Malawi is a country that suffers a lot under the climate change. Drought, rivers drying up, low agricultural productivity and seed germination failures has more and more impact on the country. But in the heat of Africa Ambassadors for climate justice are trained by Plant-for-the-Planet as well. That’s why from December 19th-20th 2014 the ambassadors from different areas in Malawi gathered at a national convention that took place at Natural Resources College, in Lilongwe. The convention was participated by 100 Ambassadors from all over the country.
The Malawi 2014 Climate Change Ambassadors convention began by a speech that was made by the organizing chairman of the function. The chairman whose name is Lonjezo Mtambo is an active young man who has a great potential of transforming Malawi through the tree planting initiative. Lonjezo, aged 13, represented Africa at Nightscience conference that took place in France in June 2014. He started by thanking Plant-for-the-Planet for this initiative towards tree planting and further appraised his fellow young people for taking an active role in activities of the ambassadors in Malawi. He also advised his colleagues not just to be ambassadors by name but take actions towards conserving the environment. “As young people, we have a potential to reach many people in our communities with issues concerning trees and climate change”, Lonjezo concluded.
The guest of honor at the convention was the Lilongwe District Environmental Officer, Mr Mlaviwa. In his speech Mlaviwa commended the youths for participating in the event. He said that this is a good initiative towards development of the country. Furthermore he outlined in order to highlight the ambassadors on how climate change has impacted the country. Therefore he encouraged the ambassadors to continue the role they are playing in environmental management to achieve a common goal.
As a convention, the ambassadors were given time to discuss knowledge on how climate change is affecting Malawi. “What can Malawi do to mitigate and also adapt to such consequences of climate change?” This was the question that the facilitator of the session, Lonjezo, asked the audience. The young citizens had some ideas such as strict laws against carbon emissions, more protection of forest and woodlands, more civic education on the impacts of climate change, replanting trees and last but not least more gender balanced education in general. The youths requested the government of Malawi to take their suggestions into consideration.
Other issues that were discussed are how their primary schools are performing in terms of community sensitization and tree planting or that the youths managed to reach a number of areas with civic education in issues of climate change and tree planting. At the end of the session they all agreed to encourage each other to take collective actions in matters affecting the environment and formed a national forum which is responsible for national issues as the number of climate justice ambassadors is still growing in Malawi.
These children in Malawi show again the importance of planting trees and raising awareness about climate change in peoples mind. With enough effort and encouragement children have the power to change a whole nation, to change a whole world.
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