Yesterday morning at COY (Conference of Youths), we had 5 youths share their experiences on the initiatives they have been carrying out in their home countries. Chris from Fiji shared on a programme which train youths on issues relevant to low-lying nations like Fiji. The programme that was local and catered for only 20 people, has now spread to 5 other countries with more than 180 youths today.
An interesting insight was provided by youth delegates from New Zealand when she stated how important it is to incorporate culture into climate change action. For example, her culture had Maori elements and she utilized certain phrases from the Maori language which convey the need to teach and educate others on climate change.
I think I found the story shaped by a Nepalese youth most inspiring, a word she herself used many times. It’s very admirable how she and many others convinced government officials to put climate change issues on the country’s agenda amongst other seemingly more important issues like the Maoist insurgency. An initiative to raise awareness on the mountain issue which is the melting of the Himalayas has spread from 3 college students to 5 regions now. Moving from the refusal of the government to hear the youths out to present invitations to government’s consultation sessions is a huge milestone, I agree.
The greatest take away from this session was that we are not alone in this battle, fighting for the environmental cause. We have fellow counterparts in other parts of the world tirelessly helping out in the ways they know how.