Category: Life below water


Submitted by Nico Roman (13, Canada, UK, Switzerland & Germany), Child Ambassador of the Voices of Future Generations (VoFG) Children’s Initiative & Co-Chair, Cambridge Schools Eco-Council, as one of the VoFG Child Authors, Child Ambassadors & Friends 

Thank you very much for the opportunity to comment on the draft of General Comment 26, which will guide governments by explaining how children’s rights are related to the environment and climate change, and what they must do to protect our rights. We especially appreciated your extra effort to provide a Child-Friendly version of the first draft General Comment 26 in different languages. This has allowed us to more easily discuss your draft with the younger youth and children from all over the world in our networks, and really helps us to contribute our voices for future generations.

As child authors and child ambassadors who work very hard to raise awareness and inspire action for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), many of whom are also climate-strikers in our communities, we are very concerned about our world’s current climate change and biodiversity emergencies, and how the impacts will violate children’s rights. Through your General Comment, we hope that governments can help children and everyone to change all our ways before it is too late, in order for future generations (including our own) to hope for survival. 

We feel that the General Comment first draft is a good start but could be stronger in many ways, especially by committing more clearly to non-discrimination, to prevention and to much greater ambition in climate action. You have asked us to focus on specific sections of the General Comment, and to provide our views. We are happy to do so.

Right to education (GC26 para 31 – 38)

Your General Comment 26 says: “Children should be taught environmental education that is accurate and in ways that they understand. Environmental education should support children to connect with, and respect, the environment and other human beings. The places where children learn should be safe from environmental harm.” 

Many of us are able to receive some environmental education, even if information is often outdated and upsetting, so we really appreciate para 33. However, much of our current environmental education is not very focused on solutions and on how we can all contribute to children’s rights and advancing the SDGs. Our schools are the first place where many of us are trying to make a difference. In some of our schools, we have formed Sustainability Councils or Eco-Societies, then Eco-Councils of the clubs and societies. We have drafted Climate Action Plans and even helped to implement them for our schools and our communities. These small steps make a big difference to us. 

Might this kind of action please be mentioned in your GC26? If at all possible, could the General Comment 26 highlight the need for education but also action in our schools, so that we do not feel hopeless and angry, but instead we can contribute to sustainability solutions.

Rights of Indigenous children (GC26 para 49)

Your General Comment 26 says: “Indigenous children’s lives, survival and cultural practices are often very connected with their natural environment. Governments should make sure to protect their rights and involve children in all decisions being made about their lives.”

We really appreciate that you highlight indigenous children’s relationships with nature, survival, and the need to stop destroying our world, especially. The indigenous child authors and child ambassadors in our networks, with all our support and solidarity, feel it is very important to also mention the importance of indigenous languages, that are at the heart of the relationship with nature. So many irreplaceable and precious indigenous languages are being lost right now – just in our generation – and with them, so much important culture and understanding of the environment and climate change is lost too.

Right of non-discrimination (GC26 para 50-51)

Your General Comment 26 says: “No group of children (for example, girls or children with disabilities) should suffer from environmental problems more than others. Governments should collect information to learn more about the inequalities between groups, and take specific actions to resolve them.”

We deeply support this point, but we also hope that you could highlight the need to find ways to involve children of all differing abilities, and children from all groups in environmental and sustainability activities. If at all possible, you could also highlight the terrible situations that are being faced by children who are losing their entire territories, countries and communities due to climate change impacts, and how unfair this is, just a bit more clearly and strongly.

Right to be heard (GC26 para 56-58)

Your General Comment 26 says: “Children should have a say on issues related to the environment and climate change, and to be taken seriously by adults. Governments and businesses should involve children when making decisions about the environment and climate change.”

Many of us are trying to have our voices heard in decision-making about climate change, biodiversity and global health emergencies, so we really appreciate paras 56 and 57. We have learned to work together online, through digital meetings, and we think it is helpful that you highlight these opportunities in para 56. We actually edit an online journal for children and youth concerned about global sustainability ( and we hope it really helps to inspire and empower youth worldwide. 

While we totally agree that children and youth voices should be heard, and that we can and should participate in adult decision-making on all levels, we also think we can contribute a lot to developing and acting for solutions for children’s rights, protecting and restoring our environment, and advancing the SDGs ourselves too. Our communities are very important places where many of us are trying to make a difference. We can form Sustainability Councils or Eco-Societies in our schools, we can also create Eco-Councils or Guardian’s Networks among these clubs and societies in our communities. We have drafted Climate Action Plans and even helped to implement them for our schools and our communities as mentioned earlier. On other levels, for such councils or guardian’s networks, we do need some support and help to link us all together and connect, and also to help keep our councils or networks going year by year, with youth and children especially. It’s about empowerment and agency. Might this kind of action please be mentioned in your GC26? If there is a way to encourage youth and children organizing ourselves, we would greatly appreciate it.  

Right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly (GC26 para 59-61)

Your General Comment 26 says: “Children often stand up for their environmental rights as human rights defenders. Many children also spend time with friends and groups in different environments. Governments must protect children from anyone who wants to stop them from doing so.”

Thank you for including the section recognizing our rights to express our concerns. This is very, very important. Many of us are climate-strikers, and we are prevented or punished for trying to stop the actions that are destroying our Earth. We greatly appreciate that the General Comment is very clear on this. We also greatly appreciate the advocacy and hard work of the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and the Environment Prof David Boyd and the others who have held this role, they have helped us a great deal and is tirelessly defending defenders.

Access to justice and remedies (GC26 para 62-70)

Your General Comment 26 says: “When children’s rights have been affected by environmental harm and climate change, children should be able to access justice – that is, solutions, support and compensation for the harm and consequences they are experiencing – at regional and international levels.”

Thank you especially for directly speaking about children and youth climate justice cases, and our access to courts and remedies. We really appreciate this aspect of our friends’ efforts being highlighted, and feel it can make a real difference if children and youth can use our justice systems to advance change. It might be good to highlight indigenous laws and governance systems, as many of these justice systems are so important for the environment, the natural world and climate change. We strongly support the efforts of youth, academic leaders, governments and others to request an Advisory Opinion in the International Court of Justice, and in other courts including the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and we hope that this General Comment can be understood to strongly support it too. In such a high-profile and symbolic case, an Advisory Opinion can bring our entire future to the world’s attention, and that is desperately needed.

Right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment (GC26 para 71-74)

Your General Comment 26 says: “While this right is not directly included in the Convention, the Committee explains that children have the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Children need a clean environment in order to enjoy all of their human rights. Children should have access to clean air and water, safe climates, healthy ecosystems and biodiversity, healthy food and non-polluted environments.”

Thank you for including the section recognizing our rights to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This is very, very important to us all. We agree that action needs to be taken immediately on all fronts to protect and realise this right for children. We understand that you might need to ask to ‘phase out’ fossil fuels (para 73 d), but many of us who are climate-strikers feel very, very strongly that it is already nearly too late, and all fossil fuels need to be banned as soon as possible. It is crazy that current generations of adult are still allowing our energy to be coming from non-renewable sources that poison our Earth, and this has to change immediately.

General Comment 26 Section V (GC26 para 75-81)

Further, we really appreciate that the General Comment includes how States should ensure a clean, healthy and sustainable environment in order to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights, focusing on their obligations.

Thank you for including this section – it is very important. We were a bit confused by the part in para 76 about ‘paying due regard’ to the precautionary approach. Would it be possible to make this stronger and commit to the precautionary principle for all children and for nature directly? We also strongly support the call for laws and policies. If possible, could these laws and policies clearly refer to environmental health, safety and also sustainability? The SDGs are very important to us, and where international guidelines exist, they should all be respected. New guidelines and treaties are also needed in some areas, like to stop plastics from destroying our natural world.

General Comment 26 Section VI (GC26 para 98-123)

Finally, we deeply thank you for including such a long and careful section on the responsibilities of governments to take action on climate change. However, we feel that since the global Biodiversity Emergency, globally, is just as serious and equally terrible, impacting millions of species that our generation, and all future generations, might lose forever, and never even know about. You do mention that climate change is devastating biodiversity, and you mention the rising problems of biodiversity loss and destruction of nature in your discussions of some of the children’s rights, but we believe that right before or after the sub-section on Business and climate change (D, para 114-118), a new section should be inserted recognizing the need for urgent action to protect nature and biodiversity in the interests of current and future generations. This section can refer to some of the commitments agreed in Montreal during the Convention on Biological Diversity’s COP15, especially the important promises in the Global Biodiversity Framework to look for ‘nature-positive’ solutions to climate change and biodiversity emergencies, and to protect much more of land and sea for current and future generations. As another idea, you could do a second General Comment specifically on biodiversity, even though we do think that the advice could be stronger and clearer (and more interconnected) if it was included here. (For more on children, youth and the GBF, please see Nico’s Natural World blog –

We hope that this contribution is helpful, and again, really appreciate the opportunity to comment on your Draft General Comment 26.

Yours sincerely,

Nico Roman (13, of UK, Canada, Germany and Switzerland)

YR9 Scholar of Winchester College, UK; Co-Chair of the Cambridge Schools Eco-Council; Child Ambassador of the Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative; and Junior Editor of the Global Youth Council on Science, Law and Sustainability online journal Harmony.

Background on the Voices of Future Generations Children’s Rights Initiative consultations among child authors, child ambassadors and friends from different countries and regions. 

Who are we, and how are we consulting among our networks?

Our consultations are taking place online between December 2022 and February 2023, engaging children and youth leaders from the Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative network from Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Uruguay, Zambia, Zimbabwe and other countries (, also indigenous children and youth from their territories and nations. Many of us are boys and girls involved in creating stories, artwork, music and drama about protecting our earth, climate chante and sustainability, we also serve as child leaders of eco-councils and other student clubs in our communities, and we range in ages from 7-8 years old (new members) to 17-18 years old (alumni). We have also posted our comments on Nico’s Natural World, a blog led by the student who prepared this comment (, and on our online journal (

The Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative (VoFG CI) is a movement on children’s rights and sustainable development. VoFG CI is a unique programme of action that empowers children to promote the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Worl’s Sustainable Development Goal agenda (SDGs). Our mission is to assist children to advance the right to education and literacy globally through the children’s book series. Books are authored by children aged 8-12, for children aged 6 and above. These stories from around the world are illustrated and published, and the books disseminated globally to schools and libraries for all children to benefit from the knowledge and insight. Through our Intergenerational Dialogue Programme, Online Roundtables and Eco-seminars we enable children to enter into effective and inspiring communication with experts and global leaders, who are effecting positive change in the fields of children’s rights and sustainable development.

Festival of Nature 2022

On Sunday, June 12, 2022, I joined the Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative to host a virtual storytime as part of the Festival of Nature.

The Festival of Nature is the UK’s largest free celebration of the natural world. (We) Children from around the globe took the audience on a magical journey by sharing our stories, hopes, dreams and vision for a sustainable world.

I was the speaker who opened up the event for the VoFG CI delegation, then Child Authors followed.

If you missed it or want to watch it again here is the video:


I’m happy to announce that I’m a junior editor of an international online journal for and by youth.

Harmony was launched in the UN’s COP26 climate change events in Glasgow on November 6, 2021. This online journal was built on special links that the youth created during the global pandemic lockdowns. They hosted a series of short online tutorials with professors and heads of institutes from world-class universities to inspire young people that were left stranded by COVID-19 school closures.

Harmony was launched in the UN’s COP26 climate change events in Glasgow on November 6, 2021

Go to Harmony Online Journal here:

The Cambridge Schools Eco Council – Cam YS4C Actions

We rallied outside Great St Mary’s at 5:30 pm on Friday, Sep 24.

Then on Sep 25, 2021, we were l at the Cambridge Climate Fair on Parker’s Piece.

For the last 18 months, the Covid-19 pandemic has overtaken all other issues of discussion. We made a stand with thousands of other youths across the world to remind everyone that the climate crisis has NOT gone away. It’s real, it’s dangerous and – as shown by the recent floods in
Germany and London – it is already upon us.

This November, world leaders fortunate enough to get the vaccine will gather in Glasgow, UK, to participate in the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). They are supposed to be implementing constructive solutions to the climate crisis and be initiating real, meaningful action.
However, over a period of time longer than most of the lives of Eco Council members and Youth Strikers 4 Climate, they have obfuscated the issue with greenwashing and avoidance of accountability.

In such chaotic times, it is up to us, the activists, scientists, engineers, lawyers, ordinary individuals – and children to raise the alarm bells. We thus return to the streets to protest with youth across the world for a brighter future. And that is why we show our support this Saturday to the many other climate activists fighting for meaningful action to be taken.

We thank everyone, children and adults, who joined us on Friday and Saturday, but these actions are just the beginning. They are a prelude to the strike from school on Oct 22 and the COP26 actions in November. Get ready, Cambridge. Change is coming whether you like it or not.

We also made into the press, check this article by Cambridge Independent:

Climate fair, school strike and a walking activist – Cambridge looks to COP26 for change

In Cambridge, Cambridge School Eco Council and XR Youth Cambridge organised a protest – the first such public event this year – outside the Senate House on Friday evening, on the same day Greta Thunberg spoke at the Bundestag in Berlin. Hundreds of school strikes took place across Germany ahead of their election on Sunday in the week the UN secretary general, António Guterres, said the world was “seemingly light years away from reaching our targets” on climate change.

“As the world slowly reawakens from a horrid pandemic, youth strikers across the world are rising up with actions to say #BuildBackBetter,” says the schools eco council, as speakers repeated their concerns at the prospect of having no water in Cambridge, and demands for “a Green New deal now!” on King’s Parade.

By Mike Scialom

Read the full article here.

FEB 2021 Free Online Eco-Seminar Mini-Series for Students – Register Now!

I’ll be chairing Free Online Eco-Seminar Mini-Series for Students – Register Now!

Together with the Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative, the Cambridge Schools Eco-Council has been organising a mini-series of 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 can register for free over Eventbrite and participate online over Zoom, 4:30-5:30pm (UK time) on 17 February and 24 February.

Each Online Eco-Seminars focus on a key sustainable development goal, such as Access to Fresh Water (SDG 6), Sustainable Consumption (SDG 12), Climate Action (SDG 13), Life Below Water (SDG 14) or Life on Land (SDG 15).
Eco-Seminar speakers include both student leaders and experts on the subject!

Eco-Seminar 1: Saving our Steams and Rivers through Sustainable Water Management – Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Focus: How can we better protect and sustainably manage our beautiful freshwater resources, preventing floods and depletion, and saving our streams and rivers?

Chairs: Nico Roman (Cambridge Schools Eco-Council Co-Chair, Voices of Future Generations Child Ambassador, Kings College School Eco-Society Co-leader) and Paloma Bargh (Cambridge Schools Eco-Council Deputy Chair and Eco-Activities Committee Co-Chair, Saint Johns College School Eco-Society Co-leader)

Speakers: Child author speaker: Rehema Kibugi (Gold Award Laureate, Voices of Future Generations (VoFG) Children’s Rights Initiative, Child Author for Africa) tbc
Ecocouncil speaker: Junayd Islam (Cambridge Schools Eco-Council former Co-Chair, key organizer of student climate strikes and city council livestreamed Eco-Council meetings).
Experts: Ian Halls (Leader, Cambridge Friends of the Earth) and Fabiana Piccoli Araújo Santos (LLM Candidate at the University of Cambridge and co-founder of Itacaré Water Caring Project Brazil)

Eco-Seminar 2: Promoting Sustainable Lifestyles through Preventing Plastic Waste – Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Focus: How can we better promote and practice more sustainable lifestyles at home and through our shopping habits, even during lockdown, preventing plastic waste and protecting our fragile rivers, oceans and ecology?

Chairs: Nico Roman (Cambridge Schools Eco-Council Co-Chair, Voices of Future Generations Child Ambassador, Kings College School Eco-Society Co-leader) and Ginny Denmead (Cambridge Schools Eco-Council Co-Chair and St Bedes College School Eco-Society Co-leader)

Speakers: Child author speaker: Freya Tikva (Gold Award Laureate, Voices of Future Generations (VoFG) Children’s Rights Initiative Child Author for Europe, Cambridge Schools Eco-Council Deputy Chair and Co-Chair of Eco-Activities Committee.
Ecocouncil speaker: Luana Fernandes Seixas (Cambridge Schools Eco-Council Communications Officer, Student Leader of Long Road Sixth Form Eco-Council, key organizer of student climate strikes and eco-seminars).
Experts: Emma Thomas (Co-founder and Director, Full Circle Zero Waste Retail, Ecologist) and Ben Thomas (Environment Manager, Cambridge Waitrose Grocery Store)
Over zoom, after a 15 mins for tech testing and interactions from 4:15pm to 4:30pm, student Eco-Councillors and UN Voices of Future Generations child authors / ambassadors, together with world-class experts, will provide a 20-minute introduction to a sustainability challenge, and discuss creative local and solutions. For a further 30 minutes, participants can ask questions and discuss potential solutions and ways to raise education and awareness interactively, followed by a 10-minute closing from the experts and youth speakers by 5:30pm.

Register here

Please note: Children and youth participate with permission under supervision of parents/guardians from their homes.

Blog post for VoFG Arabia

Hello everyone!

I want to share with you my thoughts on climate action and the protection of life on land, a post that I wrote for Voices of Future Generations Arabia. I was thrilled to write on VoFG Arabias’ blog ‘voices’ which also features the voice of Jane Goodall (the world’s best-known female scientist!!) Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace, and the voice of Isobel Abulhoul, CEO of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

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)

Watch our Eco-Seminars

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.


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.


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)


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.


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).


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.

Mobilizing a Youth Movement to Tackle the Climate Crisis

Lecture at the University of Cambridge Nov,19, 2019

University of Cambridge,
Department of Land Economy

Nico (11 yrs) Kings College School, Co-Chair
Harry (10 yrs), St Paul’s School, Treasurer
Freya (9 yrs) Kings College School, Eco-Councillor
Luana (15 yrs) Parkside School, Comms Officer

The Cambridge Schools Eco Council was formed in February 2019, after the first UK Youth Strike 4 Climate held in Cambridge and around the world on the 15th February. We now represent over 30 primary and secondary schools in Cambridge.

Our Eco Councillors have been in the national and local press, on local radio, been invited to meetings with the City Council, met our MP, Daniel Zeichner, and taken our message about the climate
emergency to the ex-Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove.
We have held 6 school strikes in Cambridge and organised a week-long programme of vigils on Kings Parade to coincide with the global week of
climate action.

Cambridge Schools Eco Council: our declaration
The science is clear. CO2 levels are higher than they have been for nearly a million years, average global temperatures are increasing, oceans are rising and becoming more acidic, wildfires are raging, and extinction rates are nearly 1000 times higher than they should be. If we continue burning fossil fuels, building unsustainable infrastructure and degrading our environment, children all over the world will be hurt or even die. We need to change all our lives and systems immediately or face an unimaginable future of heatwaves, floods, extreme weather, forest fires, crop failures, wars over land, food and water resource – the real risk of our own extinction. It is an emergency.

We are calling all local schools, town & county councils and the government to help us save our planet, our future and the future of generations to come, by declaring a climate emergency and acting on it immediately.