Are young Caymanians under-represented in conservation?
That’s one question posed by audience members Monday night (19 May) during a Q-and-A session following the Reberth documentary premiere.
Cayman 27 asked film-goers for their take on the issue.
“They are there. Is it the masses? No. When you do go out, like she said, it is a lot of ex-pats, a lot of people from other places that are passionate about [environmental issues], and yeah, maybe it’s a little less representation than it should be, but they are out there. It’s only gonna take time before more are out there,” said Nick Ebanks.
“I think more needs to be done in the schools and teaching them and giving them the opportunity. I know there are some free programs, that teach them and give them free lessons that they can get qualified,” said businessman Prentice Panton.
Steff McDermott, one of the young Caymanians featured in the film, co-moderated the Q-and-A session.
She agreed education programmes have helped to ignite a passion for the ocean and scuba diving among young Caymanians, but barriers still exist, and some are frustratingly simple.
“They don’t have rides, they don’t have money to pay for to go diving, like so many of them they love diving, like the [Young Environmentalist Leadership Course] at CCMI, an excellent program, however when it’s over the students are not diving because no one is taking them out to dive, nobody is paying for their dives, and I’ve tried, I’ve tried, trust me, and happened to end up having to pay, it’s like $40 a dive and it’s simple, they don’t have the money for it,” said Ms. McDermott in her response to an audience member’s question.
Ms. McDermott said for many young Caymanians, issues like plastic pollution and coral bleaching are often viewed as secondary to the more stark issues of reality that many face in their daily lives.