Children to Take Center Stage at Tunza Conference
2004 Tunza International Children's Conference on the Environment; New London, Connecticut - 19-23 July 2004
New London/Nairobi, 16 July 2004 - Up to 500 participants (10-13 years old) from more than 40 countries are expected in New London, Connecticut from 19 to 23 July 2004 to attend UNEPís Fifth Tunza International Childrenís Conference on the Environment.
The four main themes slated for discussion are: Endangered species; indigenous peoples and their healing ways; oceans, rivers and waterways; and resource conservation. Hosted by the International Coalition for Children and the Environment (ICCE), the Conference will provide an opportunity for the children to learn more about the environment and to voice their concerns. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is the founding sponsor for the event, The main venue will be the Connecticut College in New London.
The children will be accompanied by chaperones. In their schools or communities they are members of environmental clubs and must have been involved in environmental projects. Each participant was required to provide a short write-up of his/her project as part of the eligibility requirements. The best environmental projects relating to the themes of the Conference have been selected for presentation to delegates during the event.
The Conference aims to increase children's understanding of environmental issues and of the most up-to-date technology. It provides an opportunity to build new and lasting friendships between children from different countries. A number of workshops, field trips and entertainment activities have been incorporated into the programme. A separate agenda has been prepared for the chaperones.
The Conference will climax with a list of environmental challenges to world leaders and the United Nations. The children will also develop personal commitments which they will pursue when they return home.
Facilitators at the 5-day meeting will be renowned environmentalists who will share their experiences and aspirations with the delegates. On 20 July 2004, UNEP's Executive Director, Klaus Toepfer will hold an informal discussion with the children and their chaperones.
UNEP News Release 2004/33
For more information, please contact: Barbara Morgan, Executive Director of ICCE on telephone number: 860-437-0757 and E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Eric Falt, Spokesperson/Director of UNEP's Division of Communications and Public
Information, on Tel: +254 20 623292, Mobile: +254 (0) 733 682656, E-mail:
email@example.com; Nick Nuttall, UNEP Head of Media, on Tel: +254 20
623084, Mobile: +254 733 632755, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Theodore Oben, Head, UNEP's Children &Youth/Sport & the Environment Unit on telephone number: 254 20 62 3262 and E-mail: email@example.com
Note: The 22nd session of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council, held in Nairobi in February 2003 unanimously endorsed a long-term strategy on the engagement and involvement of young people in environmental issues. The strategy is implemented under an overall concept entitled "Tunza" (Tunza in Kiswahili language of Kenya means to treat with care or affection) outlines activities to be undertaken by UNEP both at the global and regional levels to increase the active participation of young people in environmental issues. The International Childrenís Conference on the Environment is one of those activities envisaged in the strategy. It has been held since 1995 for children between the ages of 10 and 13 and has showcased a number of innovative environmental activities by children in various parts of the world. The New London Conference is the first to be held since the adoption of the UNEP Tunza strategy.