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Jimena Leiva Roesch: Amplifying and Assisting Climate Policy For the Smallest Islands

Jimena Leiva Roesch: Amplifying and Assisting Climate Policy For the Smallest Islands

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Jimena Leiva Roesch, the Director of Global Initiatives, and the Head of Peace, Climate, and Sustainable Development of the International Peace Institute. Let’s learn about what’s happening at the International Peace Institute and how Jimena is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Jimena, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through the International Peace Institute?

Jimena: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! We work with the smallest islands in the world on their climate policy. These islands are the most vulnerable to climate change, and often their voice is not heard in climate negotiations. We support leaders from islands to help them voice the needed actions to remain below 1.5 Celsius, and have a sustainable planet. 

Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?

Jimena: I love Planet Earth and its immense and diverse ecosystems such as the oceans, mountains, and deserts. We are very lucky to have fresh water and to have wonderful forests. I am inspired by the world’s beauty.

Spiffy: What would you say is the impact of your work?

Jimena: We change climate policy to support the most vulnerable. We helped design the 700 million fund for Loss and Damage in the The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Spiffy: Wow that’s awesome! Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Jimena: It’s up to all of us to change the world! And we can! Do not think challenges are too big for you!

Spiffy: I’m with you there! Thanks for speaking with me today, Jimena —it’s been an honor!

Jimena Leiva Roesch is the Director of Global Initiatives and the Head of climate, peace, and sustainable development at the International Peace Institute. She leads a multi-disciplinary team of experts on climate policy and diplomacy, and was the advisor to the Maldives in the Transitional Committee of Loss and Damage that led to the Fund being adopted in COP 28. From 2009 to March 2015, Jimena was at the Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the UN in New York, where she last served as Counselor. Guatemala and Colombia were the first countries that developed the idea of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Jimena played a key role in crafting this global agreement. (Nominated by Pelayo Alvarez. First published on the Ladderworks website on February 27, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.