The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek took part in a climate change workshop run by the Namibian Women Association (NAWA) which was attended by the Namibian Children’s movement and other students.
Under the theme, ‘We Shall Change the World” the workshop aimed to teach students about climate change, the Paris Agreement, the impact climate change has had on Namibia as well as the importance of climate action with the hopes that the students would share the information with their respective institutions and communities and spark change.
UNIC Windhoek presented two hour-long PowerPoint presentations as part of the workshop, one about climate change and the other about the Paris Agreement. Enthralled by the topics, the students asked questions and shared their ideas throughout the presentations.
There were students from local schools in Windhoek as well as from the North and South of Namibia. Although the students attending the workshop came from all over the country, they were united by the passion to learn about climate change as well as the determination to make a difference.
“What about desalination? With the rising sea-levels I think leaders should think about turning ocean water into drinkable water,” one student said, emphasizing that solutions should be put into force to ensure that those affected the most by climate change do not continue to suffer.
Other students were hopeful about the Paris Agreement and stressed the importance of starting climate action on an individual level. To help the students begin taking positive steps to combat climate change, UNIC Windhoek gave the students reusable water bottles that they can use instead of drinking out of plastic water bottles. The Team also gave the students books about climate change and adaptation to climate change created by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in partnership with the Africa Adaptation Project Namibia, UNDP and Japan Official Development Assistance.
Ottilie Abrahams, the principle of Jakob Marengo Secondary School and a member of the Namibian Women’s movement, compared the Paris Agreement to a conductor conducting musicians in an orchestra. “The conductor does not play the violin. The conductor leads the way and keeps the timing. The music comes from each individual musician,” she said, explaining that the Paris Agreement is just a framework and climate action and change will come from each individual country.
After the presentation, students continued to share their ideas and thoughts with the UNIC Windhoek team. One student emphasized the importance of communicating about climate change and the Paris Agreement in different languages. “I think you should present this information in different languages. This way all people would be able to understand and learn about climate change,” she said.
Throughout the two-day workshop, students heard from representatives from the Think Namibia Environmental Awareness Campaign run by the Hans Seidel Foundation, a local newspaper’s environmental journalist and other leaders in sustainability in Namibia.
After learning more about climate change and having meaningful conversations about how it is affecting Namibia and what they can do to combat it, the students will bring knowledge to their friends, families and communities in order to educate the broader Namibian public about this pressing issue.