Children speak out on climate change
Celebrating World Children’s Day in South Sudan
Every year on 20 November, UNICEF celebrates World Children’s day, commemorating the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This year’s topic is environmental issues and climate change. South Sudan is one of the countries where climate change is felt but where awareness is low. To commemorate World Children’s Day 2020, UNICEF South Sudan has engaged children, educated them on the topic and allowed them to speak out about what they think needs to be done.
The message is clear; we must act now to create a clean and green environment for the future generations to come.
Poems for change
By Daniel Akuei Garang
I take a seat and go online
I try to search what’s new
My heart saddens at what I’m seeing
I see a world suffering from natural disasters
And a nation that has no foreseeable master
I see a world not ready for different climate phases
And a nation unprepared for weather changes
What children think
“If we can’t save our only planet, then where are we going to live?”
What children want
Advocacy call by children of South Sudan
South Sudan is the one of the least developed countries in Africa, and as such is highly vulnerable to climate change. The country’s population is highly dependent on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture (that is mainly rain-fed) for their livelihoods. Moreover, climate change is expected to have impacts on the energy, tourism, water and health sectors. The most frequently occurring climate hazards include droughts and floods, which cause economic losses to the country.
South Sudan is ranked 3rd of 186 in terms of most affected and less prepared country. Since 1970, observed temperatures have increased by 1/1.5degrees. Droughts and floods frequency have increased and more widespread.
While we celebrate the World Children’s Day and the anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, we - children of South Sudan - call the National Government, the State Governments, the international and national intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the influencers and community leaders, our parents and all citizens of our country to increase their attention and action for a clean environment to ensure the future of South Sudan and its people.
More specifically, we ask:
- The Minister of General Education and Instruction to include environmental education in the school curriculum of children in the primary and senior classes to increase the awareness among children for climate change and environmental issues and their role as actors of change for a clean and safe environment in South Sudan ;
- The Government and the communities to ensure the protection of the natural resources of our country, including the forests and the wild life;
- The Government to promote the use of clean energy as solar and wind energy, and the people to use charcoal responsibly thereby avoiding cutting trees and reducing air pollution;
- The Governments and the communities to produce less trash and ensure trash is regularly collected and recycled;
- The Government of South Sudan to implement the environmental engagements it took, including for instance the planting of 100 million trees over ten years (2020-2030) to fight deforestation;
- The children of South Sudan to raise their voices on the impact of climate change and environmental issues and to be actor of change for a green and clean environment;
- The National and States Governments, organizations and local communities to work in partnership for a green and clean South-Sudan.