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Youth Activist from Sint Maarten Travels to UN Climate Conference Thanks to Local Support from NAGICO, Grant Thornton.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Riddhi Samtani, a youth activist and Sint Maartener will be representing the island at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai from November 30, 2023, to December 12, 2023. Part of the 35-strong Caribbean Climate Justice Leaders Academy (CCJLA) founded earlier this year by Island Innovation and the Open Society Foundations (OSF), Samtani was one of 10 cohort members selected to take part at COP28. While in Dubai the group will participate in panel discussions, meet international delegates, and interact with other young climate leaders, providing them with additional skills and experience they can leverage to further their own work in the Caribbean.

Keen to support local activists representing their communities on the international stage, is NAGICO Insurances, a leading insurer in the Caribbean that paid almost 1 Billion USD to the Caribbean community after Hurricanes Irma and Maria and contributed significantly to an improved and more resilient region. Together with Grant Thornton in the Dutch Caribbean, a member firm of the Grant Thornton global professional services network, they have provided further support to Samtani ahead of her trip to Dubai with the CCJLA delegation. Grant Thornton’s Environmental Policy Statement is a testimony to their commitment and this translates into the joint support effort with NAGICO Insurances.

Commenting on this, Samtani expressed, “The message is clear: climate change is real, and though we're on the front lines, we lag behind. We shouldn't wait for another Category 5 hurricane to wake us up. We have a chance to lead the region, collaborating across French and Dutch borders to protect our beloved island. As a youth, it's my duty to convey this message to those who are listening. I'm thrilled and honored to have the support of organizations like Island Innovation, enabling my presence on the global platform. This year, I'm grateful for local sponsors, Grant Thornton and Nagico Insurances, who want to empower my voice.”

Hurricane Irma has had a longstanding impact on Sint Maarten since it made landfall in 2017, damaging over 90% of the islands’ homes, and killing eight people. Sint Maarten is the Netherlands’ most climate-affected region, and they should have a voice at both a national and international level - and they will through Samtani.

 

 

 

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