|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT VIDEOCONFERENCE TO MARK WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY
FOCUSED ON YOUTH ACTION TO PROMOTE ‘SEAL THE DEAL’ CAMPAIGN
Joint Event Features Sites in Nairobi, New York, Other Cities Worldwide
The Department of Public information partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to organize an international videoconference on 2 June to mark World Environment Day, which focused on youth action for the “Seal the Deal” campaign in preparation for the Copenhagen meeting on climate change in December, and on student action to save the environment.
“We have only six months to seal the deal in Copenhagen and we must do so for future generations,” said Ben Margolis, head of the Global Coalition for Climate Change -- a network of London-based international environmental non-governmental organizations –- as he stressed the need for young people to be involved in climate change issues and encouraged the students to join the campaigns to influence world leaders’ actions in Copenhagen.
During the videoconference, students from Braeside School, Braeburn School, Highway Secondary School, Statehouse Road High School, Brookehouse Girls and Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi shared with the sites in New York, Dhaka and London their actions on climate change. Students from Panama told the audience about their projects to save the environment, including the protection of mangrove swamps.
The students gathered in New York -- from Colombia, Finland, Trinidad and Tobago, Lebanon, Switzerland, Iceland, China, Canada, Republic of Korea, Egypt, Burkina Faso and Belgium -– proposed a range of actions that political leaders should take on climate change, emphasizing taxation and cap in trade.
UNEP Nairobi presented a number of youth- and children-focused climate change activities, including Twitter for Trees, a campaign on the social networking site, and a Children and Youth Conference on Climate Change to take place from 17–25 August in Daejon, Republic of Korea. More than 700 children between the ages of 10 and 14, as well as 250 youth (ages 15–24) will discuss the theme “Climate Change: Our Challenge”. The Conference will result in a petition to world leaders and an action plan for promoting individual actions on climate change. Other activities include a global town hall meeting for more than 1,000 participants and more via live webcast.
Theodore Oben, Chief of the Outreach Unit at UNEP, Nairobi, moderated this year’s event. The student videoconference to observe World Environment Day is one of a series of annual student videoconferences organized by the Department of Public Information. In its first such action, the United Nations Federal Credit Union supported this year’s videoconference and will also support one to be organized by the Department of Public Information later in the year.
For more information on youth action and youth activities on climate change and the environment, please visit www.unep.org and www.cyberschoolbus.un.org. For more information on the Department of Public Information student conferences, please contact Yvonne Acosta at +1 212 963 7214, or Bill Yotive at +1 212 963 1400.
* *** *For information media • not an official record