Young people speak out about climate issues
As a new generation grows up in a world threatened by climate change and environmental degradation, it is important that tomorrow's world becomes more sustainable.
The DRC has great natural resources and biodiversity that are of worldwide importance. Few countries can match its vast expanses of vegetation and significant water resources.
As the world’s pre-eminent UN organisation for the wellbeing of children, it made eminent good sense for UNICEF in DRC to put young people at the forefront of a new initiative to take action over the country’s climate change problem. Young people – including Child Reporters trained by UNICEF – received assistance to take part in discussions about waste management, access to clean water, the importance of education, the protection of fauna and flora, population resilience and community mobilisation to secure a healthier and more sustainable future.
Part of this initiative entailed Child Reporters travelling from all over the DRC to discover Virunga Park National Park in the east. Here local people are actively involved in efforts to protect the environment, develop agriculture, and defend natural resources, their work takes place in an environment that is often seriously insecure, principally because of the presence of a large number of armed groups. In the eastern city of Goma, Child Reporters were able to see how some people survive through recycling, while for others it’s a daily struggle to access clean water and overcome climatic disasters such as fl ooding. In Western DRC, the party of Child Reporters met people their own age who are involved in cleaning and recycling to develop their communities. They saw the commitment of some young people to educate future generations about the dangers of climate change. In Equateur Province, they discovered how young students cross the Congo River by dugout canoe to get to school. And in the central part of the country, in Kasai Oriental, they covered how deforestation is affecting livelihoods.