Fire devastates world's largest sand island
Gladys boo knows firsthand. the devastation climate change is already visiting on the world. The twenty five year old has vivid memories of kale island a tiny islet in the solomon islands archipelago where she used to swim and barbecue on the white sand beaches. It's also where her grandparents used to live decades back but kale island no longer exists. It was declared lost in two thousand sixteen after it fully submerged beneath the water a victim of rising sea levels. She worries more of her home. In the south pacific could share the same fate if global temperatures continue to rise at the same pace and just decades. My country's map has changed drastically. She says boo and others who have personally experienced the worst effects of climate change took center stage at a two week. Summit for youth climate activists. The virtual event was organized out of frustration at the postponement of the twenty twenty united nations climate. Change conference also called cop. Twenty six meeting between nations called mock cop twenty six. The summit was attended by more than three hundred fifty delegates from one hundred eighteen countries and included speeches from activists and stakeholders from around the world including the uk government minister in charge of the original cop twenty six in a year dominated by pandemic related disruptions. The mockup to six may be one of the largest international meetings focused on climate change. Even if it lacked official status but another goal of the event was to elevate the voices of those most affected by climate. Change it's a conscious decision. Based on consensus among youth activists that people in the developing world and other marginalized voters are not being represented in the climate movement which has largely focused on activists from developed nations. Be a greta tune. Berg's fridays for future or extinction rebellion which was established in the uk. The climate movement has been often inaccessible and is generally dominated by middle class. White people in the global north says a mercedes rodriguez richer to an activist from the uk student climate network. We can't stand up to this challenge without listening to the people whose voices matter the most in an attempt to be more inclusive. The virtual conference says granted more delegates. To what organizers call most affected people in areas or mapa including the philippines and bangladesh these countries and others were granted five delegates as opposed to three from most developed nations. Giving them more speaking time. More than seventy percent of the delegates represented at the summit or from developing countries. Having more delegates also gave these countries more representation and say in the wording of the final statement from mockup twenty six many behind. Mock cop twenty six. See this as a first step toward changing the emphasis of the youth climate movement. Several studies have shown that a warming planet will disproportionately affect developing countries more than developed nations however mainstream climate movements of faced criticism for not being inclusive of the most vulnerable nations earlier. This year. vanessa. Nakata a ugandan. Climate activist was cropped out of a photo in which she posed with four activists from europe including gratitude berg. It felt like i had been robbed in my space. Nicotine told time in july if climate justice does not involve the most affected communities than it is not justice at all. The photo was later replaced by the new agency that published it when we include everyone. You realize how a lot of the problems are. Common across countries says mitzi thanh a twenty two year old activists from the philippines who has been volunteering at the summit and is one of the speakers representing her country. Thanh has lived through extreme weather events in her native manila which has witnessed progressively more powerful typhoons with each passing year. She says activists like her who have seen the life altering damage. Climate change is already inflicting can go beyond being just sad stories and statistics and take an active role in creating a global solution. There's evidence this approach might result in more effective action to a twenty nineteen report by the united nations development programme found that vulnerable developing countries are leading the world by enacting ambitious pledges on emissions and climate resilience so the narrative. Necessarily isn't we are drowning. We need help says samira sarala a climate change policy expert at the united nations development programme. But rather look how we have seen the consequences and taken the destiny into our own hands. Abu the activist from the solomon islands feels that amplifying stories like hers will help people understand that the climate crisis is already a reality for people in many parts of the world when people who don't believe in climate change. Listen to our stories. They will hopefully empathize and engage she says.