SCHOOL

Kiwi students urged to Take Action for Climate Change

Tuesday 23 August 2011, 11:56AM
By UNICEF New Zealand
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UNICEF NZ (UN Children’s Fund) is calling on students, parents and teachers to reduce the amount of cars driven to school on Thursday 22 September to support a global action campaign against climate change.

Thousands of students are already set to take part in Take Action for Climate Change Day with UNICEF New Zealand.

Pupils all over New Zealand are seizing the chance to do something different: from taking the bus to school, to dressing up in blue to encourage awareness of the issues UNICEF is promoting. The event will bring more attention to the effects climate change is having on countries across the globe and remind students that small actions now will have long term results.

Jacqui Southey, Education for Development Officer at UNICEF NZ, said climate change is already a huge problem and believes action must be taken for the sake of future generations: “The World Health Organisation estimates that each year 150, 000 lives are lost as a direct result of climate change. If we don’t act now, the impact on our lives and the environment around us could be devastating,” she said.

“Children are the least responsible for climate change, but are the most vulnerable to its effects. All children have basic rights including the right to good quality health care, clean water, nutritious food, and a clean environment so they will stay healthy. Climate change threatens these rights.”

In Kiribati, South Pacific children are already feeling the effects of climate change. Changes in tide levels and a lack of rain are making it harder for children to get clean water. Changes in temperatures and rainfall are causing crops to fail, which is affecting children’s diet through food shortages and rising prices.

UNICEF works in the Pacific to help children adapt to their changing climate by providing health care facilities, equipping schools to collect and store clean water and enabling young people to educate their communities about the effects of climate change.

Schools that register for Take Action for Climate Change day will receive a registration pack including flyers and posters to promote the day, stickers, and a certificate for contributing to the fight against climate change.

UNICEF NZ relies greatly on support from local communities. Events like Take Action for Climate Change Day help UNICEF continue to generate awareness around the world’s most pressing problems.

Schools can join this effort by registering for Take Action for Climate Change at: http://www.unicef.org.nz/Take-Action