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AnnMary,15, Join Young Activists In UN Climate Summit, New York

The 15-year-old Adi Cakobau School student will also join young activists in the Global Climate Strike on September 20 to demand climate action.
18 Sep 2019 17:45
AnnMary,15, Join Young Activists In UN Climate Summit, New York
15-year-old Adi Cakobau School student AnnMary Raduva. Photo: Neelam Prasad

AnnMary Raduva will be representing Fiji at the 2019 UN Climate Change Summit which starts this week in New York.

The 15-year-old Adi Cakobau School student will also join young activists in the Global Climate Strike on September 20 to demand climate action.

She has always been an ardent advocate of the environment through her mangrove planting and clean-up campaigns.

She has been invited by three international universities to present a petition to call heads of countries to be more aggressive in terms of their stand on climate change and also call for climate victims to be able to access the international court of justice.

“I am honored to be given this opportunity and I am looking forward to meeting other young climate activists,” AnnMary said.

“I hope to learn as much as I can so when I come back, I am more vocal and be able to raise greater awareness on climate change.”

She said it was good to see that young people were being involved in major climate change conversations.

“It is about time our voices are heard,” AnnMary said.

“We do not have to read from scenarios, it is happening around us. We can feel the frequent hurricanes and low depressions.

“When we kids make a mess, our parents immediately tell us to clean it up, so in this situation it is the other way around. Our generation is cleaning up a mess we did not create.”

The young activist has had a challenging journey often including criticisms, but she does not let that deter her spirit.

“I have a good support system, my parents, friends and others who have always supported me in my campaigns,” she said.

For her climate change hits home because she knows how it will affect people’s livelihoods.

“It is easy to say that we will relocate villages but if we move coastal villages to inland areas, those who rely on fishing will lose their livelihoods,” she said.

“And that is only one scenario, there are more. We have to see the bigger picture. Developed countries are offering funding, but not really making enough efforts to reduce emissions.

“Even if it’s $500 million, it cannot buy language, culture and identity that would be lost if climate change is not addressed,” she said.

AnnMary’s invitation comes from the Centre for Environmental Legal Studies of the Elizebeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in conjunction with the Normandie Chair for Peace and the University of Caen, and the William S. Richardson School of Law of the University of Hawaii.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: neelam.prasad@fijisun.com.fj

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