Olivia Zhu is one of the four delegates chosen to represent the United States at the Children’s Climate Forum (CCF) taking place in Copenhagen. The U.S. Delegates will be sharing their experiences at the CCF on Fieldnotes
The first morning we had a great time playing what I’m going to call “World-Ball.” We arrived in the main exhibition hall to find a circle of delegates from Italy, Malawi, Indonesia, and elsewhere tossing/kicking/volleying around a humongous inflatable globe.
160 children from 44 developing and industrialized countries around the world, including four teenagers representing the United States, will gather later this month in Copenhagen for the Children’s Climate Forum.
The official Children’s Climate Forum is organized by UNICEF and the City of Copenhagen. It takes place in the week leading up to the intergovernmental negotiations on climate change (COP15) in December in Copenhagen. During the forum, the delegates will engage in skill-building sessions, a negotiating session and draft a declaration that will be presented to the President of the COP15 at the Forum closing session.
The purpose of the Children’s Climate Forum is to give children from both developing and industrialized countries a voice in the global climate change debate and a chance to influence the important agreement to be decided at COP15. It’s unique that children from both industrialized and “at-risk” countries meet face-to-face to discuss impact of climate change on children, and how children can take part in both local and global efforts to adapt to, and fight climate change.
Youth journalists will also report from the forum on a daily basis on www.uniteforclimate.org, featuring web articles, video, photos, and two daily live webcasts. For further information: Please visit www.childrensclimateforum.org.
Check back for future blog posts by the U.S. Delegates and U. S. Fund for UNICEF staff from Copenhagen!
Climate change is an issue that will affect generations to come, which is why it’s important for the youth to join the discussion.
UNICEF Denmark will organize the first Children’s Climate Forum (CCF) a new youth event linked to the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Much like the Junior 8 Summit (unicefusa.org/j8), the CCF aims to advance young people’s understanding of global issues and provide a platform for them to discuss and advocate on issues of climate change and the environment.
The CCF is designed to give children a voice in the debate and a chance to influence the important discussions made at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC-COP15). The UNICEF Children’s Climate Forum is to be held in parallel to the UNFCCC-COP15 in Copenhagen from November 28-December 5, 2009.
Approximately 180 students have been selected by UNICEF to represent at least 57 countries. The students chosen to represent the United States are:
- Becca Arbacher, Silver Spring, MD
- Pulkit Agrawal, Hialeah, FL
- Chloe Songer, Menlo Park, CA
- Olivia Zhu, Saratoga, CA
Opportunities for youth to join the discussion are not limited to the Children’s Climate Forum. UNICEF is encouraging young people to join the community at www.uniteforclimate.com. There you can find out how young people are responding to climate change, learn about their experiences, and join campaigns from around the world.
Join the community today!
While most Americans were sitting by the pool, standing by the grill, or making plans to watch fireworks this Fourth of July, four teens from North Miami Senior High School represented the youth of the United States outside of the historic arches of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. And against this backdrop of ancient Roman ruins, young Pulkit Agrawal, Emmanuella Louisdor, Daniel Morales and Kefhira Pintos stood alongside a giant papier-mÃƒ¢chÃƒ© ear. Calling themselves the “Global Pioneers,” the students took advocacy to new heights. Sound odd? Well, I assure you, there’s a perfectly good explanation.
As tourists passed by this extraordinary juxtaposition of stone and paper and chicken wire, the teens wrote down the thoughts and suggestions they’d like to share the world leaders attending this year’s G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy. Under the watchful eyes of teacher Ms. Stephanie King, the students expressed their concerns regarding the global economic crisis and its impact on the world’s children, the poor, and the environment. And they weren’t alone. The Americans were joined by another 40 or so young people representing other G8 countries
This week’s blog posting has been written by Kafhira, a member of the U.S. delegation to the Junior 8 Summit in Italy.
“Wow ! That’s about the only way I can sum up my experience thus far at the Junior 8 Summit.
On the first day we were able to meet the teams from Egypt, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, and China. The experience was truly incredible and it was not long into the following day that the remainder of the dozens of country teams arrived.
“As the sun rose on my second day in Rome, there was a palpable sense of anticipation in the air. Everyone present was ready and more than willing to begin with the day’s activities, revolving around the idea that world leaders need to “LISTEN AND ACT”. One of the activities featured a giant paper-mache ear, in which we each put our personal suggestions for the world leaders. Everywhere we turned there was a news reporter asking for an interview or picture. The fact that such serious media outlets turned out to this event and were so intent on getting a breadth of information on the J8 Summit and its participants really spoke to the importance of youth activism, a theme that also really spoke to us all.
“When they say time flies when you’re having fun, they’re not lying. Following a formal welcome to the J8 Summit and an explanation of the ground rules, the next thing I knew we had begun our discussion on Child Rights and ideas were flying across the room. To see how serious fellow youth from around the world took the very same issues our team was so concerned about was yet another moving scene. The next couple of discussions were the same, all full of creativity and knowledge from representatives of both developing and developed countries alike. In our group discussion, focusing on education, I was surprised by the range of educational experiences the representatives had, and even more surprised by how we share a lot of the same barriers. Overall, my first experiences at the J8 have been exciting, moving, and productive. I can’t wait to see what else we have to do and with what enthusiasm this incredible youth council will do it with.”
Check back for more updates from the U.S. team
On June 10th the TeachUNICEF team and other community members spoke to over 500 New York City youth about the importance of clean water. We reflected on our own water usage and some of the challenges people around the world face when trying to access clean water. Led by a marching band, we then joined the youth in walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to simulate the distance many people around the world walk to access clean water. Youth carried signs and chanted, educating New Yorkers as they passed. It was moving to see so many people unite for such an important cause.
|© U.S. Fund for UNICEF/2009
|New York city youth walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to simulate the distance many people around the world walk to access clean water.
TeachUNICEF and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF are committed to global water and sanitation issues. To learn more about these issues and download free classroom resources click here.