Love can be defined in so many ways; In Multiple languages and in an immense amount of ways. There are no holds that love doesn’t have on us. If you write down a social equation there is no answer that won’t have love as a common denominator.
With less than 5 years dedicated to youth work, from co-founding an NGO, organizing talks in schools and the community and workshops on the importance of environment sustainability, and after feeling satisfied that you have executed the master plan successfully, it all boils down to one question – How do I measure impact?
The SIDS Youth AIMS Hub - Seychelles joined the international organisation Positive Change for Marine Life in Australia in a Marine Debris Challenge. This involved conducting a series of beach clean ups across the country including islands such as Silhouette and Cousin Island leading up to Earth Day.
Seychelles free from plastic bags by 2016?
The Seychelles, a small island Developing State, at the forefront of the fight to save our Mother Earth and combat climate change yet Seychelles should stand envious of countries like Rwanda when it comes to plastic bags. In 2008, Rwanda got tough on plastic bags by deciding to effect a complete ban on the non-biodegradable polythene bags. The country is looking to ban other types of plastic and is even hinting at the possibility of become the world's first plastic free nation. Can we beat them to it? Like the Seychelles Constitution, the Constitution of Rwanda recognises the right to a clean and safe environment. A right that is recognised and enforceable under the law.
Some people see climate change as merely a concept, the beginning of a conspiracy theory or an attempt to shy away from the real issues whilst others experience this first hand and suffer the consequences. Many people see it as a national problem whilst others see it as an international problem. This first article will explore how Seychellois of all ages see climate change.
With 73% of participants thinking that nothing has really followed after the UN meeting in the 1992, whose responsibility is it to fight climate change? Who has failed to take their responsibility 23 years ago? The statistics from the Seychelles reveals some concern. With 1% of participants expressing that they are not concerned by climate change the wheels of my mind begin to turn as this can only mean that a certain percentage of the population are simply not concerned by this. This is worsened by the statistics that show 7% of people say the present system should not be changed substantially and 16% insisting that exploration of fossil fuels should continue. Anxiety worsens as 9% of participants state that climate change should not be a national priority. Will we ever reach carbon zero? In the Seychelles with the creation of a Ministry for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, a principal secretary for Climate change and a national committee dealing with climate change climate change is perceived to be a national priority on a national level but should it be government’s problem alone?
There is good news!
The weather seemed like it was going to wreck everything but with Mother Earth we can expect anything. Within an hour the skies cleared and the sun was out again. Members of the Hub car pooled to the Four Seasons Resort at Baie Lazare to spend the afternoon with WISEOCEANS and the marine creatures that lies beneath the ocean surface in the Petit Anse Bay.
83 people made an appearance to this youth and ocean focussed event organised by the SIDS Youth AIMS Hub- Seychelles on the 28th March 2015 at 1330. The enthusiasm and interest in the topic of the Blue Economy concept was obvious. This half day workshop was opened by the Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue economy. He reached out to the youths asking that they seize the opportunities that are available and especially to take up careers that would assist with the development of the blue economy. Miss Shantana Barbe, the Secretary of SIDS Youth AIMS Hub- Seychelles gave a short address on the objectives behind this event. The first half of the workshop was aimed at providing education and empowerment for young people in the development of the Blue Economy. The second half was SYAH-SEYCHELLES insisting that youths are involved in the development of the Blue Economy by bringing high level officials to spend an afternoon listening to the concerns and proposals of young people regarding its development and where they seem themselves fitting in.
The SIDS Youth AIMS Hub (SYAH) of Seychelles launched a national competition on sustainable development on Saturday 28 February 2015 at the Youth Centre in Victoria. This annual competition was launched last year in Mauritius with the focus on the ocean and this year Seychelles will host a brand new edition. The objective of this project is to get youth involved and aware of sustainable development in all of its three pillars; environment, social and economic. The competition is open to youth aged 9-30 years old and entries can be as individuals or teams in any of the following categories; poetry, essay, poster, photography, song, public speaking or project writing. The deadline for submission of entries is 15th April however youth are invited to register by 30th March on firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting SYAH headquarters on 2557600 for further details. The star prize for the competition is a fully funded boat excursion for six people while there will be other interesting prizes for finalists. This competition was launched on Saturday at the close of a special youth forum on sustainable development.
SYAH-SEYCHELLES ATTENDS MINISTERIAL MEETING OF ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES (AOSIS) IN PREPARATION FOR LIMA COP 20
I am writing this post after a whole day of observing negotiations at the ministerial meeting of Small Islands States in preparation for climate change summit in Lima. I was placed at a table towards the back on the room with a clear label: OBSERVER. A few government officials of the Seychelles came to visit to tease that now they were being observed they could feel more pressure. I am sure they were only teasing but I answered to confirm of course I am observing all to hold you accountable to all that takes place here. Negotiations started. I was keen to observe the presentation of science on the issues and see it meet political processes. Just as I started to understand the process a question about economic development emerged and it was then that it hit me. My life and the lives of generations to come and the future of this Earth lay in the hands of Foreign Ministers who would make a decision in Lima and Paris to reach a legally binding agreement. So every time a country speaks about economic development, how words or numbers will be treated I almost felt like they needed to be reminded that these negotiations were about real people. Decision makers in international meetings aren't trying to get countries to comply or their acceptance is a sign of weakness - this is about real people losing their homes; being subject to more frequent natural disasters; and degrading coastlines. I feel it is the reason young people must always attend any meetings at national, regional and international level as they serve as a constant reminder of what these decision or lack of action means in real terms. Having a youth present keeps governments accountable, aware and a constant reminder for action.
So I realised that every young person who sees climate change as an issue for government leaves their lives and their children's lives in the hands of their Heads of State. Me, I feel proud as a young person that I help educate others about a sustainable future because every time I think that heads of states are making life decisions for me - I hurt a little.
Young people what is more important economic development or environment preservation. If you were invited to the negotiation table - what would you say?