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Klaus Esterluß | Climate Champions

Climate Champion Iranildo at the International TUNZA Conference 2011

The British Council International Climate Champion Iranildo de Sousa Ferreira was selected by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to represent Brazil at the TUNZA International Children & Youth Conference on the Environment. The conference starts today.

tunza conference logoIranildo de Sousa Ferreira was selected from thousands of applicants from around the world. He will be at the TUNZA International Conference in Indonesia until 01 October .
Iranildo helped to prepare proposals to be presented in the next United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio +20, and will evaluate the contribution of youth to the International Year of Forests and share his experiences of activism and his work with experts in the environmental area.

TUNZA will be held by the UNEP in collaboration with the Government of Indonesia. It will bring together 1400 children and youth, to discuss their role and inputs to the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20. Under the slogan “Reshaping our future through a Green Economy and Sustainable Lifestyle”, the conference will also review the contribution of youth to the International Year of Forests and how they can adopt more environment-friendly lifestyles. The conference themes are Rio + 20 (Green Economy) / Green Lifestyles, Forests, Sustainable Consumption and State of the Global Environment from the youth perspective.

“This is not a time for pessimism or to turn a blind eye to environmental problems. It is time for constructive and decisive action because the alert signal has been given.” Iranildo says.

Date

September 26, 2011

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Klaus Esterluß | Ideas

The Beauty of Ice

These pictures have been made during a 7-day Training programme in arctic ice. During the excursion participants learned about polar climate-related issues and, at the same time, they saw the amazing  beauty of the polar Arctic region.
The aim of this project was to raise awareness of the dramatic climate change impacts in the Arctic on an environmental, geo-political and socio-cultural level. Twenty young people from across Europe and Canada who are active in climate change projects participated on the training event.
The project was organized by the British Council and facilitated by the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme).

For more online informations visit the British Council’s Zero Carbon Centre, the Youth in Action programme and the event’s blog.

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Date

July 18, 2011

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Klaus Esterluß | Climate Champions

After an Amazing Arctic Experience, a résumé

The inherent value of the Arctic – its genuine and honest nature – provided us with ideas and inspiration to last for a lifetime. The incredible modesty of the Arctic is astonishing. Neither icebergs, polar bears, puffins, rocks, nor any other part of this amazing ecosystem demand something from us. But we demand something from it. We want the fresh air that it gives us, we want to experience its beauty, we want it to stay in its current form. But at the same time most of our every day actions and behaviour demonstrate otherwise. Often they are harmful to the Arctic – harmful to the ecosystems on Earth, upon which life depends. Understanding the linkages, in which we as human beings are embedded, as various networks of ecosystems is an essential first step for changing our impact and to create change towards more sustainable societies and economies. In essence, it means to reconnect to what really matters to us as human beings.

During the last week we – 17 young people from 12 different countries – supported by amazing trainers have begun to feel like a community, a strong community bond together by an inspiring and exceptional experience and the common wish to create a sustainable future. We will support each other and work together to reconnect to the environment we work in – on local, national and global scales.

Our actions, diverse in nature, are just waiting to be put into practice in our home countries and beyond. There will be challenges we will all face, but the inspiration of this Arctic experience outweighs them by far.

Maike Buhr

This post is an abridged version of a text taken from the British Council’s Arctic Climate Training blog Click here to learn more about the Arctic Climate Training project

Date

July 5, 2011

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Ranty Islam | Specials

A sense of time and change from an Arctic perspective

Today was a humbling day. The landscape of Svalbard belittles you, and makes you feel like a child discovering the world. It’s like seeing the engine that drives the planet naked, stripped down to its bear parts (pun intended). Our instructors (of the UN Environmental Programme) and the boat’s guides are our instruction manual, enabling us to read this landscape and relate it to the world’s climate and politics as well as our personal narratives.

What is amazing to me is that you can clearly see how natural forces have shaped every aspect of this landscape. The valley sides, exposed by the receding ice at the end of the last ice age are steeper than is stable and so are in a continual state of erosion. Pebbles and sand on the shoreline morph into a thin strip of tundra running parallel to the coast; this strip merges sharply into a 45 degree scree slope that rises some 200m before meeting a thick 100m band of vertical rock which was its parent. The dull rock where exposed is peppered with fiery red lichen giving its natural brown colour and orange twinge in the sunlight.

Even the young geological processes that have formed this valley’s recent features span the whole of human civilisation. Processes alien to our daily lives but innate to the earth/climate system that ultimately governs our planet. At the same time, some things here in the Arctic change rapidly. The weather can change in an hour from clear blue skies and sheet like oceans to wind, rain and an ocean speckled with white caps.

On current trajectories we could well see an ice free arctic in the summer within a generation. Such a process may well be irreversible on human timescales. I – we here on this trip may literally be one of the last generations to do this and see this unique habitat, this unique place at the top of our world. We are talking about a permanent voyage into the unknown, into a world alien to that which we have grown up in: a world less diverse in its cultures, less diverse in its environment.

We cannot make up for it later, with apologies, remorse or token efforts at recompense. But the fact remains that we still have a choice, we are not asleep at the wheel, just drunk driving. It’s time to sober up and realise that we have to take control of our future. We have to take responsibility, and we have to pay more attention to things that operate beyond the timescales that our daily lives suck us into. This we can learn from the Arctic.

By Sam Lee-Gammage

This post is an abridged version of a text taken from the British Council’s Arctic Climate Training blog Click here to learn more about the Arctic Climate Training project

Date

June 29, 2011

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Ranty Islam | Specials

Greetings from Longyearbeyen

We landed just 1400 km from North Pole… Surroundings is incredible after long time on the road everyting is getting smoothly. Glacier meeting town, sea and tundra flovers. Never ending sun is shining with burning strength, 10 degrees above zero. Only a unexpectedly great dinner in last civilization and we are leaving harbour on night sailing even more to the north.

This post is taken from the British Council’s Arctic Climate Training blog Click here to learn more about the Arctic Climate Training project

Date

June 27, 2011

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