Japanese, Samoan youth talk climate
Students from the Yokohama Commercial High School in Japan received insights on climate change from Samoa and the Pacific through a webinar hosted by a regional organisation.
A webinar titled “How do we face the reality of climate emergency? Learning from insights from Samoa” was attended by 40 high school students in Japan and hosted by the Vailima-based Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.
Samoan youth climate activists Okalani Mariner and Niccolo Moeno represented Samoa during the webinar.
Ms. Mariner said during the panel discussion that in 2020 they were able to form the first environmental student association at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S), which she founded together with youth climate activist Grace Ah Young and a group of student environmentalists at the university.
“It is a fully youth-led and youth-created organization that really wants to push other students to fight for Climate Action. Not many students would want to learn about climate change but we wanted to change that mindset,” Ms. Mariner said during the panel discussion.
Mr. Moeono talked about key actions to initiate projects and said during the discussions that sometimes the road to completing a project doesn't go according to plan.
“My key advice is to have a mentor or someone there to support you along the way, and help guide you to complete your project,” he said.
“Also don't be afraid to take risks and come out of your comfort zone, because when you're starting a project, you're going to put yourself in situations where you don't feel comfortable.
"So it's really good to have a mentor, who has done projects like this before and help guide you and build you up professionally and personally.”
Representing the Yokohama Commercial High School, Saki Maehira thanked the participants in the webinar said it will boost their level of activism on climate change.
“It was really interesting for us as we always discuss climate change in Japan. I’m sure this webinar will help us to take action in the future,” she said.
According to a statement issued by S.P.R.E.P. the webinar was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment with M.N.R.E. staff discussing the impact of climate change and climate policies in Samoa as well as the temperature, rainfall and sea-level rise.
The webinar was also able to provide the students in Japan with knowledge on changing behaviours and how they can amplify the movement towards achieving the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit.
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