Scholarships on offer to Commonwealth member states

Officials working for Commonwealth governments are being invited to apply for five scholarships to help their country.

Malta is allocating the oceanography grants through the Commonwealth Small States Centre of Excellence (CSSCOE). They will fund a one-week course in operational oceanography for blue growth.

The scholarships cover travel (capped at €1,500.00), accommodation and a daily allowance. The course will be delivered at the University of Malta in collaboration with an international panel of experts.

Head of economic policy and small states at the Commonwealth, Travis Mitchell, is encouraging member states to take full advantage of the initiative.

He said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for governments to improve their economic capacity and to better help their citizens. Given the urgent need to focus on protecting their oceans, reaping the full benefits of ocean-based industries and achieving economic diversification, these scholarships couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Climate experts mark World Environment Day with event in Antigua and Barbuda

Youth has an increasingly crucial role to play in reducing pollution and protecting our planet, said the Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Health and Environment, Molwyn Joseph, at an event to commemorate World Environment Day.

Held in St John’s, the country’s capital, the event was organised by its Department of Environment, and attended by representatives of public, civil and private sectors. They praised the county’s efforts to promote renewable energy and reduce waste, including plastic.

In his keynote address, Mr Joseph stressed the importance of the role of youth in joining the national dialogue on solutions and taking action on climate change. He praised their contribution to promoting renewable energy in schools, saying: “The transition of renewable energy in schools will contribute towards meeting the islands mitigation and adaptation targets, and will strengthen its energy resilience.”

The Commonwealth Finance Access Hub team attended the event as a part of their mission to the twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda. In his speech, the Hub’s general manager, Bilal Anwar, highlighted the pioneering role of Commonwealth countries in leading global efforts to reduce plastic pollution.

“Climate finance is absolutely critical in transitioning countries towards a low carbon and climate resilient future. The Commonwealth’s Hub has been providing Antigua and Barbuda with the technical assistance they need to make strong applications for funding for projects that will help them to deal with the impact of climate change, and ultimately achieve their Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mr Anwar.

The Hub manages an ongoing technical assistance programme in Antigua and Barbuda that strengthens its ability to make successful applications to suitable climate finance donors.

In the opening address, the country’s Ambassador for Climate Change, Diann Black-Layne presented an overview of their efforts to ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, aligned with this year’s World Environment Day theme. She applauded Minister Joseph’s stand to ban plastic bags in 2016, reaffirming his words: “Antigua and Barbuda, even though small, we have a responsibility to ensure that the Carbon footprint is reduced in the entire world.”

More about the Climate Finance Access Hub