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Children’s Climate Forum Declaration : Bangladeshi children join hands with world community

Dhaka, 23 December 2009. Tariqul Islam, one of Bangladesh’s participants in the Children’s Climate Forum (CCF), was among only eight young people worldwide to represent children’s voices to world leaders at the 15th UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15).

The Children’s Forum, which was organized by UNICEF and the City of Copenhagen, brought together 160 young people from 40 countries to share ideas for responding to the challenges posed by climate change.

Four Bangladeshi teenagers participated in the Forum: Miti Annesha, 13, from Rajshahi; Tariqul Islam, 16, from Bhola Island; Fatema Akhter, 16, from Noakhali; and Arif Arman, 14, from Satkhira. The children were all selected from coastal and drought-prone areas to represent the situation of Bangladesh in the conference.

The Forum, which was held in the week prior to COP15, culminated in the adoption of a declaration in which the children committed to personal lifestyle changes and demanded that governments take action on climate change.

Climate ambassadors will work in their respective countries to formalize the commitments embodied in the declaration, including committing to personal lifestyle changes for the “common good”; to educate themselves and their communities to mitigate the changing climate; to engage with all generations and governments to combat climate change. Their commitment is for one year.

To better implement their promises, the young people have formed a social network so that they can share their experiences and difficulties as they put into action what they have learned in the conference.

The declaration was presented to the President of COP 15, Ms. Connie Hedegaard, who took it to the leaders present at the conference.

“The battle against climate change is upon all of us. We are ready to act and we invite you to join us. Climate change is affecting our lives, our families and our future,” the document states. “We must act immediately and we are ready to fulfill our commitments. We are prepared to give all we have as long as there is the possibility of saving our planet,” it continues. 
 
The Declaration recommends that industrialized countries ramp up spending on adaption; cities be well planned and sustainable; safety standards, regulations and emergency protocols be established to prepare for climate induced disasters; better water conservation; education on sea level rise and flooding and biodiversity-related projects.  
 
The young people also made recommendations to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, which include: new energy-efficient technologies; investments in sustainable transport infrastructure; establishment of a carbon trading system; establishing new classifications for countries – 1) industrialized countries, 2) developing countries which pollute heavily and the 3) less polluting developing countries; national recycling plans; mandatory climate change education in schools.

For more information, please contact:

  • Arifa S Sharmin, Communication Specialist, Communication and Information Section, + 880 2 9336701-10, Ext:442; E-mail: assharmin@unicef.org
  • Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury, Communication Officer, Communication and Information Section, + 880 2 9336701-10, Ext:392; E-mail: iachowdhury@unicef.org

 

 

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