Climate change young giants will join Bermuda conference
Young Bermudians will get the chance to meet trailblazer activists from around the world at a major climate change summit to be held on the island next month.
The youngest member on the US White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, a 14-year-old activist for clean water in Flint, Michigan; and a Cameroonian student, known as the “plastic man” for his efforts to combat pollution, will attend the Youth Climate Summit Bermuda on a virtual basis.
Karla Lacey, the CEO of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, said: “You can imagine yourself doing something when you see yourself represented.
“It is important that young locals and students see themselves represented so they can feel comfortable in their own ability to make a difference.”
The summit will be held online between November 22 and 27 and Bermudian youngsters will able to engage with climate leaders on a virtual basis from school and in person.
Ms Lacey was delighted at the range of youth leaders who had agreed to participate virtually in the summit, including Jerome Foster II, a 19-year-old climate change activist, voting rights advocate and Biden White House adviser.
He will be joined by Mari Copney, a 14-year-old activist from Flint, Michigan, who helped to spotlight the lead contamination water crisis in the city when she was only 8.
Forbi Perise, a 23-year old environmental activist from Cameroon who has attracted international acclaim for his conservation efforts, will also take part.
Other participants include Sonika Poudel, 21, and Sumnima Ghimire, 22, who are leading climate activists in Nepal
Fae Sapford, a marine research fellow with the Sargasso Sea Commission, and Aaron Crichlow, a founding member of community group Bermuda is Love will also be involved.
The summit will also include an in-person presentation at BUEI by Sophia Kianni, a 19-year-old Iranian-American climate activist who founded Climate Cardinals, an international non-profit that translates climate information into more than 100 languages.
Ms Kianni also represents the US as the youngest member on the United Nations Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change.
The summit will also feature a range of experts, including Isabel Rivera-Collazo, an assistant professor on biological, ecological and human adaptations to climate change at the Department of Anthropology and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California.
Ms Lacey said: “I am excited for all of them and I am excited that we also have locals who are just as committed to environmental action and sustainability, who are just as aware and engaged as some of the young people from overseas.
“I’m most excited about the global conversations that our young people will engage in through this summit.
“When you think about all the countries that are represented, I’m thrilled that we are all coming together in one place virtually to demonstrate to Bermuda’s young people that they have the power to do the same things they have accomplished.”
For more information about the Youth Climate Summit Bermuda, visit https://ycsbda.com/.