It is inspiring when young people from around the world use their knowledge, sense of motivation and energy to bring about action for the environment. Young people bring a fresh outlook to environmental activism. Tunza is about empowering you to act. To get involved in the Tunza Actions Around the World, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth actions also include answering questions from the public on UNEP's online interactive feature Expert of the Day - another great way to learn about youth environmental activities.
ROE (Regional Office for Europe )
Molorakâ Junior Team was founded after the National Ozone Unit of Armenia conducted its first awareness seminar on the Ozone Layer in 2006 at the N176 middle school. Since the initiation of the Molorakâ Junior Team, it began by developing a project which aims at raising awareness on the importance of the ozone layer, among children of primary and secondary schools of Armenia. Young people discussed the following subjects that pertain to the ozone layer: ozone depleting substances and their global warming potential, the efforts of world community to save the ozone layer, the input children can have personally and methods of protection from ultraviolet radiation. Awareness seminars previously held and those that will be conducted by the Molorakâ Junior Team resulted/will result in the raised awareness and growing interest towards the issues the ozone layer protection. Additionally, the team examined the importance of climate change in regard to the replacement of ozone depleting substances that are both ozone depletes and greenhouse gases. Children also become aware of why and exactly how they can protect themselves from the harmful ultraviolet radiation. Anna-Armenuhi Grigoryan and Otar Gharibyan, two Molorakâ members, also tell children about the Montreal Protocol and how it unites countries globally, about its input to climate protection issue by the reduction of 25 billion tones of greenhouse gases emissions of carbon dioxide equivalents up till now.
Irade Mikayilova said, “As we know, youth organization plays a crucial role in the society enlightenment. It strengthens the knowledge of youth on climate change and protection of the environment.”
Rufat Dargahli and Maryam Mammadova are members of SPARE Environment Club. The basic idea of SPARE (School Project Application Resources of Energy) project is to transform a global issue into practical activities of school children and other people. SPARE helps to make schools and homes more energy effective in practice. Discoveries by children in the regard to energy saving may be useful for school administration, for their parents, friends and neighbours. A number of the 0-cost energy efficiency measures have been developed for SPARE based on the slogan "Think globally, act locally".
Maksim Stankevich and Polina Sliunkova, two students in Minsk, work with children of all ages on ecology and environment protection. Trips are also organized for the students to visit a local natural preserve where they help maintain rare species of plants. They also write articles which are published in local press about the importance of maintaining the natural resources. A lot of attention is given to schoolyard renovations, including flowerbeds - the “Green fairytale of the schoolyard”. Another part of their project is that during summertime our schoolchildren have to work for 5 days making the schoolyard look nice- planting flowers and trees, weeding and watering the plants.
Purnawati Hustina Rachman works with the International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences (IAAS) and advocates for environment issues.
Tuuli Madiberk participated in Tunza youth conference in 2007, where she was elected as alternate advisor. She has assisted youth advisors if they have requested help and followed the developments of youth network. She is also a mentor and advisor for youth delegates to EEHC (European Environment and Health Committee) and CEHAPE (Children’s’ Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe) Task Force as she was their predecessor (youth representative 2006-2007).
Celine Moses is a student in business school and a new environmental activist. Diego Le Gallou has been active in civil society since 2003 where he participated in the creation of Fac Verte (environmental student syndicate). He is currently Secretary General of Starting Block, NGO approved by the Ministry of Education for the education of 11 / 18 years in international solidarity and development issues in the scholar sector.
Tornike Popxadze said, “I believe it is time for action. Our school is located in the center of the city and I notice numerous traffic jams resulting in air pollution for the surrounding area. My team has constructed the following methods to help educate people on issues affecting the environment: permanent educational /informational meetings, animation shows, presentations of photos on catastrophes, internet use, printing booklets for information about danger of the dust air conditions in the nearby area of our school. We have done this for our friends, parents and our society. I hope this will work.”
Gabriela Monteiro is from Brazil and was the Tunza Youth Advisor from 2007 to 2008. In 2008, she developed and coordinated an Environmental Education project called Projeto Impactos in AIESEC Salvador (Brazil). This was a two-month long project aimed at students from 10 to 18 years old from public and private schools of Salvador. As a methodology, we worked with interactive workshops about environmental topics such as Recycling, Sustainable Consumption, Clean Technologies, and Sustainability.
In January 2007 Franziska Finkbeiner and Felix Finkbeiner began the website www.plant-for-the-planet.com. Their aim was for students to plant 1 milion trees in Germany. Thousands of students from 350 schools throughout Germany planted or committed themselves to plant 457,000 until 2009. We aspire for their goal to be reached in the year 2009.
Gintare Ulianskaite is involved in a climate change project. During the workshops the members discuss ecological problems and the ways to solve them. She said, “Our city has urgent environmental problems of waste, transport, energy, water and others. One of the most important problems is insufficient public education about environmental protection and how people can be involved in their everyday life to reduce climate change. The most important aspect in our community is the problem of waste. My friends, family and I decided to work in the following two categories: The home without wastes of electrical and electronical equipment (WEEE). The results of this is the understanding, that WEEE cannot be eliminated together with other wastes. We are removing it from our homes and putting it to the waste collection areas. Also, we are educating the local community about the safe elimination of WEEE. Secondly was compost valuable resource, which is a practical activity in my home. We seek to explain to our family members, that the organic wastes can be a valuable natural fertilizer. In our family garden we made the compost box. We will inform our friends and neighbors about the results of our activities. The members of the project will make the presentations about their activities in the scientific conferences at the Nature School.”
Anne Walraven is a Tunza Youth Advisor for Europe. Her passion is mainly on climate change: the field where she wants to make a contribution during the coming years. As a volunteer for Solar Generation International, she is the assistant of the project leader of a large Dutch research project. The project is about the impact of climate change to urban and coastal areas worldwide.
Michaela Hogenboom has participated in the following activities: conducted management simulation game (Kazakhstan), studied oil and gas policy (Kazakhstan), on the board of international student association (the Netherlands), developed performance appraisal system (the Netherlands), and made volunteer policy coherent with organisational goals in order to spur development for Enviu (the Netherlands).
Don Gerritsen has been an official delegate for the Netherlands during UNFCCC COP 14 (Poznan) and will also participate in the upcoming COP 15 (Copenhagen).
Marte Myklebust Haugland and fellow Eco-agents attended an "info and demo day" at BIR - Norway's second largest waste handling company. She said “We were shown and taught how BIR carries out waste handling in a modern, environmentally correct and cost efficient way. I can now tell other people (family, friends etc) how they can carry out household waste handling in an environmentally friendly way in order to improve the recycling of waste processes. Furthermore, I have attended a "Walk to school" project arranged by my community environmental organization this autumn. My best friend and I walk to school every day, approx. 5 km (back and forth). We have encouraged other pupils and children to do the same. Now and then my best friend and I place notes on idle running cars making them aware of their pollution and requesting them to switch off the engine.
Milena Florek and Magdalena Pater participate in several environment activities such as: separate waste (paper, glass, plastic, batteries), clean up our villages, tree planting, educate the adults. They said, “In June 2008 children from our school club had the honour and pleasure to attend the TUNZA Conference in Norway. After our return, on 2 October 2008, we organised a conference for children, teachers, parents and authorities from our region to report on our attendance in TUNZA Conference. Representatives from 12 schools (primary and secondary) came to our school. The Director of Department of Preservation of Nature made a speech on the condition of the natural environment in our region. Everybody went home with the list of commitments from TUNZA 2008 ICC. They promised to take them up and in May 2009 we are going to meet again and present our achievements on these environmental fields. Children from our school decided to focus mainly on saving energy and water. Moreover, we decided to support the campaign “Save Our Chestnut Trees”. This tree is being depleted by an insect called the Cameraria ohridella. Attending 2009 TUNZA Conference would give us not only an opportunity to meet other children who care about the environment and make international friends, but primarily to learn more about environmental challenges and create solutions and also to convince our local society that what we do is extremely important for people all over the World.
Alexandru Ioan Magdau: Le passage de l'ecologie du stade de simple discipline scientifique a celui de probleme de la conscience commune, nationale et internationale, represente une realite triste de nos jours lorsque la destruction de l'equilibre naturel de la planete entiere est imminente. La lutte contre la pollution de la planete sollicite collaboration et cooperation internationale. Ca depend de nous de vivre dans un milieu propre sain et non-pollue.De nos jours, lorsq'on assiste a l'imixtion de l'homme dans la nature, on impose l'education ecologique de la jeunne generation, car "les enfants sont des messages vivants qu'on envoie vers les temps qu'on ne revivra plus". Le project ECOFEST JUNIOR a les activites suivantes: Concours de dessin ,promenades dans la nature ,actions de l'Ecologisation ,actions pour la nature ,ECO Conference ,Concours d'orientation en foret etc Les organisateurs du Festival ECOFEST JUNIOR ont un angagement professionel envers la nature et la protection de l'environnement, tout en creant la communication ECO entre les enseignants et les enseignes de notre pays et l'etranger. L'equipe de coordinateurs ECO de Simeria sont convaincus que leur travail n'est pas vain. "Sortez dans la nature! Sentez la nature! Aimez-la et respectez-la! Ce sentiment est quelque chose de vivant. C'est la signification de notre Festival, un moyen par lequel le sentiment de l'amour vivant pour la nature deviant eternal pour les autres puisse le revivre" (L’equipe ECO/ Roumanie)
In 2007 Alina Bezhenar was elected for the Youth Delegate 2007-2009 CEHAPE/EEHC position, (Children's Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe/European Environment and Health Committee). She has been extremely active since then and took part in various WHO meetings during 2007, 2008, 2009 years. Currently, she is working for the preparation of the 5th Monisterial Conference in Parma, Italy in 2010. She is a good networker and was also a participant of the Tunza conference in 2007.
Narkiza Mukhametshina said, “Sustainable lifestyle is an important topic for us as a young generation; we are responsible for the future. A sustainable future would make us recognize the importance of aspects such as a healthy lifestyle. This will be achieved by eating healthy food, fruit that is rich in vitamins, vegetables that contain minerals. Eating foods such as chips, crisps, pizzas and having drinks such as cola and other products should be avoided. Children should eat healthy and nutritionally beneficial food. To highlight the importance of this topic, we are going to organise lectures by nutritionist on the significance of nutritional eating habits. We will also have discussions with local farmers about agricultural techniques and also have lectures by medical experts on eating disorders. In addition, we will have a party called the "Good Food Party" encouraging healthy eating.”
Polina Bezmaternikh and Evgenia Poskina said, “There is a river and a pond in our town choked with wastewater enterprises. There are concentrations of some dangerous materials in the water ecosystem of our town. Our main objective is to make the Beloyarsk pond and River Pyshma clean and beautiful again.
To achieve this we need to: clean the shore of the pond and the river from waste, e.g. bottles, wrappers and etc, remove water chemical and biological harmful materials, change the citizens and the enterprises behavior and treatment of the environment.
The results of our project to be the following: to have analyzed the Pyshma River system, the type and sources of its pollution, to have made a map of the river and marked the location of the towns and enterprises on it, to have conducted several public actions for the removal of waste from the river shore, to present our project to the future leaders of the Urals towns and call them to join to us. The impact of the project will be: 1. The pond and the river should become a favorite location for people and known as a place for leisure and rest as it was in the past. The river system will also be safe and comfortable for swimming and fishing.
2. The water will be return to the natural conditions.
3. Children will recognize themselves as real owners of this native place and this will lead them to be responsible and care treatment of the environment.
4. Local community will be attentive to children’s voices.
5. People and enterprises will treat the environment and particularly the water with care.
Matvey Matveev and Tatiana Ponomareva work on a project whereby schools in the north-western part of Russia and in the northern part of Norway (the whole Barents region) cooperate in an effort to map the phrenology of selected species in the North Calotte region. They observe species of plants, birds and insects (18 objects in total) and collect data. The data is then sent to Svanhovd Environmental Centre through the Internet.
Evgeny Barannikov and Denis Davydov call themselves the “Green Teens”. They said, “We study environmental problems and ways that people can solve them. We have already learnt a lot so far, and we want to share our knowledge and our concerns with the people in our community. That is why we decided that our project should be devoted to raising environmental awareness. Our initial challenge was to find the ways of reaching out to people and to draw attention to the environmental problems on a local and global scale. How we as children and teenagers can reach out to people with environmental messages. How we can encourage the busy and disinterested adults and skeptical teens to stop and think for a moment and reconsider their current behavioral consumption. We pondered over our interest is rooted and recognized the following aspects: Social networks, music, mass media, role models, games and sport have proven to be key influencers for young people. Arts and culture engagements also have a strong role to play. Visual means of appeal undoubtedly present a unique and effective opportunity for promoting environmental awareness and action by drawing the attention of spectators. We needed to develop a strategy that would enable us to make our statements. So after a series of discussions we came up with a simple idea graffiti is the solution! We are enthusiastic, active, concerned and eager to create, so graffiti turned out to be one of the most effective and simplest methods of spreading our message. We chose graffiti because; it is a fashionable modern subculture. It is popular with both kids and teens. It requires a diverse team and would therefore team up kids studying art, languages, ecology and other things to act together. We think it is a form of art that can enable us to involve more people in environmental activities. It can be an international language for the young generation and a means of voicing their concerns about nature. Graffiti immediately catches your eye there is hardly another form of modern art which has the ability to mobilize as many people. Additionally, it lasts long, is fun, entertaining and educative. We hope it will help us highlight the most crucial issues concerning our environment and pull the trigger to start a forceful public campaign on the environment. Moreover, using the English language in our drawings enables us to broaden and strengthen our friendly international relations and thus contributes to the process of globalization. Having done a lot of prior discussion, sketching and selecting the best drawings, finding the right slogans and styles, colours and images, we came up with a few compositions. Reduce, reuse, recycle, Plant a Tree, Save Our Planet. There was a great interest in what we were doing and people seemed very approving, they asked questions and some even offered their walls for us to use next time. My friends and I have seen that small steps can lead to big changes. We hope that we have managed not just to raise awareness on environmental issues, but to change attitudes and inspire people to take action. We would really like to participate in the Tunza International Children’s Conference to share our experiences, learn more from others and to voice our concerns for a better planet.”
Renata Hasanova, Karina Farhutdinova, Amir Suleymanov, and Robert Ilyasov said, “We live in Bashkortostan, a Russian province in the Urals. Our region is rich in mineral resources, including crude oil, coal and ores. Consequently, some of the processing industries are in Ufa, the capital of the region. Very often they are the main source of environmental pollution. To preserve the beauty of our native land, its forests, rivers and lakes and to prevent ecological catastrophes we must be responsible to future generations for preservation of the land we live in. Our city is situated on the bank of the Belaya (river) which is in critical condition. The river is in danger of dying-out unless the level of pollution from the city is drastically cut. Half of the fish species in the local rivers are at levels below reproduction factor. All over the region we have problems with fresh-water springs because of their pollution. It takes water 25-30 years to restore. Much of the city’s sewage flows into the Belaya untreated. 30 % of the sewage water is dumped into the Belaya River by industrial enterprises and household waste goes there unfiltered. It is a deadly cocktail of various heavy metals and human waste. Our school has set up a club, called Rodnik (fresh-water spring). The club aims to revive littered areas as well as to improve existing water resources. Our process will be to first find an abandoned spring and take water samples for analysis. Then we clean up the litter around the spring and improve its access roads. We hope that a mutual exchange of experience among conference participants will provide us with new innovative ideas and ways of solving our local environmental problems.”
Daria Podosenova said, “The youth project "Climatic patrol" in the area I live, Sverdlovsk region of Russia. Our region leads in the emission of carbon gases. We know that the problem of climate change is exceedingly urgent for the world and the urgent efforts of all countries and regions are necessary to resist this problem. We at the school initiated the climatic patrol.
1. We know, that because of inefficient use of energy resulting are unnecessary losses and there is excessive carbon emissions. Therefore, we go on streets and we take note of electric lights, working during the day. Usually these lights are registered under the municipal services or publicity agents. We write down the address, where unnecessary light is burning and we inform to municipality/authority.
2. We know, that in Russia 25-30 % of emissions occur because of inefficient use of energy, therefore we utilize the energy audit of the house and schools: we consider the optimum variant of use of electrical devices. We ask parents and director of the school to change ineffective devices.
3. We know, that trees are the “lung” of the planet and they save planet’s climate. Thus we have begun to plant trees near the school and on the sites near our houses. The results of our activity are as follows:
- the deenergisation of more than 20 lamps, burning by day, the installation of energy efficient equipment at school and home and finally, 20 planted trees.
We would really like to share our experience of this activity at a Tunza conference; there we will find our colleagues in other countries together. We will decide on how best to approach the problem of climate change. It is necessary to solve climate change for the future to generations!
Faltbiologerna (Nature and Youth Sweden) is a nation-wide NGO for young environmentalists 7 to 25 years old in Sweden. The activities range from nature studies to environmental protection. Members of Faltbiologerna that have been invited to participate in the Tunza conference hope to travel by land transportation from Sweden to Korea, in order to limit their carbon footprints and ultimately, "be the change they want to see". Salomon Abresparr is an active member of the Climate network that's running a campaign up to COP15.
Mattias Harr and Lea Simma work with an organisation that works with indigenous peoples rights, specifically the Sámi, on a daily basis.
Bora Azaltun said, “In today’s world global warming is the most biggest problem. As trees grow they absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), the main 'greenhouse gas' responsible for global warming, thereby reducing the concentration of this gas in the atmosphere. Forests are referred to as 'carbon sinks' for this function of CO2 absorption and storage. Planting trees to bolster carbon sink area, an example of what is termed as carbon sequestration, helps offset the loss of native forests and ultimately fights global warming. Tree planting is a key weapon in fighting against global warming. So our students and teachers start planting firstly in school garden and than around the school areas. Students also started to give lectures about the importance of tree planting to their friends, their parents and also other schools students and teachers. They made announcements about tree planting and its results in many ways. These are posters on school walls, banners in the streets, lecturing in the lessons and etc. Moreover, our school arranged seminaries about global warming and the importance of tree planting. The students took to the street with their banners and placards which include words about preventing carbon emission & the importance of tree planting. Students began a campaign to raise money for reforestation in deforested areas. We reforested many areas around our school and also in different townships in our city Izmir. Finally, our students understand that sustainable forestry can provide additional climate change and local environmental benefits not only for themselves but people throughout the world. Therefore, my students and I will continue to work about planting and reforestation in every appropriate area, and deforested areas.”
Alina Dyachenko, Dmytro Vizer, Diana Sambukina and Sergey Shagov said, “The objectives of our project “Save Our Planet” is to raise the awareness of Odessa habitants, concerning the necessity of using dust-bins for separate garbage collection.To increase their knowledge and adherence to principles of ecological behavior by working out and producing the information booklet ; addresses to the tenants of the houses where the “broken glass” containers for separate accumulation of solid domestic everyday waste and garbage have been installed. In order to raise the level of information concerning this problem and bring them personally to the people living in the flats of these houses. Odessa citizens have already been informed about the project from the telecast “From Small to Big. Everything, possibly, only begins” - is a TV programme dedicated to the work of our Ecological Club “Kind People Planet.” It is a fulfillment of our project as well as to our participation in the 2008 Tunza International Children’s Conference on the Environment has been telecast 4 times on different days. In October 2008 we had the meeting with the First Deputy Chairman of Odessa Regional Organization of the Green Party of Ukraine, who helped us to arrange that telecast. In the summer we took part in the Action of Children’s Protest against the construction of “Water City” and “Fishing Paradise” cottage settlements and sharing a lot of information which we got from the Tunza Conference with the children of Mayaki – members of the Ecological camp and in the primary action on separate collection of solid domestic waste and garbage in the city of Odessa on the example of the experimental house. Attending the Summit will give us the opportunity to improve our knowledge on the environment, enjoy new experiences, ensure that we can voice our concerns and inspire others with our enthusiasm."
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Eleanor Sutcliffe said, “I have adopted Llwyngwril beach under the marine conservation societies (mcsuk) adopt a beach scheme and am the organisor for beach cleanups. I arrange for local groups such as Girl Guides, schools and youth clubs etc. to attend clean up days, where we usually collect around 100kg of rubbish. I then place the rubbish into different categories and count every item. This data is sent to MCSUK who use it in their research to help cut down marine littering. I also make art and sculptures out of some of the rubbish, which I will be displaying in March in our local library to raise awareness of littering, and the damages it causes. Another project I have run is saving water. We used to have milk cartons every day in school, as we do not have plastic recycling in our area I was concerned that approximately 400 cartons a week were going to landfill sites. For a few weeks I washed all the bottles and gave them to the children to give to friends and family, with a leaflet which instructed them to fill it with water and place it in their toilet cistern saving 1 pint of water every time they flushed,now we have biodegradable milk bags so hopefully I contributed towards this change. Lately I have also been raising money to sponsor an elephant water pump from Pump Aid, which will help communities far less fortunate than my own. To date I have raised £140 and been on national radio. Not many of my friends share my concerns and attending this summit, I’m hoping will show that I am not alone. I know I would get encouragement and support for my work and would love to see what other children are doing. I am sure there is more I can do, it would be great to learn more and share this with my school and local groups.
Ross Cochrane is from Scotland and is part of a global footprinting community project which can be accessed the following website: www.localfootprints.org
Raymond Gray, Megan Joyce and Chloe Mitchell said, “We wanted to find ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle in Scotland, humans are consuming the resources of three planet earths and this has to stop. We all need to reduce our carbon footprints, we are taking too much in term of resources from the planet. We cease this now! We have been doing this project for two years now and our work can be found on the WWF website www.localfootprints.org. Our teachers have been invited to our Parliament to talk about our project and we alongside our community are very proud of our achievements.
All the work we do is based around four questions: 1 What is a global footprint? 2 How do we measure our footprint? 3 Why are Global Footprints important? 4 How can we reduce our footprint? In our project each school measured: the energy we use, gas, electricity, we took note of our dining rooms food, the waste in our school, paper, plastic bottles, cartridges food, how much water we use and waste, the transport we use to get to school, biodiversity in our school grounds and more. I would like to represent my country at the Tunza Conference to share our project with you and people from all over the world.”
Corinne Millar said, “I took part in the Global Footprinting Community Project. The project can be viewed on this WWF web address. www.localfootprints.org. You will have heard a lot about our global footprinting project now from the other pupils in my school. Here is some more work we are doing in our community. Talks from the police about vandalism in our community and why it is a bad problem we are also making anti- vandal posters for our community.”
Stuart Close said, “I took part in the Global Footprinting Community Project. The project can be viewed on this WWF web address. www.localfootprints.org. You will have heard a lot about our global footprinting project now from the other pupils in my school but I would like to tell you about some of the new work we will be trying out soon. Our teacher Miss Shanley has been doing some work on Eco Psychology. She has her own blog with WWF and the Eco Club has been following her work as well. We have discussed Eco Psychology and realise it is about trying to make people live a more sustainable lifestyle. It is different though because usually we get told how best to do this. Eco Psychology lets the children get into the outside world and see, touch, hear, smell and sometimes taste nature. This helps us see we are a part of nature and it helps us have lifelong experiences which we can use to help motivate us to live in a more sustainable way. I have some photos of us at the river experiencing nature. We taped sounds and made sonic postcards. We watched and identified birds and plants. We used our senses to discover things. The Eco Club is going to do more Eco psychology work which should help our Global Footprinting project. In secondary schools a lot of people drop out of Eco work as they get older. We want people to try Eco Psychology to see if it will help us live in a more sustainable way throughout our lives.”
Joseph Anderson said, “Since I was six, I have become a more and more active member of Norton Wildlife Watch. Since attending Tunza in Norway, I have contacted a lady from Ryedale District Council. Through presentations we have given (based on commitments drawn up by the delegates), we have tried to persuade local people of the value of our work. I try to encourage simple things we can do to help reduce Global Warming and as a group we campaign for change. I think we should encourage the Council to concentrate on: becoming a plastic bag free zone; encourage car sharing; encourage renewable energy; promote environmental awareness campaigns in our schools, and the community; use more recycled water; encourage people to grow some of their food for the past ten years. Our group has looked after and surveyed Norton Ings - a local wetland area in the middle of town. I have some examples of our artwork such as: mosaics beside the river. My family and I have been involved with restoration of a community house which has won a sustainability award and I helped with a project which will generate hydro power and create a study centre on an island on the local River Derwent. “