A group of young leaders from Small Island Developing States has embarked on a three-week boat trip to build momentum for climate action in the lead up to the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in November in Bonn, starting in Barcelona and visiting cities from Reykjavik to New York.
The international NGO Peace Boat launched the Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador Programme to raise awareness of climate change and marine degradation – crucial environmental issues that have direct impact on communities all around the world.
The programme is an endorsed event of COP23. The Peace Boat project is working together with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Fijian Presidency of COP23, and is a campaigner for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As part of the programme, Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC and convener of Mission 2020, together with other guest educators, will join the Ambassadors to assist in their capacity building.
The Peace Boat team with a flag showing the COP23 logo
Highlights of the Programme
The participants of the programme are Kya Lal (Fiji); Selina Leem (Marshall Islands); Matea Nauto (Kiribati); Ashwa Faheem (Maldives); Shafira Charlette (Seychelles); La Tisha Parkinson (Trinidad and Tobago); and Zana Kristen Wade (Belize).
The young women and men, between 19 and 26 years of age, have diverse backgrounds in science, campaigning, public policy, civil society, grassroots movements and international activism. They will share their skills and experiences, as well as the impact of climate change on their own countries.
They will visit Lisbon (Sep 25), Bordeaux (Sep 28), London (Oct 1), Edinburgh (Oct 3), Reykjavik (Oct 7) and New York (Oct 15). In every port, they will connect with civil society organizations and government agencies bringing their message to citizens and government representatives through the voyage.
- In Barcelona, Spain, an event onboard Peace Boat’s ship with 150 students, organized in collaboration with the government of Catalonia and the Minister for the Environment, Mr. Joseph Rull.
- In Lisbon, Portugal, an event will be held at the Science Centre of the Pavilion of Knowledge with Ciencia Viva with scientists, civil society and government, including Ms. Ana Paula Vitorino, Minister for the Sea.
- In Bordeaux, France, the group will travel to Lacanau to learn about the rising sea level in the Atlantic Ocean.
- In London, UK, an event with young climate and ocean activists, a press conference and an oceans exhibition will be organized in collaboration with We Are The Oceans to highlight the relationship between ocean and climate health.
- In Edinburgh, UK, the Youth Ambassadors will join civil society groups, local authorities, Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and senior governmental figures.
- In New York, USA, the Youth Ambassadors will report on their efforts to both the United Nations community and the broader public in a big festival onboard Peace Boat.