Tag: SDG13

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)

Digital Climate Change Strikes

In partnership with the Cambridge Schools Eco-Council and the Voices of Future Generations 

Strike with us every month!

These strikes raise awareness and put pressure on the government to take action. Times are so desperate that we as children are having to leave school for people to listen and take action. Each strike has a different theme. Show your support by performing a speech, make a placard or in any other artistic way.

During quarantine we have been doing online strikes. For this we ask you to send in a photo for the collage to be posted on our social medias and here on the website. Speeches, songs and other artistic expressions are also welcomed. You can send any submissions to our email: cambschoolsecocouncil@gmail.com.

We hope you enjoy the strikes!

June 2020: Stop Air Pollution

May 2020: Rethinking Farming

April 2020: Help Animals!

March 2020: Waterways & save our River Cam

I’LL BE CHAIRING FREE ONLINE ECO-SEMINARS FOR CAMBRIDGESHIRE AND THE WORLD!

Register now and spread the word

Cambridge Schools Eco-Council is 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, 4-5pm (UK time) each fortnight from Tuesday 21 April to Tuesday 16 June. Each Online Eco-Seminar focuses 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 includes student and expert speakers.

Over zoom, after a 15 mins for tech testing and interactions from 3:45pm to 4pm, student Eco-Councillors and UN Voices of Future Generations child authors / ambassadors, together with world-class experts, will provide a 25-minute introduction to a sustainability challenge, and discuss creative local and solutions. For a further 25 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 5pm.

Remember to register first!

Upcoming Seminars

Eco-Seminar 2: Agriculture, Food Systems and Climate Resilience – Tuesday, May 5, 2020

  • Child author speaker: Rehema, Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative 
  • Eco-Council speaker: Magnus, Cambridge Schools Eco-Council
  • Experts: M Ayman Cherkaoui, CISDL and Dr Amy Munro-Faure, The Living Lab

Eco-Seminar: Climate Change, Energy Policy and Sustainable Communities – Tuesday, May 19, 2020

  • Child author speaker: Jasper, Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative 
  • Eco-Council speaker: Harry, Cambridge Schools Eco-Council
  • Experts: Prof Laura Dias Anadon, University of Cambridge and M Helene Kotter, Eco-Architecture

Eco-Seminar 4: Nature, Biodiversity and Ecosystems – Tuesday, June 2, 2020

  • Child author speaker: Addy, Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative 
  • Eco-Council speaker: Nico, Cambridge Schools Eco-Council
  • Experts: Dame Fiona Reynolds and Ms Hawa Sydique, University of Cambridge

Eco-Seminar 5: Consumerism and Waste – Tuesday, June 16, 2020

  • Child author speaker: Andrea, Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative 
  • Eco-council speaker: Luana, Cambridge Schools Eco-Council
  • Experts: Ms Naomi Klein, Journalist and Dr Markus Gehring, University of Cambridge

Past Eco- Seminars

Eco-Seminar 1: Global Climate Change, the Paris Agreement and Local Solutions – Tuesday, April 21, 2020

  • Child author speaker: Jona, Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initiative 
  • Eco-Council speaker: Virginia, Cambridge Schools Eco-Council
  • Experts: Prof Cristina Voigt, University of Oslo and Cllr Rosy Moore, Cambridge City Council

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

Save the River Cam and our Waterways

We have raised our voices internationally to ask for climate action, and as we continue protesting online (for the time being). We are also doing it locally, ‘we’ the Cambridge Schools Eco-Council are also protesting to save the River Cam and reduce climate impacts on waterways.

Currently, the river Cam is at 77% less than its long-term average flow for the last year, according to the Environment Agency. This is primarily due to over-abstraction of water from the chalk hills for domestic use. Our tap water mostly comes from the eastern chalk aquifer and we don’t have another source of water. The Cam may seem like it is completely fine and healthy but it is far from it. This is an illusion of how canalised the river is.

“The illusion is perpetuated by putting water back into the headwaters of the streams in the summer to keep those streams running because they have taken so much water out of the chalk.”

Stephen Tomkins, Chair of Cam Valley Forum
Stephen Tomkins, Chair of Cam Valley Forum

“Our rivers and streams are really important – the Cam is the reason for our city, Cambridge. Climate change, together with poorly planned growth, could devastate our water ecosystems, costing us our present and our future. We are speaking out to defend our river.”

Nico Roman, Co-chair Eco-council
Here investigating Byron’s pool along the Cam
Weir where flow of the Cam is regulated

For more information go to:

Chalk Streams in Crisis: A call for drought action now

Youth strikers to protest ‘canalised’ Cam at Friday march, Cambridge Independent

Galleries: Schools eco council hears of Cam water emergency on day of action, Cambridge Independent

We are taking the Schools’ Strike for Climate Action Online

We have suspended the schools’ strike for climate action since March due to
fears that gathering large groups of people together could help to spread COVID19. 

Alternatively we continued the strike online. 

Thank you to everyone who has participated 🙂

To learn more please check out this article by Cambridge Independent 

Cambridgeshire is facing a water crisis

The river Cam has been flowing at only 33% of its long term average, according to the Environment Agency. Cambridgeshire’s source of water, the Chalk Hills are running out of water largely due to abstraction beyond what the River itself needs. We as Cambridge Youth Strikers 4 Climate are starting this petition demanding action be taken.

Cambridge’s tap water comes from the Eastern Chalk Aquifer, fed by the chalk streams and filtered naturally by the local chalk hills. We have no other source of water here. Hotter summers are possibly drying the chalk out more. So through climate change and unsustainable abstraction by water companies, with complacency from the Cambridgeshire Country Council and the Cambridge City Council, our Chalk Hills are losing their natural reservoir.

We call upon Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge City Council and water companies (Anglian Water, Cambridge Water and others) to suspend all developments on the Eastern Chalk Aquifer and hold immediate talks between themselves to find an alternative to damaging the chalk streams through over abstraction.

This is not just about preserving drinking water for our human population. The chalk streams are a beautiful natural phenomena, unique to our countryside; in fact 85% of the world’s Chalk streams are found in England. This makes it all the more heartbreaking to see chalk rivers like the River Cam deteriorate under our management.

If you’re a Cambridge citizen, you may not realise how bad river flow is due to how canalised the Cam is. Controlled tightly by locks, damns and weirs the river appears a lot higher than it actually is. But what can still be seen is how poor the water quality is. As Stephen Tomkins (Chairman of the Cam Valley Forum) says, the River Cam has become “a big pond, basically,”.

This is absolutely shameful. In one of the richest and most scientifically advanced cities in the world our renowned river has become “a big pond”. Our aquatic life, from mayflies to trout to otters, are living and dying in “a big pond”. We lecture nations across the world on their mistreatment of their environments and we let our own rivers degrade to nothing but “a big pond”.

Enough is enough, we need the Councils and Water companies to stop playing the defensive and show real leadership over this water crisis. Our well-being’s at stake, our population’s at stake, our rivers’ at stake, our ecosystem’s at stake. No more development until you find a solution!

Save the River Cam! Stop development on Eastern Chalk Aquifer!

Sing the petition

Greater Cambridge Local Plan – The Big Debate – Feb 18, 2020

The Big Debate was an evening of quickfire presentations from local groups and lively debate about the future of Greater Cambridge.

Presentation by Luana, Nico and Harry representatives of the Cambridge Schools’ Eco Council at the Cambridge Corn Exchange

Luana, Harry and I, are very excited to have spoken as Youth Strikers in the ‘First Conversation’ consultation on the new Greater Cambridge Local Plan, other local groups also presented and debated their ideas.

As representatives of the Cambridge Eco Council at the Great Debate, we got the voice of the Youth and Climate heard!

About the Greater Cambridge Local Plan

To know more visit Greater Cambridge Local Plan

Cambridge Youth Strike 4 Climate sent their love to Australia on February 14, 2020

On Friday 14th February 2020 Cambridge Youth left their schools and took to the streets to send love to those in Australia affected by the horrific fires and demand the adults and governments of the world do something about the crisis we face.

We dedicated our Valentine’s Day protest to Australian schoolchildren. The effects of climate change are more prominent than ever, and so many people are being affected first-hand.

We are here in support of all the school children, wildlife and everyone whose homes and lives are being lost by the ferocious fires and floods in Australia, and around the world. We feel it is terribly unjust to continue burning fossil fuels and carry on harming our future. As children, and as the first generation to be hit so hard by climate change, we need to look out for each other.

The Australian bushfires have ignited not just a sense of horror across generations, but have also added a new sense of urgency.

People talk about climate change as if it’s a thing way off in future, but the wildfires we’ve seen raging in Australia in recent months bring it fully to the present day. How can we still think that climate change is in the future? Estimates say that the number of animals killed totalled half a billion. If they were humans that would be the same as losing seven per cent of the world’s population.

Global Youth Strike for Climate

#FridaysforFuture

“Even the smallest child can make a BIG difference!”

Nico (10 years-old)

Hello! and thank you for reading my blog.

If you are not familiar with the Youth Strike 4 Climate or my blog please read this and check my other posts.

I’m Nico Roman, but everybody calls me Nico. I’m in year 5 at King’s College School in Cambridge, UK. I’m Co-Chair of our Eco-Council (the first-ever Cambridge School Eco-Council in response to the threat of Climate Change on future generations) and a UNESCO Voices of Future Generations Child Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On March 15, 2019 (the day of the Global Climate Strike) we started gathering at Shire Hall. At 10am, there were speakers from lots of different schools. Any school that wanted to send a speaker up did it!

“It was amazing to see hundreds, even thousands of us there.”

Then, at 10:30 – we marched. It was a longer march than last time (Feb 15, 2019), all along King’s Parade and through the city centre, down to St. Andrews Street, and up to the Guildhall.

The smallest children – including me 🙂 – were in front with the banners, everyone was awear of this – to keep a slow and steady pace – we are great at planning and organising! 😉

At 11:00, we were joined by some supportive University Students, and met at the Guildhall for some more speeches til 11:30am

We had some more skpeakers, one of them was my older brother Jona David, UN Child Author of a brilliant book on climate change (The Cosmic Climate Invention), and some brave kids from different schools demanding the world’s decision makers to take responsibility and solve this climate crisis.

And I also had a message to share with everyone – here is part of it:

“Even the smallest child can make a BIG difference!

Our new eco-council brings together pupils from schools all across Cambridge, to share our concerns, to cooperate, and to speak out!

We are hosting these Youth Strikes for our Climate in Cambridge, because we are petrified. We care about all the kids here locally and worldwide who will be hurt, or even die in typhoons, floods and droughts.

In school, we learn to be kind, to care for others, and to be responsible.

Destroying our whole planet is totally NOT ON.

Maybe our decision-makers need to go BACK TO SCHOOL.”

Nico (10), Co-Chair, Cambridge School Eco-Council and UN Child Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Interview – ITV News

I was also interviewed by ITV News – to see other media coverage click here

Join us for April’s Friday for Future in Cambridge (or anywhere!)

Next School Strike for Climate Justice will be on April 12, 2019.

11.00 am – Meet at Shire Hall

11.15 am – Walk to King’s Parade

11.30 am – Lie-down at King’s College

Please wear blue, so it looks like Cambridge is flooding!


The lie-down will be for 11-minutes in front of King’s College to send a message about the floods that could drown the iconic town and University of Cambridge if climate change continues.

We will continue to march UNITED! on April 12 and many times after until we see Climate Justice!

We are going to change the fate of humanity! Are you part of this movement yet?

Youth Strike for Climate March 15, 2019 – Media coverage


Thousands of children across the Anglia region join school strike for climate – by ITV News

Ten-year-old Nico Roman, Child Ambassador for the SDGs – on strike for Climate Justice – video taken from ITV News

Schoolchildren across the Anglia region have joined others across the world in leaving classes to protest against climate change.

Schoolchildren in Cambridge have set up an eco-council to work together to learn about, and find solutions to, the climate and ecological crisis

“We are truly in a climate emergency, and we need to act quickly to prevent an unimaginable future of heatwaves, extreme weather events, crop failures, and eventually wars over resources such as land, food and water. We are afraid for our own future and for generations of children to come, and the terrifying changes are already happening.”

OPEN LETTER FROM CAMBRIDGE SCHOOLCHILDREN

Organisers of the Youth Strike 4 Climate say events will take place in more than 100 towns and cities around the UK in the second walkout for climate action in the UK.

Driven by what students say is “an alarming lack of government leadership on climate action”, the strikes are part of a global day of walkouts and demonstrations by young people in more than 100 countries

Youth Strike 4 Climate in Cambridge: Video and galleries from day of action

by Cambridge Independent

Climate strike Cambridge March 15, 2019 – video taken from Gemma Donnelly

An open letter written by Cambridge school children has been sent to more than 40 schools in the area, urging teachers and pupils to attend the strikes and inviting them to join the Cambridge Schools Eco-Council. The letter follows the successful inaugural meeting of the eco-council on March 9, and the second school strike this year on March 15, which saw 500 school pupils take to the streets of the city to highlight the seriousness of the climate crisis.

The open letter says: “We are truly in a climate emergency, and we need to act quickly to prevent an unimaginable future of heatwaves, extreme weather events, crop failures, and eventually wars over resources such as land, food and water. We are afraid for our own future and for generations of children to come, and the terrifying changes are already happening.”

The school strike for climate movement was started by 16 year-old Greta Thunberg in Sweden last year and has now spread worldwide.

“I have a message for everyone… even the smallest child can make a BIG difference! Our new eco-council brings together pupils from schools all across Cambridge, to share our concerns, to cooperate, and to speak out!

We are hosting these Youth Strikes for our Climate in Cambridge, because we are petrified. We care about all the kids here locally and worldwide who will be hurt, or even die in typhoons, floods and droughts.

In school, we learn to be kind, to care for others, and to be responsible. Destroying our whole planet is totally NOT ON. Maybe our decision-makers need to go BACK TO SCHOOL.

Any schools here today are welcome to join the Eco-Council – just come find me with an email address!

And here’s a new chant, for later – Carbon breaks the golden rule; Decision-makers, back to school!”

Nico Roman, 10, from King’s College School in Cambridge, co-chair of Cambridge Schools Eco-Council, and a UNESCO Voices Child Ambassador.

Youth Strike 4 Climate: Hundreds of Cambridge students march through city

by Cambridge Independent

Inspired by Swedish climate activist 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, students are calling for the government to take action on global warming.

Up to a 1,000 schoolchildren and university students gathered outside Shire Hall in Cambridge for the Youth Strike 4 Climate at 9.30am.

Youth Strike 4 Climate protest outside Shire Hall in Cambridge by Paul Brackley

Waving banners and chanting, the students will march from Shire Hall to the Guildhall from around 10.30am.

It is the second time city students have taken to the streets for climate change. In calling for climate change to be declared an emergency.

Youth Strike 4 Climate protest outside Shire Hall in Cambridge by Paul Brackley

The campaigners came from schools and colleges across the region including Chesterton Community College, Impington Village College, Parkside, Coleridge Community College, King’s School, Hills Road Sixth Form College, Witchford Village College and Cambourne Village College.

More media coverage

School pupils of all ages have gathered outside Shire Hall and The Guildhall – Cambridge News

Thousands of pupils protest over climate change – The London Economic

Hundreds of Cambridge schoolchildren strike in protest of climate change – Varsity

Global Climate strike – 15 March 2019 by PSIglobalunion

Youth Strike For Climate – Cambridge by
Gemma Donnelly