By Ignis Gashi, Durrës Municipality ''Impact'' Youth Group Member
I am Ingis. 15 years old and I live in the city of Durres, a very beautiful coastal city in Albania, a small country in South-East Europe.
I am one of the 121 children and young people (74 girls and 47 boys) between the ages of 10 and 17 years from 12 countries of the world which participated in the consultation on how Global Climate Change is affecting our lives.
In my free time I always find something interesting to do like reading a book, participating in a training or activity with the IMPACT CLUB, group supported by World Vision Albania. My favourite subject is biology and geography. As I quoted above my favourite subject was geography and I gladly accepted to participate in the consultation of children and youth on the climate changes that are taking place in my community, a consultation process happening during October 2020.
Key data from this consultation process and from the report that is being launched today, demonstrate that:
- The vast majority (94 percent) of children and young people said they were committed to climate action;
- (98 percent) of the respondents said that they want to contribute to individual and collective efforts to build a better planet for everyone;
MY OPINION regarding Climate Change:
Climate change is increasingly affecting nature and community life. Global warming and climate change endanger my city, Durres from the western lowlands, because with rising sea levels there are large areas of land flooded. Lack of rainfall for a long time causes drought to appear. This significantly affects agriculture in the security of food reserves but also in the security of raw materials for many branches of the economy. Drought requires artificial irrigation and increases the difficulty of supplying water to residential, agricultural and industrial centres. In Durres there are also periods with intense rainfall. Heavy rains cause flooding of lands, residential centres and roads. Awareness of people in the community about the dangers of climate and the environment is still low. The most important issues we need to work on together to ensure communities are safer from the effects of climate change are:
1) Protect the environment from greenhouse gas emissions / Industrial activities should invest in the installation of cleaning filters.
2) People should use bicycles more than cars , urban waste should not be burned but Landfills should be created for their collection and the creation of Landfills has started in our country.
The constant rise in temperatures fears me. If this increasing continues to be accompanied by melting glaciers and consequently we will have an increase in the average level of the world ocean. If the average level of the world ocean increases, it will be accompanied by flooding of coastal areas such as Durres.
Climate change already has a concrete impact on our health. Recently, the cases of allergic diseases caused by environmental pollution have increased. We have often shown health problems such as: dehydration of the body, respiratory problems, heart problems, blood pressure problems, allergic diseases, etc. Family and my community can reap more from their crops if these climate changes do not continue and we have a more sustainable climate.
Also an important factor is the human factor. People are leaving their lands and settling in the city. One should not leave the lands. It should affect the enrichment and increase of soil fertility by forestation, organic fertilizers, irrigation with criteria, and protection from erosion. In this way we can have the highest ranking in agricultural culture.
HOW CAN WE CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY AROUND US, especially children and adolescents?
I think that in order to change the situation we should: The state should intervene with its policies in the legislation and provide opportunities for ecological education:
• People need to become aware of the rational use of energy and resources to see themselves as part of a major change.
• We young people need to take concrete initiatives.
a) Recycle waste.
b) To organize awareness campaigns.
c) To make plans all together.
d) Creation of leaflets
e) Compilation of questionnaires
f) Use bicycles instead of cars.
People around the world to stop climate change
• Slow down the growth of greenhouse gas emissions through:
a) Increasing energy efficiency in all sectors.
b) Development of renewable energy sources.
c) Sustainable use of natural resources.
• Prevent further pollution and degradation of the environment.
• Rehabilitate polluted areas and degraded landscapes.
If no measures are taken we will have consequences such as:
• Continuous rise in temperatures, drought, floods.
• Lack of drinking water.
• Reduction of agricultural production that would cause hunger.
I want to close my speech with one of the key recommendations from the report:
- Ensure that children and young people are directly at the heart of the local, national and global debates and policy making processes on climate change, and have a meaningful and safe space to make their voices heard
THE YOUTH MAKE THE CHANGE, please involve us while working together for Climate Change!!