Skip to comments.Children begin United Nations conference on the environment
Posted on 07/20/2004 2:49:36 PM PDT by take
Children begin United Nations conference on the environment
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Mimicking a chimpanzee's shriek to the cheers and laughter of children from around the world, primate researcher Jane Goodall Tuesday opened the United Nations-sponsored Tunza International Children's Conference on the Environment.
The four-day conference brings together 450 children from 50 countries to talk about environmental issues and the many small ways that children can work for environmental causes.
At the end of the conference, the children will vote on resolutions that will be passed on to the United Nations' Environment Programme for possible consideration by the UN.
"Not only can you change the world _ you are changing the world," Goodall told the children at the opening ceremonies to the conference.
The ceremonies were filled with dance and music, including welcomes from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which is the lead sponsor of the event, and other northeastern American Indian tribes.
Indigenous people, including the lessons they have about the environment and the ways that colonization of the world has pressured their traditional way of life, will be a main issue discussed at the conference.
"We know mother Earth is in trouble, and we feel this conference will teach the youth how to protect mother Earth for the next seven generations," said Marcia Jones Flowers, the chairwoman of the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation.
The children also will learn about extinction and biodiversity, energy conservation, and ways to aid polluted waterways. A tall ships festival, which is open to the public, will provide the children with floating classrooms.
Children who attended the conference said they hoped to get ideas about environmental projects that they could take back to their own neighborhoods and schools.
"I want to get everyone to know that it's important that they think about the environment," said Ritsuya Kishida, a 13-year-old boy from Japan who has cleaned up garbage littering his hometown of Toyko and is studying global warming.
The children are turning the campus of Connecticut College into a mini United Nations for the week. Flags from Colombia, Gambia and Australia _ among others _ hung from dormitory windows, and children traded pins from their home countries.
Canadian Martha Larkin, 11, traded a pin from her hometown of Almonte, Ontario, with a pin of a smiling face from an Indonesian boy.
"It's sort of a fun thing to do _ to meet people from other places," Martha said as she admired the pins she had collected so far.
Ten children from around the world, including four from the United States, form a junior board of directors for the conference. They will discuss and vote on resolutions Friday.
Junior board member Alice Ofosua Abassah, 12, from Accra, Ghana, said she wanted to encourage children to be activists for the environment, even if adults discouraged them.
"In my country, you are told to act like adults, but they are always pushing you down," Alice said. "If you talk directly to the kids, the adults are more apt to listen to you."
During a news conference after the conference's opening ceremonies, Goodall advised children not to lose hope when it seems that the problems of the world, including war, pollution, terrorism and crime, are too great.
She said children should start small, knowing that there are hundreds and maybe millions of other children around the world doing the same thing.
Similar advice was offered by Lauren Kirk, a 13-year-old from Central Queensland, Australia, who has helped protect the Great Barrier Reef and has promoted garbage clean-ups, organic gardening and other projects.
"Kids just have to do little things. They don't have to do big, dramatic things," Lauren said
(Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...
Training little liberals...
The sooner you start the training, the more thoroughly it will be ingrained.
I hope that there are none of the sex scandals that the UN is famous for at this conference. The United Nations is an evil organization.
,,, well, how patronising. What of those who have adapted and wouldn't want to go back to what they came from? I wonder how much money this talkfest is costing.