'Tunza' Children's Conference Makes Declaration on Biodiversity
Participants attending the Tunza International Children's Conference on the Environment culminated in a Declaration on Biodiversity presented today to the high-level segment of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan
Nagoya, Japan, 28 October 2010 - Participants attending the Tunza International Children's Conference on the Environment culminated in a Declaration on Biodiversity presented today to the high-level segment of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan.
They stressed that as children their action plan to make the habitat of living things a better place would be to plant trees, become more familiar with nature in order to realize its importance and endeavor not to litter. Furthermore, they declared that in order to sustainably support biological resources, they would use food wisely, recycle daily and use paper resourcefully.
And in response to this the adults were asked to make a more significant commitment to the enforcement of laws which limit the amount of fishing and protect the environment from the pollution through the use of more protected areas. In the case that any nations or people do not observe these laws, adults were asked to set the rules and with strict penalties.
The conference, which was hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in cooperation with the Aichi Prefectural Government and the City of Nagoya, brought together over 220 children and chaperones from around 40 countries and took place simultaneously with the UN conference on the protection of biodiversity.
Organized to give youth opportunities to share their experiences concerning the environment, climate change and environmental protection, the conference also gave them the chance to discuss the state of biodiversity and what they can do to protect species worldwide in their own lives.
The children urged adults to reduce the burden to the eco-system, and avoid development in rare species' habitat. As well as encouraging them to use local resources and products to reduce their carbon footprint, the children asked the adults for the use of commitment contracts in order to return part of the profits towards conserving biodiversity.
The conference saw children debate on the sustainable use of biological resources, the implementation of laws and ways to deal with invasive species. In addition they used the opportunity to share and learn about the ecosystems of different nations and expressed their concern for Mother Earth by preparing so-called "Biodiversity Maps" of their regions.
The spirit of this declaration was anchored in a resolve by the children to learn and communicate with each other, and promote Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) about the importance of biodiversity.
Notes to Editors
TUNZA is a word in Kiswahili (the common language of most East African countries) that means to "treat with care". The programme is based on a strategy that aims to provide young people with information and tools on how to "treat Mother Earth with care" and how to Act for a better world.
UNEP works in partnership with children from all over the world. Children are represented by a Junior Board which is elected every two years during UNEP's TUNZA International Children's Conference.
Daily updates at www.unep.org/tunza/children/inner.asp?ct=events&ev=int_children_conf&conf=2010_tunza_conf