Archive for July, 2009

Environment day 2009- Mexico (stephen marshall -uk champion)

When thinking about Mexico most will think about the white sandy beaches and blue sea in paradise. I have been lucky to have recently been able to have had the chance to go to Mexico to learn about how the Mexicans are dealing with climate change and to celebrate the World Environment Day in order to see the Mexico many don’t even think of. I attended World Environment Day celebrations which made clear how we as individuals can make a difference if we change our behaviour. As well as this I also experienced many different areas of various biodiversity such as mountainous areas of La Gran Palapa to the jungles and lagoons of Sian Ka án in order to understand how delicate nature is and how we need to help save these beautiful places before its too late.
From attending the celebrations I managed to meet many celebrities and even be close to the president of Mexico which I never expected to do. It was good to see the celebrities also engaging with people to change their behaviour and displaying an appreciation of their responsibilities as role models. Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger emphasised in his video message the need for international collaboration, intercultural understanding and a whole world approach to tackling climate change.

From learning about rainforests and other diverse nature areas in the classroom I didn’t really get the feeling I have felt actually being there seeing everything in person makes such a difference. The feeling that humans and nature can live together can live together without harm. Animals in many areas roam freely, even within the hotel grounds, which was fascinating to see and I’m glad I had the chance to see many different types of animal I’ve never seen before and others I had known about but never seen in flesh. This had included the Ajoilette which is an amazing creature capable of regenerating parts of its heart or brain if damaged it is the only creature world that can do so, but sadly is very limited in numbers.

Learning about how the Mexicans are still in their industrial revolution but able to balance economic growth with caring for the environment was inspiring. They have taken many approaches which use ancient methods, often free from mechanisation which limits environmental damage as possible while still making economic progress. They still farm to provide fruit and vegetables for themselves as well as selling it in local markets. The way they work is unbelievable in the heat that Mexican climate, especially that which I experienced of 35*c up to 44*c which to me I would not be able to work in whatsoever.

The Mexicans were very interested in the idea of eco-schools which are becoming increasingly prevalent here in Wales. I had helped my old high school become an eco school while sitting on the student body, so was able to share how successful they are but also how they work and levels of achievement. The idea that although the effects of climate change differ from each person and nation but that all people will suffer in some way highlighted to all the indiscriminate nature of the problem. I learnt the individual can change how quickly and badly the effects of climate change will happen as their choices and lives if changed can help calm and slow down its effect.

The cultural exchange was really beneficial as it will help my newly made friends share our experiences while understanding each others culture, and how approaches may differ from each other, our aims and goals are the same. We need to work together and help one another in order to beat this problem which if not will affect us all with devastating effects.

Categories: Environment

Countdown to Copenhagen Youth Conference, Liberty Stadium Swansea (Wednesday 1st July 2009)

Id like to start with the thought of how successful and motivated the young people attended were. It was brilliant to see more than expected numbers at the event.
We had a very inspirational speaker (Ben Saunders) who told us his sole expedition across the North Pole and his story of when he encountered a polar bear. He showed that when individuals believe, their dreams can become reality.

We had speeches from John Griffiths AM Deputy Minister for Skills and Jane Davidson AM minister for Environment, Housing and Sustainable Development. They had told conference how important the views of the young people were and what will become with all the work and views of the day. We had the young Climate Change Champions introduce themselves and told us briefly of their role what it involves and who they see etc.

Those involved with the creation of the film Age Of Stupid were also in attendance where they had shown us clips from the film. Which were of the dire consequences of doing nothing NOW, in order to avoid our extinction by extreme weather and water rising, in effect the suicide of humanity. It is set in the year 2055 and has the plot of the film is that if we do nothing now in 2009 we will end up how the film portrays in less than half a century. It had shown us consequences of consumer lifestyles that we live in as well as those who aspire to have the same. It as if there was many more planets the way we act as if there were more than the ONE we actually have and live on. It shows clips from peoples’ story across the world from years before and what has helped caused this destruction and extinction in order to explain to one of the survivors why no one did anything to stop it happening.

With speaking with the Welsh Young Climate Change Champions and sharing experiences and linking each others contacts to ensure we can work collectively as a team. We have many ideas which hopefully we can work together on in the near future. I had informed them of my recent attendance to World Environment Day in Mexico and of what I have learnt and to share as it is essential we inform others to try and change behaviours if we are to achieve our aims in reducing our carbon footprint and reducing the catastrophic effects of climate change.

The afternoon workshops were very busy with many members in each, I attended the WYFSD in what the causes of climate change are and how they interlink with each other and also how local issues can affect the globe as a whole so therefore action at local level can make a difference overall globally if EVERYONE pulls their weight. Then we separated into groups with others from areas close to us to see if there are projects we can work together on.

In Final thought ,we as young people have a duty to ensure adults know that we care about our world and need to remind them, using our voice and to lobby them ensuring they make those much needed decisions NOW before its too late for us all.

Lets HOPE at COPENHAGEN our leaders will do us proud and we as young people we will be there to make sure as its OUR WORLD OUR FUTURE.

Categories: Environment