Bali, Indonesia, 25 November 2011 – Six children aged 10 to 14 years old flew from their mountain homes in the Kingdom of Bhutan to the tropical island of Bali, Indonesia to participate at the 23rd Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP-23). These young musical ambassadors sang at the Reception Dinner hosted by the Indonesian Government yesterday evening.
The kids performed songs about the protection of the ozone layer and preservation of the Earth in front of around 600 delegates including many Ministers of Environment from 196 UN member States, international institutions, international NGOs, representatives from private sector, among others. Joining them in their songs was Ugyen, a famous singer in Bhutan.
“Even though we are young, we want to have our voices heard. We ask for the present generation to do their best to protect the environment so that in the future, we can still live in a good world,” said 10-year old Chhime Yeshey Seldon, the youngest among the singers.
“These talented children are fitting ambassadors of ozone layer protection. The health and well being of future generations are the reasons why we are all working to phase-out HCFCs, which are damaging to both the ozone layer and to the earth’s climate. We applaud the Government of Bhutan on this inspiring musical initiative,” stated James Curlin, Interim Head of the OzonAction Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
In the morning, they had a painting session with Mr. Yuan Xikun, a world-famous Chinese artist and UNEP Patron for the Arts and Environment, who also came as a guest to an event MOP-23 to support his cause to use arts to develop awareness in ozone protection.
Today, the children also sang at the “Bali and Lombok Regional Meeting on Dissemination of Adiwiyata Programme 2012: Synergizing Art and Environment to Achieve Sustainability in Denpasar, Bali, which was attended by school principals,
students, local environmental institutions and government representatives. In the afternoon, they joined a field trip to Tampaksiring to learn together with Balinese children about nature and environmental preservation.
“From our field trip and painting session, we learned the importance of caring for the environment. We also understood that even as children, we can help save the ozone layer through our songs and by being ambassadors of the environment,” shared 14-year-old Tashi Choden.
“Educating children about environmental protection is necessary if we want to achieve sustainable development. Our office has been working with our schools around Bhutan to ensure that ozone protection is included in the schools’ curricula. In addition, we are planning to have a collaborative programme with Indonesian schools to share experiences on how environmental education can be effectively institutionalized,” said Ms. Peldon Tshering, Chief Environment Officer and National Ozone Officer of the National Environment Commission.