Tag: SDGs

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

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


MY BIG PLAN PROTECT OUR OCEANS FOR TINY SEA TURTLES AND ALL LIFE BELOW WATER – By Nico Roman, 9

TSL Essay

                                                    By Nico Roman, 9                    

A turquoise sea-turtle hatches beside her siblings in their golden sandy nest. She blinks her jewel eyes. She is just a baby – small, vulnerable and endangered. She has only one chance in 2,500 to survive, a symbol for all life below water if we cannot change our ways. Like sea-turtles, I have lived on Pacific and Atlantic coasts, swimming Baltic, Salish and Caribbean seas. To save this TINY life and all ocean creatures, we need real change, fast.

We Need Oceans Laws and Compliance

Overfishing and illegal fishing must stop. We need new international and national laws to end subsidies. People must only buy sustainably caught seafood (with escape hatches in nets preventing by-catch of turtles) and not endangered species. Waterproof cameras on boats should film tweets and blogs, making citizens act more responsibly. Coast guards, communities and kids can enforce laws on water and land. By law, people will look out for our tiny turtle as she escapes into the sea, starts her migration, and hunts for food to grow.

We Need a Global End to Ocean Rubbish

Dangerous chemicals are polluting our oceans with run-off from fertilizers and pesticides from the land, industrial chemicals, and untreated storm-water. Plastics are collecting in huge islands, hurting sea-turtles, whales and birds. We must end all harmful practices that drive ocean pollution, changing all agriculture and industry so it is clean and healthy. People must reduce, re-use and recycle all waste, cradle-to-grave, especially plastics. This way, pollution won’t poison or strangle our tiny turtle as she swims thousands of kilometres on her migration across the oceans.

We Need New Marine Plans, Protection and Measurement

There are not enough marine protected areas, and many are degraded.  Ecosystems are threatened, like bleaching of coral. Climate change is causing serious impacts. Clear targets and plans must guarantee protection for all threatened marine ecosystems, respecting scientists and communities. Kids clubs and everyone can help, including tourists. With safe zones, and better measurement and on-ground action, we can ensure that our tiny turtle, and all her friends have a safe and resilient home. Our sea turtle, not so tiny now, can return to lay her own eggs in the sand. Her hatchlings will be protected, maybe by teams of children like me, as they start their own journeys.

Even the tiniest child can make a big difference for sea turtles, for our oceans and for our future.