Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Effectively Moving Forward Rio +20 Debrief

Yesterday I attended the Rio+20 Debriefing at the Holiday Inn. The Programme was organized by UNICEF Pacific and was an opportunity for Government and Young People to Dialogue. Apart from fellow youth activists, government officials, UNICEF Pacific staff and the media, a highly esteemed panel of speakers were there ready to give us their debrief. Speakers included Mr Iosefa Maiava, Head UNESCAP Pacific Operations Manager, Mr Krishna Prasad Acting Permanent Secretary for Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics as well as Mr Kelvin Anthony Government Youth Delegate.
The open discussion was moderated by the Mereia Carling, and audience members as well as the media were invited to pose questions or offer comments on whatever the speakers presented. The main themes up for discussion were on moving forward from Rio, how youth could get involved with this expected progress, the fabric of the relationship between Government and young people and whether working together was possible and most importantly what the priority issues that needed to be discussed were.
After almost a day of thinking about where to from here for young people, my perspective is a bit more clear, and I would like to share that across to you, hoping it might generate some form of discussion
–       One of  the things young people present at the discussions were, I guess, empowered to do yesterday, were to up skill themselves because the onus was on then to ensure they understood very well, the language and technical jargon,  used at these international climate change negotiations. This would enable them to become more proactive.
  • Obviously, we do not expect international climate change talks to change the language that they use, however, we do expect those responsible to provide avenues for more “youth friendly” documents to be created. One that is more inclusive and can be understood by a young 15 year old in Suva as well as a 21 year old in Taveuni.
–       Another thing that I felt was not properly addressed yesterday was the train of thought around, what makes a climate change activist, a climate change activist? Now because of obvious reasons, not everyone of us is educated in the science of climate change. But does that lack of education on the science of it, automatically make us less capable of being climate change activists? Could it be possible that what we lack in science, we make up in passion?
–        With that in mind, why hasn’t there been many occasions where climate change students and youth leaders work together? What exactly is holding us back from uniting and forming one larger, stronger voice, after all, isn’t a youth movement based on solidarity, the way forward? I guess this is something we should explore more, and while these exploration activities are being carried out, also ensure we don’t lose our individual voices and become too diluted
If anything we must work together, and take the science and the passion, combined with our available resources, to disseminate that information to youth all over. Therefore reaching them at a point where they are capable of believing and understanding that information
We must also ensure that we maintain our individual level of quality, knowledge and passion and see to it that that status quo is multiplied when we come together. We must upgrade and up-skill ourselves, stay informed and educated and equip ourselves with the right tools to enhance our combined quality
At the end of the day though, I guess the fundamental questions here are,
Can we really effectively move forward from Rio + 20 and  Are we really ready for a revolution?
Older people are set in their behaviors and habits,:D lets ensure we develop the right ones and beat them at their own game

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