unit in the Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training mentions an online course covering climate change, as part of the course outline.
iv. Climate change in training and adult learning
The Saint Lucia Technical and Vocational Education and Training Policy and Strategy 2019-2025 (2019) proposes that modernization of skills curriculum and other initiatives be developed and adapted, integrating climate change, climate resilience, and gender sensitivity. The Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training stated that promoting environmentally friendly practices in Saint Lucia highlights the significance of technical and vocational education and training in improving current social and economic conditions, paving the way for Saint Lucia to achieve sustainable development. The Strategy notes that climate adaptability and environmental sustainability are a national priority in Saint Lucia’s Education Sector Development Plan 2015-2020 (2015) and states that some priorities are directly connected to technical and vocational education and training.
Saint Lucia’s National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) supports training workshops, especially for government bodies and journalists. Journalists have been able to participate in workshops that provide training on climate change communication. Training and adult learning on climate change for journalists mainly happens through workshops and initiatives. Saint Lucia’s Climate Change Communications Strategy (2018) draws on current communication-based activities led by the Government of Saint Lucia. The Strategy highlights the significance of practical steps needed for every Saint Lucia citizen to build the country’s resilience to climate change.
Journalists are seen as having a role in shaping public opinion. In 2015, journalists were invited to submit their stories about climate change before the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), and the winner received a fully paid trip to the conference itself. Similarly, in 2017, journalists were given the opportunity to win a trip to Guyana. They were able to present their experiences of climate change adaptation and how they report it at the climate change media training workshop in Georgetown, Guyana.
The National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) lists training workshops as an adaptation measure for government heads of department, line managers, technical officers, and team leaders to participate in climate change adaptation initiatives at all agencies within the Government of Saint Lucia.
In 2018, the Government of Saint Lucia, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme’s Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership, published the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (2018) for schools. The Renewable Energy Division of the Department of Infrastructure, Ports, and Energy collaborated with the Department of Education on this Action. The Action targets many sectors, including education, and aims to strengthen sustainable development by tracking emission reductions. Implementation of activities under the Action includes extensive training and capacity building programs, such as capacity building and awareness training for companies and institutions on sustainable development and development of a curriculum that focuses on environmental management.
The Saint Lucia Technical and Vocational Education and Training Policy and Strategy 2019-2025 (2019) proposes that modern skills curricula and other initiatives be developed and adapted to integrate climate change, climate resilience, and gender sensitivity. In 2017, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development delivered a national capacity building workshop on the impacts of climate change and adaptation for coastal transportation infrastructure in the Caribbean. The workshop aimed to build the knowledge of policy makers, transportation planners, and transportation infrastructure managers in Small Island Developing States such as Saint Lucia. Discussions of adaptation response measures brought the appropriate stakeholders together.
The 3rd National Communication (2017) lists projects and programs for technical training and capacity building workshops with climate change in context. Many of these projects are coordinated by government agencies and ministries. For example, biosafety is a priority for many public service workers, so capacity building workshops are offered. Journalists are given training on sectoral adaptation plan developments.
The Department of Sustainable Development, with the Department of Economic Development as the National Designated Authority to the Green Climate Fund and as the organization that houses the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project, have offered a number of training sessions to the National Climate Change Committee and other stakeholders over the years under various initiatives, including the Special Programme on Adaptation to Climate Change project, National Communications, the Biennial Update Report, National Determined Contributions, and Green Climate Fund readiness initiatives. Additionally, under the National Adaptation Plan process, a special session for ministers and permanent secretaries introduced the National Adaptation Plan and Sectoral Adaptation Strategy and Action Plans, training for creative artists in creating climate change content, and training for technical officers in development of National Adaptation Plan and Sectoral Adaptation Strategy and Action Plans.
i. Climate change and public awareness
The Saint Lucia Climate Change Communications Strategy (2018) aims to widen public awareness of the Government of Saint Lucia’s policies and frameworks on climate change adaptation. The Strategy identifies communication objectives for Saint Lucia to achieve its national adaptation goals. This Strategy’s objectives include public awareness of government policies and plans for climate change adaptation. The Strategy addresses identifying external and internal audiences and making information available through different modes and kinds of communication. Internal audiences within the government are prioritized as stakeholders. External groups that can carry the message about climate change and its impacts on the public are also prioritized. External groups include educators, journalists, and artists participating in climate change communication.
Government held the workshop Understanding Climate Change Adaptation in the Saint Lucia Context for journalists and media workers in 2017. The Department of Sustainable Development in collaboration with the NAP Global Network U.S. In-Country Support Program hosted the workshop. The workshop aimed to raise climate change awareness, including conversations about climate action in Saint Lucia. The Government of Saint Lucia is actively involved in many types of climate change adaptation projects. One role of the Department of Sustainable Development is showcasing projects to the public after collecting information on them.
The Government of Saint Lucia runs public campaigns on climate change. An example of an extensive broad-based campaign for public awareness is the 1.5 to stay alive campaign, which occurred before the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in 2015. The campaign's goals included raising awareness of how Saint Lucia is vulnerable to climate change and building empowerment among citizens to strengthen climate resilience. The campaign had an outreach plan that involved social media interactions and had targeted messages from significant influencers. Artists and performers released a song and music video to raise climate change awareness and increase support for the Caribbean’s position in COP21 and international climate negotiations.
In 2018, the Department of Sustainable Development featured an animated video showcasing the importance of climate change adaptation. In 2021, the Department launched a 4-minute animated video to raise public awareness about climate change. Climate Change in Saint Lucia: Lets Make It Our D.R.A.M.A (Discuss, Read, Act, Mitigate, and Adapt) was designed for schools, summer camps, youth groups, and students to learn about climate change and action. The video also shared information on the government’s plans, such as Nationally Determined Contributions and the National Adaptation Plan. The Department also developed two public service announcements to raise awareness about the use of electric vehicles in 2021, as a climate change mitigation measure for Saint Lucia.
Saint Lucia signed the Barbados Declaration on Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States in 2012. The Declaration has voluntary commitments to which Saint Lucia agreed to adhere, including implementing a proper sustainable energy education and awareness program. Education objectives include to review personal lifestyles and rethinking the impact of individual action on the environment, developing future sustainable scenarios, and encouraging actions oriented toward sustainability .
The National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) highlights the significance of public awareness as necessary to “expand the coverage of previous and ongoing initiatives and to improve the basic understanding of climate change challenges and adaptation options at all levels of society” (p. 139). This strategic objective includes efforts to raise awareness on climate change and adaptation. Adaptation measures include designing and implementing public awareness and education programs on climate change and related concepts such as adaptation, development, and conservation. An indicator of success was to raise awareness and implement the Climate Change Education Strategy with other adaptation initiatives.
ii. Climate change and public access to information
The Cabinet endorsed the Escazú Agreement in Saint Lucia, ensuring that every person can access information, participate in the government’s decision making process, and access justice, including climate change information.
The Freedom of Information Bill (2009) developed by the Sustainable Development and Environment Division supports public access to official documents. The Government of Saint Lucia promotes access to information about climate change and the environment through legislative frameworks.
The Saint Lucia Climate Change Communications Strategy (2018) aims to further the availability and use of climate change information in national decision making. The Strategy promotes a new climate change website as an essential pathway for information about government policy and plans on climate change adaptation. Articles accessible on the website cover topics such as climate finance and its complexities, and practices such as overfishing and how it contributes to climate change. The website also showcases public service announcements made by the Government of Saint Lucia on climate change, including how the government combats climate change at regional, national, and international levels. Information is available for both public and targeted audiences.
The government also implemented a project with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), funded by the Global Environment Fund, entitled Increase Saint Lucia’s capacity to Monitor Multilateral Environmental Agreements Implementation and Sustainable Development (2017). This project aims to “strengthen environmental information systems by, among other things, formalizing and sustaining effective mechanisms for the exchange of both general and more specialized technical information among relevant stakeholders” (p. 249). The project supported the launch of the National Environmental Information System in 2018, which promotes the principle of access to environmental information. The System includes a shared data portal allowing civil society to share and access environmental information and data on Saint Lucia. The System provides public access to information on Multilateral Environmental Agreements indicators, with data from a common data storage facility. Data and current information related to the environment are available in easy-to-read formats.
The National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) offers recommendations on improving access to climate and environmental data. The Plan proposes a portal that consolidates all relevant data (currently scattered) under one platform. The Plan states that the “portal could offer interfaces for dissemination of climate change-related information that is useful to various audiences” (p. 139). However, more information on this portal could not be found at the time of this review.
iii. Climate change and public participation
The Government of Saint Lucia supports public participation and transparency by implementing bills to enforce public consultative processes. For instance, the drafting of the Electricity Supply Services Bill (2015) and the Energy Efficiency Bill involved several public consultations.
The Climate Change Research Policy 2020-2030 (2020) aims to increase climate change capacity by recognizing diverse research partners and their knowledge in climate change-relevant research and information management. These partners are civil society organizations. Another objective in implementing the Policy includes encouraging civil society participation and Indigenous traditional knowledge in research activities.
The Freedom of Information Bill (2009) touches on providing public access to official documents, focusing on public participation and transparency in national decision making, which would include matters relating to climate change. In 2018, drafting of the Climate Change Bill and the Environmental Management Bill (2018) prioritized climate change response. These Bills accepted input from the wider public and other interested groups, and the Department of Sustainable Development made the draft bills available on request.
The National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) lists an objective of encouraging public participation in adaptation-related activities that align with their interests, especially for vulnerable groups. The Plan details the participation of vulnerable groups in workgroups and subcommittees of the National Climate Change Committee as an indicator of encouraging public participation, which needs to be reflected in the process as an adaptation measure. The Plan advocates a community-based adaptation that involves civil society and non-governmental organizations through encouraging participatory learning and action approaches. The Plan also proposes developing and endorsing a Climate Change Education, Awareness Raising, and Civil Society Participation Strategy for Saint Lucia that aligns with Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) to increase citizen participation in adaptation. This is proposed under the strategic objective to “Facilitate climate adaptation learning” (p. 112). Information on this Strategy’s development is not available at the time of this review.
Saint Lucia is also a partner in a regional Green Climate Finance Readiness project entitled Enhancing Caribbean Civil Society’s Access and Readiness for Climate Finance. The project aims to enhance the capacity of civil society organizations and improve access to climate financing for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The 3rd National Communication (2017) reports that multiple stakeholder consultations are limited due to financial constraints and recommends that community consultations occur at all stages in project processes.
i. Country monitoring
The International Monetary Fund published a report on climate change policy assessment (2018) in Saint Lucia that reviews the government’s plans for mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, in line with Saint Lucia’s Nationally Determined Contributions (2021). The report gives recommendations on how to strengthen policies while maintaining a sustainable macroeconomic framework.
The Government of Saint Lucia established a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (2018) that tracks the actions and plans undertaken based on the National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018) and Sectoral Plans. The Monitoring and Evaluation Plan lists outcomes relevant to furthering communication and education on climate change as provided in the National Adaptation Plan. The process of monitoring and evaluating under the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan is led by the Department of Sustainable Development, with the support of the National Climate Change Committee. The Monitoring and Evaluation Plan states that “the main objective of this National Adaptation Plan 2018 - 2028 (NAP) Monitoring and Evaluation system is to enable the Government of Saint Lucia to track the progress made in the planning and delivery of effective cross-sectoral and sectoral climate adaptation solutions through the NAP process.” (p. 6), essentially to monitor the implementation of these measures. Climate adaptation education and climate change education are included within the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan as the sectoral outcomes under the overarching goals of the National Adaptation Plan. For instance, sectoral outcomes focus on enhancing an environment that supports climate adaptation education. Improvement of climate change education as the foundation for climate adaptation is included as an outcome.
The Saint Lucia Climate Change Communications Strategy (2018) lists communication objectives linked to stages in the National Adaptation Plan 2018-2028 (2018). Under the monitoring and evaluation stage, an objective is improvement of climate change adaptation policies over time, including communication of these policies. In addition, a climate change website can “serve as a repository of information about climate change projects, including their objectives and impacts for those who need to monitor progress (i.e., government entities with climate change adaptation projects)” (n.p.). This will be accomplished by monitoring goals and metrics specific to communication, including website analytics and media monitoring. Other organizations will share information on the website to avoid repeating the same efforts, given limited human resources. The Department of Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the Department of Economic Development, which is Saint Lucia’s National Designated Authority to the Green Climate Fund, is developing a national climate change website, to be launched by the end of 2022.
A project entitled Increase Saint Lucia’s Capacity to Monitor Multilateral Environment Agreements Implementation and Sustainable Development was implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and funded by the Global Environment Facility. The project ran from September 2015 to 2019, with a revised extension to 2021. It integrated environmental principles into development frameworks and improved monitoring for sustainable development in those frameworks. One aspect focused on awareness raising, education, and outreach. The project has multiple focuses, including implementing and monitoring all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and project interventions that contribute to SDG 13 and others, with respective outcomes and outputs. A relevant outcome is to increase public education, awareness, and participation in environmental management. Outputs for raising public knowledge and participation in environmental information include non-government stakeholders being trained in environmental information systems and launching a public awareness program on the national environmental system. However, information on implementation is not available at the time of this review.
The Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2019) provides two indicators for implementing SDG 13.3 in Saint Lucia. The first indicator is the integration of mitigation and adaptation into the curricula of primary, secondary, and tertiary schools. The Review reported no data on this indicator when progress was last tracked in 2017. However, indicator news states that work is in progress to achieve the goal. The second indicator for SDG 13.3 is the “strengthening of institutional, systemic and individual capacity building to implement adaptation, mitigation, and technology transfer, and development actions” (p. 33) and the ongoing measurement of progress. The Review does not cover SDG 4.7, which focuses on acquiring knowledge and skills to further sustainable development.
Saint Lucia’s Educational Evaluation and Assessment Unit is housed within the Department of Education, Innovation and Vocational Training. National and international examinations are conducted. However, climate change communication and education are not specifically addressed in national examination standards.
ii. MECCE Project Monitoring
The Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Change Communication and Education (MECCE) Project examined the Education Sector Development Plan 2015-2020 for keywords related to ‘climate change,’ ‘environment,’ ‘sustainability,’ and ‘biodiversity.’
The Plan references ‘climate change’ 2 times, and ‘general environment’ 5 times. However, ‘biodiversity’ and ‘sustainability’ are not referenced.
Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training has a Curriculum and Material Development Unit but Saint Lucia does not have a national curriculum framework.
This section will be updated as the MECCE Project develops.
This profile was reviewed by the Department of Sustainable Development of Saint Lucia (Coordination of matters relating to the environment)