Vanuatu youth meet to discuss climate change
Conference in Vanuatu brings youths together to focus on climate change issues.
Over one hundred youths from around Vanuatu have gathered in Port Vila for the national symposium on Youth Climate Change.
The meeting co-ordinator, Save the Children fund's Amos Calo, told Hilaire Bule they want to improve the awareness of young people on the issues such as mitigation and adaptation and make them to become climate change champions.
AMOS CALO: The purpose of organising the symposium is to increase capacity of youth throughout Vanuatu, to discuss and to action adaptation actions in their communities. The theme for the youth symposium is Educating Climate Change Champions For Tomorrow. This is basically because in the past we used to provide awareness and capacity building to mainly adults or community leaders, those that are of youth age. So the idea is to bring these youth together and form a pool of climate change champions.
HILAIRE BULE: Do you think youth in Vanuatu, they have an important role to play regarding climate change?
AC: Definitely. These youth, they have a lot of energy and they will be leaders in this nation. So one of the reasons we want to work with them is to increase their capacity. They have some traditional knowledge already available. We just need to put in some more effort into building their capacity and then do something to adapt. 'Cause at the end of the day they're the ones that are affected.
HB: There will be a follow-up after the symposium to see what those who attend the symposium will do after this.
AC: One of the activities we are currently talking about now is what is going to happen next year. Some of the activities we planned for Friday is to distribute vetiver grass. Vetiver grass is a plant that is planted to control soil erosion. This has built some relationship with the national advisory board and also the civil societies we are working with. Already we have some communities that we are working with at the community level, in terms of climate change, for next year. Also on Saturday we're bringing these youths to visit some of the adaptation activities already being done at the island of Pele. So these are signs that show there will be a follow-up activity next year on how to look at how youth work or contribute to the climate change sector.
HB: Is it because Vanuatu is affected by climate change or is it because you want to know more about climate change?
AC: There's two things. First, Vanuatu is vulnerable to the effects of climate change and the other thing is these youths are also facing the effects of climate change, but they are the agents of change. Vanuatu is facing issues of climate change so we need to adapt. How to adapt? Well, we need to use those youth for them to make adaptation activities in their communities.
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