International Children’s Conference on Biodiversity

Emily Keal, UK

Jes Ismael Izaidin

© Karen Eng

Q: In what way was this children’s conference different from others you’ve attended?

A: We’ve never done anything as active as pond dredging before! We normally observe power plants and such like. It’s much more about wildlife this year rather than about global warming, which is what we usually focus on.

Q: How has coming to children’s conferences helped you make a difference?

A: We have done a lot more tree planting since we started attending conferences. My environmental group makes films to spread awareness about wildlife in our local area of north Yorkshire. We focus on the river and wetlands, take children out and observe wildlife with them.

Adeline Suwana, 14, Indonesia

Q: What does your environmental group do?

A: My organization is called Sahabat Alam, or ‘friends of nature’, and we plant trees and coral reefs. We cut up small pieces of coral and put them in artificial rock, scuba dive into the ocean and put them on the seabed. This year we held a special programme called Save the Planet. Lots of kids who live in rural districts don’t know about global warming or climate change, even though they can feel the effects. We hold seminars about change, and help them draft a declaration of things they can do. We have gone to eight schools so far.

Q: What have you got from this conference?

A: I became much more aware of the biodiversity of other countries during the biodiversity map project. But the most fun thing was getting to know people from other countries.

Jes Ismael Izaidin, 13, and Nadhirah Mohar, 13, Malaysia

Q: What did you learn at the conference?

A: We discovered that campaigns can be an effective way to focus efforts on sending messages and taking action for a cause. This year we discussed the many eco-problems in our community. We needed a new campaign to stop illegal logging, wildlife poaching and deforestation, and to show the beauty of nature and wildlife and the value of forests. Our campaign is called Ghost Tiger, a dance performance that calls attention to the plight of the tiger. A ‘ghost tiger’ is a dead tiger, killed for its skins, for medicine and to protect livestock, and a victim of habitat loss, disease and hunger. Tigers are apex predators: they keep the wildlife population balanced for healthy biodiversity. So please support Ghost Tiger.

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This post is also available in: French, Spanish