Concerns about climate change are being consistently raised around the world. Though the issue seems to have gone on the backburner since the outbreak of coronavirus, experts and volunteers continue to raise awareness about climate change.
My Climate Action Qatar (MCAQ) is a volunteer group that promotes awareness about climate change. The group recently hosted a webinar titled ‘Connecting Youth for Better Environment’ to mark the World Environment Day that was observed on June 5.
This year, the theme was biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. In his message António Guterres, UN secretary-general, has said: “Nature is sending us a clear message. We are harming the natural world – to our own detriment. Habitat degradation and biodiversity loss are accelerating. Climate disruption is getting worse. Fires, floods, droughts and superstorms are more frequent and damaging. Oceans are heating and acidifying, destroying coral ecosystems.
“And now, a new coronavirus is raging, undermining health and livelihoods. To care for humanity, we must care for nature. We need our entire global community to change course. Let’s rethink what we buy and use. Adopt sustainable habits, farming and business models. Safeguard remaining wild spaces and wildlife. And commit to a green and resilient future. As we work to build back better, let’s put nature where it belongs — at the heart of our decision making. On this World Environment Day, it’s time for nature.”
Talking to Community, Intiqab Rawoof, co-founder of MCAQ said that the young inspiring female youth climate activists and environment advocates joined the webinar from different parts of the world to address the importance of the World Environment Day. They shared their experiences about the mitigation of climate change and the environment crisis during the webinar.
“We had a wonderful line of speakers. The one and a half hour long webinar having question and answer session was very exciting. I hosted the online session. It was moderated by Sudarsha De Silva, founder of Earth Lanka, from Sri Lanka. We had youth speakers from around the globe. As many as three speakers were from Qatar,” said Intiqab, a resident of Doha and climate activist.
The participants were namely; Al Bandari Sultan al-Abdulla, Shaikha Ali al-Marri, Aisha al-Madheed from Qatar; Yasmine Maylin from France, Krishnee Appadoo from Mauritius, Joyce Najm Mendez from Brazil, Nouhad Awwad from Lebanon, Hadika Jamshaid from Pakistan.
“Biodiversity is the main element that supports all living beings in the land and below water. It affects every aspect of human health, providing clean air and water, nutritious foods, scientific understanding and medicine sources, natural disease resistance, and climate change mitigation.
“Human actions, including deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats, intensified agriculture, and acceleration of climate change, have pushed nature beyond its limit. It would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that humans make of nature each year,” said Intiqab adding to make the world sustainable we need to think and act for the future we want.
Shaikha Ali al-Marri, a member of the youth advisory committee for the Ministry of Culture and Sports, said: “I believe saving the environment starts with changing negative daily habits, from purchasing plastics to overusing critical resources like water. I find it really interesting how people now have the chance to grow their own food and consider their own waste during the Covid-19 pandemic quarantine. It was really hard for people during normal busy work days to stop for a while and notice their habits and their effect on the environment. If I had to choose one and only blessings from quarantine, I would choose the blessing of having time for ourselves to consider our mental health and reconnect with the environment during the dramatic reduction of air pollution.”
Yasmine Maylin, a climate volunteer dedicated to education and sustainable development, said: “I participated in the webinar and exchanged my experience in order to sensibilise all of us and especially youth to live in alignment with the respect of the nature, Earth and environment. Our habits of living and consuming have to change.”
Krishnee Appadoo, a climate, mental and gender activist, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic is a warning to us that there is another crisis looming ahead: that of the climate change conundrum, and that humans need to start taking bold and genuine steps to provide a holistic, concerted and multidisciplinary approach to solve the growing environmental and climate change issues, affecting our beautiful planet. Youth should be at the forefront of this fight and their voices must be heard in agenda setting and decision making on climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.”
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