Seychelles makes first appearance in youth environment forum


30-January-2012

In February 2003, the programme governing council adopted the Tunza youth strategy -- a long-term approach to engage young people in the work of the Unep and supporting their involvement in global and regional environmental negotiations.

The Tunza international conference is held every two years. A few months ago, the conference gathered 1300 delegates from around the world in Bandung Indonesia, and first time ever, one of our young Seychelloise was selected to take part in the event.

Vanessa Roseline, also a student of the University of Seychelles, describes her experience. “When I received the invitation, I felt really honored that Unep acknowledges the work that I have been doing and also to know that Seychelles will make its first appearance in such a prestigious youth conference since the programme has started.”

Vanessa also notes that to be able to be selected you first have to be working on a climate change project and they also judge your involvements and interest in environmental activities… 

“I have been working as the assistant coordinator on the Rain Water Harvesting (RWH), a CCDARE project that has been implemented in several state school. This project is seen as one of the best practices as a means of adaptation to climate change. I have in the past, as a student of Anse Boileau school, won prizes for climate change competitions organised. I have been also very active in the Unesco sandwatch project where I won a special prize for my participation in the past. I have been an active member in my school environment club and all this has led to my selection for the conference. It was a very selective process and I am glad that among thousands who applied for it I was selected to take part.

“At the conference itself in Indonesia, it was a great opportunity for me to meet other youths around the world who share similar interest and passion for environment and more precisely climate change. I managed to also attend several workshops about ‘youths in climate change’, ‘creating practical environment projects’, just to name a few, and also present the RWH project that I have been working on. To conclude the conference, the youths of the world had to come up with a statement known as the ‘Bandung Declaration’ that will be taken to the Rio+20 this year.

“One of the most beautiful memories was to be able to visit one of the active volcanos in West Java, Indonesia. It was always a dream for me, being a Geography student.”

It went pretty well for Vanessa, that she was selected again amongst 19 other African delegates to attend the ‘Generation Earth Summit’ in South Africa later last year. She explains: “The aim of this summit was to finalise the Youth African Voices on Climate Change to present at the COP17, that was held in Durban a week after and also to create a strong international platform among African nations.  After sharing my experience for working on the RWH project during the summit, it was so much appreciated by the other delegates and journalists present that I received interviews from the SADC NEWS, journals and radio stations in South Africa!”

“Being back home, I have been really inspired that I am aiming to gather other youths here locally in the schools and other institutions who have great interest in environment and climate change to share my knowledge and experiences, see how I can engage them in environment and climate change projects, network with other environment youth movements around the world so that they too can benefit from these life-time learning experiences in the future,” says an exciting young Vanessa.

Vanessa says that she wants to seize the opportunity to thank the Department of Environment, Department of Education, Seychelles island Foundation (SIF) and all those who have been very supportive throughout.

Contributed by the Environment Department

Send your comment :

Name *

Email *

Comment *