Tue, April 27, 2010
Sci-Tech > Science

1st Children's Climate Conference kicks off

2010-04-27 00:24:43 GMT2010-04-27 08:24:43 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Delegates dance during the Zambian Children's Climate Conference in Lusaka, capital of Zambia, April 26, 2010. The Government of the Republic of Zambia and the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF) host the Zambian Children's Climate Conference in Lusaka, Zambia from April 26 to April 28. The conference brings together nearly 200 children from all nine provinces of Zambia.(Xinhua/Hai Mingwei)

Delegates attend the Zambian Children's Climate Conference in Lusaka, capital of Zambia, April 26, 2010. (Xinhua/Hai Mingwei)

LUSAKA, April 26 (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government and the United Nation Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Monday launched the Zambian Children's Climate Conference(ZCCC), the first of its kind in the world since the International Children's Climate Forum(ICCF) was held in Copenhagen last year.

The conference is held in the Zambian capital Lusaka, where nearly 200 children from all over Zambia gathered to receive knowledge on adaptation and mitigation and to become main force to combat Climate Change in their home districts, according to UNICEF.

The three-day conference aims to produce climate ambassadors who also can serve as HIV/AIDS peer educators, and to develop a group of young people who can band together to tackle some of the country's most critical problems.

Sitting in the main hall of Mulungushi Convention Centre, where Zambia has hosted most of its international conferences, the selected young delegates, aged 12 to 18, dressed in hunter green shirts, are gradually revealing their inner leadership quality through their frowns and smiles as they are undertaking the responsibilities of sustainable development of their country.

According to UNICEF Zambia Country Representative Lotta Sylwander, Zambia has never held these type of activities before, especially when children themselves are designing them.

"We sent two of our Ambassadors along with two other students to the Copenhagen Climate Conference and they did extraordinarily well and were a great credit to their country. Upon their return, they briefed me and we immediately began to plan a Zambian version of the COP15 - but UNICEF insisted children themselves organize and hold the event," said Sylwander.

Tinasha Bwalya,14, from Zambia's Eastern town of Chipata is one of the young delegates who were selected after submitting the essay required by the organizers.

Having arrived in Lusaka the day before the opening ceremony young Tinasha still seems excited and nervous.

"What I will learn here (during the conference) when I go back there I will share it with my friends, I will tell them how to keep the environment clean, how to prevent the pollution," Bwalya told Xinhua, expressing her eagerness of acquiring more knowledge on environment issues.

According to UNICEF, the delegates, will reconvene in August to present the progress they've achieved, continue with their climate change orientation, and will also be given training in HIV/AIDS lifeskills education.

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