Skip to content

Jamaica’s ‘Voices for Climate Change’ Spreads Its Message with Music

Emma Lewis, Global Voices

From reggae and dancehall music to jingles extolling the virtues of everything from laundry detergent to fast food, the way to any Jamaican’s heart is through song — prompting Panos Caribbean, a media-savvy non-governmental organisation, to take a musical approach to spread its environmental message. The organisation has been successfully sharing critical information with the public through its Voices for Climate Change project.

Those voices rang out loud and clear at the historic United Nations Conference in Paris (COP21) in 2015. There, Jamaican singer and songwriter Aaron Silk joined forces with other musicians — including Belizean performer Adrian Martinez — to advocate for a 1.5-degree limit to global warming.

The musical message, which supported the position of Small Island Developing States, was considerable, influencing the aspirations reflected in COP21’s final document.

Years later, the “1.5” message continues to resonate in the eastern Caribbean, where singers have intertwined St. Lucian poet Kendel Hippolyte’s words with their own lyrics in order to ensure the message hits home.

The climate change crisis in 2019 is even more urgent than it was four years ago and in Jamaica, rural citizens from farmers to fisherfolk are heeding the wake-up call. Artists, schoolchildren and community members came together in different parts of Jamaica — Kingston, Lionel Town, Ridge Red Bank and White River — for four days of workshops during the months of March and April. There, they honed their communication skills and learned about the impact of climate change. Powerful lyrics emerged, ideas flowed and eye-opening field trips provided on-the-ground perspectives:

Mother Earth she bawls
Deep in the forest where the trees fall
Look upon the reef, see the fish how small
Give them a little time, make them grow big and tall

With Panos’ launch of a new Caribbean theme song for Earth Day, the Jamaican group is booked solid for school and community concerts, as well as the Read Across Jamaica initiative and tree-planting sessions. Lyrics like these, delivered to a roots reggae rhythm and infused with dancehall vibes, somehow manage to hit home:

Mother Nature yearns for life
The more the factories burn, she cries.
When will we learn, and be wise?
The more the ice caps melt, the sea rise.

This article originally appeared on Global Voices. It is shared under a creative commons license.

Support Us
Red Revolution has a number of costs involved not only with the running of the site but also future plans for expansion of our reach. These include payments for domains, feature packages, advertising, photo and content libraries and more.

If you’ve liked what you’ve read on Red Revolution, please consider a kind donation or taking a look at our carefully chosen related products on many articles.

You can donate via our Support Us page via PayPal or Bitcoin. All donations are kept private and secure.

Your generosity is appreciated.

This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook

By Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion are inspiring a whole generation to take action on climate breakdown. 
Now you can become part of the movement – and together, we can make history.

It’s time. This is our last chance to do anything about the global climate and ecological emergency. Our last chance to save the world as we know it. 

Now or never, we need to be radical. We need to rise up. And we need to rebel.

Extinction Rebellion is a global activist movement of ordinary people, demanding action from Governments. This is a book of truth and action. It has facts to arm you, stories to empower you, pages to fill in and pages to rip out, alongside instructions on how to rebel – from organising a roadblock to facing arrest. 

By the time you finish this book you will have become an Extinction Rebellion activist. Act now before it’s too late.


Red Revolution View All

News, articles & stories from the worlds of politics & history, with a dose of retro culture.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.