Introduction & Morning Presentation
The Pakistan Youth Parliament for Water organized this Plant-for-the-Planet academy with almost 84 Young Climate Justice Ambassadors at the Mufti Mahmood Public School and College at Dera Ismail Khan (DIK) in collaboration with Gomal Daman Area Water Partnership (GDAWP). The main purpose of this activity was to engage and empower young students in Climate Crisis resilience, mitigation and adaptation through planting trees at a larger scale. The Principal of the school warmly welcomed the team and expressed his gratitude to the program coordinator for selecting their school for this academy. He further handed over the venue to Mr. Wasif in order to move ahead on the agenda and program.
Mr. Wasif Bashir highlighted that this Academy will have a different series of activities based on student interaction and some fun, such as planting trees and a world café. Furthermore, he provided a detailed introduction to the Plant-for-the-Planet mission and vision. He noted that Felix, the founder of Plant-for-the-Planet, started involving the young generation when he was only nine years old, considering them Climate Justice Ambassadors. They are committed to planting trees in order combat the Climate Crisis. Felix first started planting trees in 2007, now millions of trees are being planted by Plant-for-the-Planet in order to reach the goal of planting a trillion trees worldwide.
Climate Change and importance of plantation
The President of Gomal Damaan Area Water Partnership (GDAWP) interacted with young students and asked them very interesting questions about the Climate as an icebreaking activity, such as whether they knew what CO2, Photosynthesis and the ozone layer are. He further added that the Climate Crisis is a big challenge in the world, which poses a severe threat to Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), food security, environmental sustainability and economic growth. It is causing catastrophic events in Pakistan and the entire South Asia region such as flash floods, uneven weather conditions, and extensive forest fires. While due to global warming different disasters are now common in different countries, these can be mitigated by globally planting trees on a large scale. This will help purify our air and control the world temperature.
The students were divided into different groups and were provided world maps, different coloured markers, candies, balloons as well as some informative cards defining the most populated countries, the countries responsible for the majority of carbon emissions, different levels of income, and the countries/regions most affected by the Climate Crisis. They were supported by different teachers, who helped them with finding the regions, countries and continents on the maps. This activity helped them with learning about carbon emissions, the world population and continents, oceans, islands, etc. while working on the maps. Overall, the students really enjoyed this activity.
After the world game, students were very keen to learn more and express their views. So, the programme coordinator provided each group with some more informative cards and asked them to read and discuss the details with one another. Following that, they discussed them with their teachers and eventually presented them to their fellow students. With the support of the facilitators and program coordinators, three students were called upon the stage to deliver their presentations, after which others raised questions that they addressed in a very smart way.
Mr. Raza Ali Khan (Vice President GDAWP) and Mr. Wasif Bashir Babar conducted the World Café with the help of teachers and young volunteers. The students were divided into four groups, each of them was assigned a group facilitator and one of the following themes: Media, Adults, other Children and Planting Events. In this world café, students discussed multiple assumptions and perspectives on how to involve the media in spreading social awareness regarding the Climate Crisis, plantation and advocacy. Furthermore, they demonstrated that plantation is needed to combat the climate challenges we are facing. Adults, parents and peers should be involved in order to maximise plantation in vulnerable communities.
After all the different themes had been discussed by all groups, the students and teachers developed a flip chart reporting the most innovative ideas that came up in the discussions.
Group A - Plantation Events
The students demonstrated that we can increase the number of planting events with creation of competition in the different schools, areas, district clubs and provincial levels. Additionally, we should start discussing the issues at hand with our parents, peers and relatives to attractive their attention towards tree plantation.
Group B - Media group
Students highlighted that Climate Justice Ambassadors can work independently by raising awareness about plantation and climate change through social media or the distribution of flyers. This group concluded that media is the best and most effective tool in mobilizing the local communities for social plantation and climate change awareness.
Group C - How to Engage Other Children, Friends and Neighbours Involvement group
This group concluded that children can have a great influence on parents and other children. Thus, children should learn first about the challenges posed by the Climate Crisis themselves first, and then share their knowledge with others. Through this approach, successful plantation around the world could become a Child-to-Child approach.
Group D - How to Engage Adults Adult group
Students highlighted that every child’s influence on their family and friends could ultimately result in a great number of people being informed about this work. Therefore, all the children should talk to their acquaintances about the Climate Crisis, CO2, natural disasters and water related challenges, in order to convince them to support tree plantation.
After some refreshments, the students were called to proceed to the next stage of important, fun activities. Upon hearing that they would now plant trees themselves, all the students were very happy. Again, they were divided into groups in order to make sure every one of them could plant a tree and enjoy the activity without any unnecessary rush. So, each student planted one tree in their name and promised to look after it themselves. Students, teachers and the guests Mr. Aslam Khan (President GDAWP) and Mr. Raza Ali Khan, as well as the Principal of the school, provided assistance to students in the process, to ensure strong inter-generational cooperation securing the present and future of Pakistan. Young students also convinced their teachers and guests to plant more trees in other areas, and to pay small contributions to assure a limitation to global temperatures. Students also took pictures with their seniors to identify the importance of tree plantation and said “Stop Talking. Start Planting”. The programme coordinator also motivated students to keep up the plantation process, since small acts can create big changes and contribute to saving the planet for the next generation.
Evening Presentation & Closing Ceremony with Awards of Books-Certificates
Students were given a chance to express their views about the activities and were debriefed, while the connection between plantation and climate change was again noted in the evening presentation. During the presentation, students highlighted that there are two sources of carbon emission: natural and manmade. The latter is more dangerous but can be controlled with the help of strong commitments and plantation. Additionally, students presented that climate related events like heat strokes, natural disasters and global warming are quite easy combatted with multi-stakeholders involvement, media campaigning and the involvement of educational institutions. All the students were gathered and the schools’ principal, the guests and teachers were also presented during the evening and certificate distribution ceremony. After that, Chief Guest Mr. Aslam Khan awarded Climate Justice Ambassador Certificates and Tree by Tree books to all the students and payed special thanks to them for spending their school time with them.
Mr. Wasif concluded that the young generation plays a vital role in protecting the Climate. All the teachers and students expressed their strong commitment to mobilising other children, adults, and the media to conduct a massive plantation in Pakistan.
Vote of Thanks
The Principal of the Mufti Mahmood Public School payed his thanks to the President of the Gomal Damaan Area Water Partnership Mr. Aslam Khan and Wasif Bashir Babar for the organisation of the event at his school. He also expressed his willingness to continue this momentum in the future, as well as his commitment to organise plantation activities. The President of the Gomal Damaan Area Water Partnership thanked the management of the school for their time and support for this academy. Mr.Wasif expressed his gratitude to all the students and facilitators as well as the teachers for providing a chance to work with them and arranging this academy. Furthermore, he added that these kinds of activities will be arranged again at the school with mutual support and consultation.
For more pictures of the Academy click here.
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