You can read my post below or click here: Climate action and protection of life on land – the voice of Nico Roman
Thank you, Voices of Future Generations Arabia, for this brilliant opportunity. In this blog, I would like to argue in favour of empowering children’s voices and quality education – SDG 4 & SDG 17, as I did in May during a symposium with over 1000 online participants.
My name is Nico, I am 11 and go to Kings College School in Cambridge. I am a UN Child Ambassador for the SDGs, and as part of this commitment I also edit an online blog – Nico’s Natural World – with over 9000 impressions, and hundreds of followers. Please come and visit it some time.
It is time that we all stand up for our children’s rights – as reflected in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), especially Articles 24 and 29 that promise us a healthy environment and education about nature, and also Articles 12 to 13 that guarantee us a voice in decisions that concern us.
Our future, and the futures of all species on Earth, concern us! They really do!
I might be only a small child, but I know that advancing the world’s SDGs, especially SDG 13 on Climate Action and SDG 15 to Protect Life on Land, makes the difference between a terrible global nightmare, and the future we want.
Even as our whole world is locked in frightening quarantines and curfews from the global COVID-19 pandemic, we can and must still speak out for our Earth, and for future generations of all species.
Climate change and biodiversity loss are real, dangerous and urgent.
As children, we are trying very hard to be heard, locally and globally, to stop the suffering and losses from getting even worse.
Even though we cannot vote, as children we already face the consequences of terrible climate change worldwide, including new viruses emerging, and old diseases returning, with impacts on our health and on the safely of everyone we love.
And we will face far, far worse in the future.
Currently, some decision-makers are doing the exact opposite,
backing up failing aviation and oil industries, which are causing the problem!
This is horribly unfair – it is a violation of climate justice!
The CRC promises us a healthy environment and this right means that willful destruction of natural habitats, without any regard for the plants and animals, nor for all future generations… just needs to stop.
We live in a climate emergency, and it will get worse if we can’t all work together, rather than re-starting all the harmful practices, and calling it recovery!
We also live in a biodiversity emergency, with thousands of species already lost, and many more at risk of going extinct forever—unless we all help to protect nature recovery when we plan economic recovery!
We must make sure our leaders tackle the climate and biodiversity crises with the same strength and unity they have shown us with the novel coronavirus pandemic, instead of ignoring it until everything is just too late!
If we want to make a difference, we must scale up our understanding, our education and our voices!
We need new guardian laws, institutions and networks.
The world after the COVID-19 pandemic needs to take children’s fears and interests much more seriously.
I am pleading for every single leader, including everyone reading online, to help us find new ways to stop the urgent threats of climate change and biodiversity loss, just as you promised in the SDGs.
Our rights are being directly infringed by current policies, laws and decisions – locally, nationally and internationally.
Even the smallest child CAN make a BIG difference, towards a more sustainable world for us all.
Voice of Nico Roman
Nico Roman (11), UN Child Ambassador for the SDGs, Voices of Future Generations Children’s Rights Initiative; Co-Chair, Cambridge Schools Eco-Council & YR6 Student, King’s College School (Cambridge)
Eco-Seminars in partnership with Cambridge Schools Eco-Council and the Voices of Future Generations Initiative
We organised free 60 minute Online Eco-Seminars to raise awareness of key sustainability challenges and solutions, while schools have been forced online in many countries. Children, students, families and members of the public free over Zoom from April 21 to June.
Each Online Eco-Seminar focused on a key sustainable development goal, such as Climate Action (SDG 13), Protecting and Restoring Life on Land (SDG 15) or Agriculture and Food Systems (SDG 2). Each Online Eco-Seminar included student Eco-Councillors and UN Voices of Future Generations child authors / ambassadors, together with world-class experts, provided a 25-minute introduction to a sustainability challenge, and discuss creative local and solutions.
We have recorded these eco-seminars (see below) in case you missed any of them or simply if you would like to watch them again.
ECO-SEMINAR 1: GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE, THE PARIS AGREEMENT AND LOCAL SOLUTIONS – APRIL 21, 2020
Expert: Professor Christina Voigt, Ph.D., LL.M-Env (University of Oslo international environmental law expert and professor, IUCN Climate Change Specialist Group Chair, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law Member and UNFCCC Compliance Committee Member)
Child author speaker: Jona David, founding Eco-Councillor of the Cambridge Schools Eco-Council, award-winning UNESCO VoFG Child Author of The Cosmic Climate Invention and other books, and student at Winchester College, UK
Eco-council speaker: Virginia Denmead, Cambridge Schools Eco-Councillor, Deputy Chair and Secretary, leader of St Bedes Eco-Society and student at St Bedes School, UK.
ECO-SEMINAR 2: AGRICULTURE, FOOD SYSTEMS AND CLIMATE RESILIENCE – MAY 5, 2020
Child Author speaker: Rehema Kibugi (UN Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative Child Author, Kenya)
Eco-Council speaker: Magnus Bramwell (Cambridge School’s Eco-Council Councillor and Secretary UK)
Expert: Advocate Ayman Cherkaoui (International Jurist in Climate Change Law, Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact in Morocco, Lead Counsel for Climate Change at the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law)
Expert: Dr. Amy Munro-Faure (Coordinator at the Living Lab for Sustainability at the University of Cambridge)
ECO-SEMINAR 3: CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY POLICY AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES – MAY 19, 2020
Child author speaker: Jasper Chin-Moody (UN Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative Child Author, Australia)
Eco-Council speaker: Harry Auld (Cambridge School’s Eco-Council Councillor and Treasurer, UK).
Expert: Professor Laura Diaz Anadon (University of Cambridge Climate Change Policy Professor, University of Cambridge Peterhouse Bye-Fellow, C-EENG Fellow, Energy Policy Research Group Associate Researcher, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Research Associate, 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Lead Author).
Expert: MS Helene Kotter (Architect, Owner of Architecture Practice, Member of the Voice’s of Future Generations Children’s Book Series Leadership Council). In partnership with the Cambridge Schools Eco-Council.
ECO-SEMINAR 4: NATURE, BIODIVERSITY AND SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES – JUNE 2, 2020
Child author speaker: Adelyn Newman-Ting (Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative Child Author).
Eco-Council speaker: Nico Roman (Cambridge School’s Eco-Council Co-Chair) and Freya Lundskær-Nielsen (Eco-Council Deputy Chair).
Experts: Ms. Hawa Sydique (Research and Communications Manager at the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute).
Tara Atleo (Environmental economics researcher and indigenous sustainable development professional from the Ahousaht First Nation in BC, Canada, PhD student University of Waterloo, Laureate Canada 150 Senate Medal).
Iain Webb (Cambridge City Greenways Project Officer).
ECO-SEMINAR 5: CONSUMERISM AND WASTE – JUNE 16, 2020
Child author speaker: Andrea Wilson (Gold Award Laureate, Voices of Future Generations (VoFG) Children’s Rights Initiative, Child Author for North America of Sarah’s Journey for Tomorrow, blog post author on the Sustainable Development Goals and Child Rights).
Eco-council speaker: Luana Fernandes (Cambridge Schools Eco-Council Communications Officer, Student of Parkside School, key organiser of student climate strikes and eco-seminars).
Expert: Dr. Markus Gehring (JSD, Dr iur, MA, LLM, Law and Land Economy Lecturer; Jean Monet Chair of European Law and Sustainable Development; Centre for International Sustainable Development Law Lead Counsel for Trade, Investment & Financial Law; Hughes Hall Law Director of Studies at the University of Cambridge).
Expert: Prof. Damilola S. Olawuyi, Professor of Energy and Environmental Law
Please note: Students participated with permission and under supervision of parents/guardians, from their homes.