Young eco-warriors in UAE call on world to go green

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on October 24, 2020

Experts and children — including those from India, Costa Rica and Australia — brainstormed ideas to fight climate change.

Young eco-warriors in the UAE and from around the world on Saturday came together as a school group in Dubai kicked off a two-day virtual event. Explaining the climate crisis and sharing their woes, they sent a message: ‘Our planet is dying, and no one is too young to do something about it’.

Hosted by GEMS Kindergarten Starters (KGS), the world’s first Schools Conference of Parties Expo (Scope) focused on environmental education, climate literacy and action. Over 35 schools worldwide are taking part in the inter-school forum that will be capped today.

Experts and children — including those from India, Costa Rica and Australia — brainstormed ideas to fight climate change.

Among the participants was nine-year-old Licypriya Kangujam, the world’s youngest environmental activist. She reminded the forum of the melting glaciers in the Arctic, Australia’s bushfire, California’s wildfire, Amazon’s rainforest fire, as she pleaded with the attendees to go green.

"If you have to cut one tree, then plant a minimum of 10 to 20 trees. Don’t use cars or motorised bikes every time. Walk or cycle. Please don’t use single-use plastic at home. Don’t throw garbage or plastic on streets or ocean, river or seas or any other places.

"The best gift you can give to your children are not expensive houses and cars but a beautiful planet," said Licypriya.

Sixteen-year-old Leah Namugerwa, an eco-warrior from Uganda, shared how she has been trying to to turn birthdays into reminders to do something for Mother Nature.

"In the last few years, I refused to cut any cake and refused to throw any birthday parties because my planet is dying. Instead, I decided to plant 500 trees. I have been trying to mobilise people who want to celebrate their birthdays the way I do.

"We are the problem but we can also be the solution. Celebrate birthdays by planting trees. Remember, you are not too young to make a difference," Namugerwa said.

Kifa Bukhari, Grade 3 student of KGS, said: "We need to stop being ignorant and complacent, we need to stop believing that we are not the reason. We need to get together for our climate. Together we can save our planet."

Asha Alexander, principal and CEO of (KGS), stressed that the future generations need to be given a stage to amplify their voice. "We need to ensure that our youth understand the scientific principles of climate science and are able to take decisive and responsible action for they are the future.

"The purpose of SCOPE-2020 is to empower students with high levels of climate change awareness, deep climate change research and collaborative problem-solving skills."


During the first Schools Conference of Parties Expo, the youth listed out ways on how you can help save the planet.

>> Celebrate your birthday by planting 500 trees

>> Don’t use cars or motorbikes every time. Walk or cycle

>> Stop buying single-use plastic

>> Never leave your trash on streets

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