Tree Planting Happens in Malaysia!

ECI would like to introduce our newest partner to our “The Power of One Child + One Tree” tree-planting campaign in Malaysia!

50 children in the SJK (T) Palaniandy Tamil School( in Kepala Batas, State of Penang in Malaysia) each planted a tree and will pledged to take care of them for their remaining years in school.

This is the first collaboration between ECI and the Seberang Perai Municipal Council.

ECI would like to welcome our newest addition!

Please take a look at the pictures below.

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ECI Launches Swarovski Waterschool in Brazil!

Swarovski in partnership with the Earth Child Institute will be launching its Waterschool along the Amazon river in the State of Pará. The aim of the program will be to support and develop practical water education activities and strengthen the perspective of children and their families to the change of behavior and values through the preservation and conservation of the habitat. The program will further encourage the sharing of experiences and actions in water education and environmental stewardship with the school communities, and civil society in a way that will both raise awareness and inspire practical and sustainable local actions to preserve and protect waterways and riverside communities.

ECI will work with indigenous communities and the schools in the region to deliver on the program objectives.

ECI is happy to become part of the Swarovski Waterschool family!

Warsaw Day 4: Side Event + The importance of youth working with children!

Today was our side event, and it had great discussion and a turn out! Federico and Simona spoke about the work they did with children and education. They had mentioned the difficulties of getting students engaged with science and climate change, and had agreed how necessary it is to have education that is contextualized, and more importantly, relevant to their specific environment and needs.

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The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi was also there as our surprise panelist. Mr. Alhendawi talked about the need to push the youth agenda, and noted how amazing it was that up until now, there still isn’t a youth constituency created for COPs/UNFCCC. Even so, he stated that the work of youth is still incomplete. especially in regards to Article 6, the goals for youth and education still need to be tangible and more concrete. Stephanie from UNICEF made a great point on equity, and the need for youth to not only have a spot at the negotiating table, but they need to have the technical support to carry out their goals.
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The audience were active participant as well! There were several YOUNGO participants who had talked about their work in developing Article 6, and several participants urged for more of a need with on-the-ground education activities, especially for rural areas in developing countries where online access is no readily available. Others have spoken about the power of peer-to-peer education, and non-formal education as well. It was certainly buzzing with a great conversation! Overall, others have pointed out the importance to push forward with Article 6, and noted that issues such as gender is not full addressed in the Article, and taking into account the intergenerational dimension, it may proof difficult for young girls.
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Please take a look at our side event which was featured here: Generating Youth Energy

 

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Warsaw Day 3: I’m interviewed! + discussing Typhoon Haiyan

Today the Climate Change Studio interviewed me. Here is the link: MaryAnn on why climate change education is needed

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I discussed the necessity for the needs and capacities of children to be recognized in emerging environmental governances and educational policies. There is so much money being allocated in climate change initiatives, however, the education sector, specifically in the primary level, rarely see that funding. As I’ve mentioned before, education is such an empowering tool to develop resilient children!

I mentioned the water-related work we do at ECI through WASH and hygiene education in Brazil. In the context of Typhoon Haiyan, we need to teach children to prepare water and manage waste, especially in increasing emergency situations, where contaminated water can be a killer.

The interviewers found out that I was Filipino whose relatives were still living in the damaged areas, so they interviewed me again on my thoughts and reactions, and how my relatives are coping. Again, children are the most vulnerable and the hardest hit in these emergency situations, and we need to give them valuable child-friendly education.

I’m excited about our side event tomorrow; I was able to meet our youth speakers. Federico represents the British Council as a Climate Change Champion and I’m sure he’s going to speak well about intergenerational equity. Our other youth advisor, Simona, is a TUNZA youth advisor to Europe and she’ll be great to talk about the work that she does!

 

 

Warsaw Day 2 : We need more representation of youth and children!

What happened today truly speaks about disenfranchised youth.

 
Even though I’ve been busy speaking with participants rushing to speak to us at our booth, I had time to meet my booth neighbors. I was very lucky to meet Prince Goodluck (what a name!) who works with youth and tree planting at UNOY (United Nations of Youth Network). He is from Nigeria, just like Isaiah and Rhoda from HACEY, who are our side event speakers.

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Unfortunately due to the strict visa requirements by the Polish government, the Nigerian delegation, including Rhoda and Isaiah, will not be attending COP 19. I am really saddened to hear this, especially since they will be unable to be part of our side event. I’ve asked Prince Goodluck to come and speak about his work with youth, and along with Rhoda’s video participation, I know that they will be with us in spirit.

It is so urgent that youth delegates represent and be active participants at COP 19 to have their voices heard, and it really makes me sad that Nigeria was denied this possibility.

When it comes to climate change, the worst effects will be felt years after the present generation is gone, and when the youth and children of now must inherit the earth. As more than half of the world’s population comprise of youth and children, they are such an integral part to mitigating and adapting the impact of climate change. They can become active change-makers in their communities; if 2.2 billion children planted 7 trees each that would be enough to offset deforestation!

As ECI stresses, there needs to be more intergenerational dialogue between children, youth and policymakers in order to have their rights and needs addressed in policies and decisions. Not only so do they need to have their voices heard, but also they be empowered by the tools and education in order to further on this mission.

Youth and children have a unique and are so deeply intelligent – being able to utilize them would have such amazing impact.

 

 

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Warsaw Day 1: Dzien dobry!

I’m finally here at the National Stadium at Warsaw. The site is buzzing with excitement and gearing up for a fantastic COP19. It is the 19th meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This year is a great opportunity not only to achieve a binding global agreement to reduce carbon emission, but also a great opportunity to urge governments to recognize children as important players in the context of climate change. ECI will continue to press on the urgent need to include children in the agendas of decision makers and policy makers. I’ve set up the banner of the exhibit:

After some hard work, here are the USB sticks I helped make as handouts during the conference. In an effort to be more eco-friendly, ECI along with partners British Council, UNICEF, UNEP, FAO, and HACEY have compiled our materials and resources for the side event. It was great promotion for our side event and the USBs are an excellent way of promoting the work we do, which stresses importance of the role of education for children in order to combat the impact of climate change.

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Edit: The USBs sticks are selling out fast so I’ve decided to make sure that all of you have access to all the wonderful publications inside. Please read! Here is the link:Dropbox Link to COP19 resources