Despite being on the frontlines of climate impact and contributing the least to greenhouse emissions, the perspectives from SIDS (Small Island Developing States) are often sidelined in global discussions. For this programme, we invite voices from the island nations within the Kingdom of the Netherlands to provide a platform for their voices to be heard and gain a better understanding of how these communities experience the climate crisis, what they stand to lose, and how they’re building resilience.

Our Kingdom-wide cast of speakers will each dive into their strategies for combating climate change. Riddhi Samtani from Sint Maarten will share her experiences and perspective on advocacy as a tool for change. Nigel Maduro will talk about the direct action he has taken on Aruba to raise awareness and start the conversation on the island.

Meralney Bomba and Danique Martis will talk about their work as campaigners for Greenpeace Bonaire and how they support the citizens of Bonaire in legal process to protect their island from the effects of climate change.

You can attend this event physically or online. When making your reservation, choose between a physical spot or an online reservation.

About the programme

Climate racism, often described as, “we are all in the same storm, but not on the same boat” highlights how the impact of the climate crisis varies greatly among different communities. While everyone faces the climate crisis, the effects are not the same for everyone. Smaller islands and island nations are particularly vulnerable to climate change despite having made minimal contribution to the greenhouse gasses intensifying the crisis. From increasingly severe hurricanes to health emergencies caused by rising temperatures and entire regions submerged in water, small islands are experiencing the devastating effects of climate change right now!

Countries in the global north, such as the Netherlands, often lead discussions on combating climate change but may overlook the severity of the crisis for communities in the global south. This is exacerbated by patterns of ecological destruction in the global south to support the transition to sustainable energy in the global north. Even climate movements in the global north often fail to recognise the severity of the climate crisis and the urgent need for solutions experienced by people in the global south. The time to unify the Dutch Kingdom, on both sides of the Atlantic, for collective climate action is now!

More about the speakers

Riddhi Samtani is a leader in fighting climate change in the Caribbean. She’s deeply connected to St. Martin and wants to understand how climate change affects small islands like hers, especially considering the impact of colonial history. With her background in International Affairs and Sustainable Development, she combines research and hands-on experience to tackle climate issues in the Caribbean. Currently, she works as an Environmental Specialist at the National Recovery Program Bureau, focusing on rebuilding after Hurricane Irma using climate-friendly methods. Riddhi is a global advocate, speaking up for climate action at conferences like COP in Dubai. She’s passionate about building unity among Caribbean islands. She believes that young people’s voices are crucial in fighting climate change and has been involved in programs like the Caribbean Climate Justice Leaders Academy and the EU Overseas Countries and Territories Youth Network. Riddhi also helped organize the first Caribbean Climate Justice Camp with Greenpeace, bringing together 120 young activists from the region to share ideas and solutions in St. Maarten.

Danique Martis works as a Community Mobiliser for Greenpeace, focusing on environmental activism and empowering communities. Raised in Curacao, St. Eustatius, and Bonaire, she developed a strong love for nature and a drive to protect it. With a background in social work, Danique brings a unique perspective to her role. She understands how social justice and environmental issues are connected. Because of this she’s part of a group suing the Dutch government over climate change. Alongside seven fellow Bonairians and Greenpeace, she advocates for a climate change plan for Bonaire and accelerated climate change mitigation efforts from the Netherlands. Outside of work, Danique enjoys gardening and swimming in the ocean. She’s also a successful entrepreneur, running The Social Octopus, a business that reflects her commitment to social responsibility and her passion for baking and bartendering. With her unwavering dedication and diverse skill set, Danique Martis continues to be a driving force in pursuit of a sustainable and equitable future.

Meralney Bomba (Naney) was born and raised on the island of Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean. She is a dedicated Community Organizer and Mobilizer for Greenpeace Netherlands, working to empower the people of Bonaire as they face the impacts of climate change. Meralney supports the 8 individuals who, together with Greenpeace Netherlands, recently initiated the court case against the Dutch government. They demand that Bonaire be protected against climate change effects and that the Dutch government reduces CO2 emissions to net zero by 2040. Meralney educates and engages her community through informative conversations, community events and workshops, helping them build resilience and advocate for their rights. Outside her work with Greenpeace, Meralney’s charismatic and positive personality, coupled with her drive for leadership, shines in her roles as CEO and manager of her very own company Anastatia Managements and as an active, inspiring fitness model and influencer.”

Nigel Maduro is Indigenous Caquetío from Aruba, an intersectional environmental activist, a sustainability scientist, and a multidisciplinary artist. Nigel has experience working in the nonprofit environmental sector (Greenpeace Aotearoa), the corporate sustainability sector, and has even been a strategic sustainability planner for an agro-ecology farm. He is notoriously known for sparking a socio-environmental movement in Aruba by being arrested for graffitiing “No More Hotels” and “Land Back” all around the island. Since then he has organized multiple disruptive protests during govenrmental protocols and speeches. Nigel aims for systemic change withing Aruba’s hotel and tourism industry, all while helping out with sustainable development consultancy projects and providing support and assistance for grassroots movements.

Percy Cicilia Jr. is a piece of the puzzle combining participation, inclusion, literature and art. Percy aims to create and facilitate programs, activities and interactions, to enhance life long learning. His focus is on societal engagement, digital citizenship, reading and media proficiency for youths. His artful expressions draw from pieces of the puzzle that make us human; the good, the bad and the unforgettable; past, present and future; all the pieces that we carry. But lest we forget our his and herstories, his art attempts to embrace the now. Lastly, he is also a local councilman for Groenlinks Wageningen, and gives DISE trainings to non-profits, educational and governmental institutions.

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