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A2C2: Engaging youth to raise awareness about climate change issues

Hands on camera action...young people from Vanuatu were the first to benefit from the #A2C2 climate and media training

Hands on camera action…young people from Vanuatu were the first to benefit from the #A2C2 climate and media training. Photo by Apidae Development Innovations

Apidae Development Innovations Co-Found, Joelle Auffray writes:  It was a sunny morning on August 9, 2013 as 30 high school students sat around big tables in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The students knew they had signed up for a youth-led climate change media project but what they did not know was that a full day of fun, games and activities was in store for them. They would learn about climate change, how to use different media channels for communicating and even how to create their own media.

This workshop kicked-off the A2C2 (Action Against Climate Change) project now running in Vanuatu, Samoa, and Kiribati and Tuvalu through USP Fiji’s outreach hub.

A2C2 is about engaging youth to use their unique voices to create compelling media content across different platforms about climate change issues. These youth–driven media products will be seen and heard by decision makers across the Pacific to raise awareness about climate change issues and adaptation options.

Students from Vanuatu and Samoa have now had training on climate change and media including learning how to identify climate change versus weather. During the workshops youth expressed their frustration, fear, resilience and determination in facing climate change in their communities.

One year 11 student, Cameron, from Leifi’fi College said: “Climate change is very important. Right now many countries around the world are facing a lot of impacts caused by climate change such as sea level rise and temperature rise. It can affect many communities in Samoa and overseas.

“We should try to understand these problems but we should also try to understand the solutions, how we can make the future brighter for youth and for ourselves”.

Students are now working in groups with media and climate change mentors to develop their stories, scripts and storyboards. In Vanuatu we are collaborating with Further Arts, and six media products will be produced for TV, radio and print. The products are in the editing stage but will soon be ready for people in Vanuatu to see, read and hear!

Students in Samoa are now gearing up for production and talking about about the messages they want to send to decision makers through their media productions. One Year 11 student, Upuamoa, from Maluafou college, is working on a radio drama with rivers and water management as the group’s topic.

Upumao said: “We want [people] to understand the reason why we try to fight … We want to tell them that water is very important to us because without water, there is no life … Stop polluting the air, those are things that can change the climate. We have to stop all of the people’s activities that make climate change, so we need to try to work together.”

The A2C2 project has been an exciting challenging for all of those involved. It is inspiring to see Pacific youth so committed and willing to learn about climate change, and their interest in being part of the solution.

To find out more about the project click here: http://www.pacmas.org/profile/apidae-announced-as-implementing-partner-for-climate-change-awareness-initiative/