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Children Call For Fair, Just Climate Change Deal 

By Yerima Kini Nsom & Daniel Gwarbarah

Cameroonian children have added their voices to that of their friends across the globe to press governments to strike a fair, just and action-oriented climate change deal in Copenhagen, Denmark come December. The call highlighted in Yaounde on September 21 is contained in a statement that emanated from Tunza International Children Conference that held on August 20, 2009 in Daejeon, South Korea.

MINEP Official, Tunza Ambassador and School Administration in symbolic tree planting

The occasion was the first-ever celebration marking the Tunza Day in Cameroon and the Global Climate Week in the wake of the ongoing UN Secretary General’s high level Summit on Climate Change in New York. The events were hosted by the Refuge Bilingual College, RBC, in Carrière, Yaounde.

Presenting the call on behalf of the Cameroonian children, the country’s Tunza Ambassador, Clementine Tangem, said the children are urging world leaders to agree on a post-Kyoto climate change agreement the must be adopted and implemented by all countries. She said strict laws and mechanisms to punish those who pollute and degrade the environment as well as the development and implementation of clearly defined carbon action plans, should be envisaged.

MINEP Official, Tunza Delegates and students pose for a picture

The children are also recommending a transition toward a green economy based on renewable energies that offer more incentives for people to buy affordable energy efficient products; reduce the number of vehicles and traffic density on the road and make environmental education mandatory in all school systems.

Governments are equally called upon to pay attention to conflicts that have impacted negatively on the environment and sought resolution strategies. Appeals to citizens and young people of the world were also highlighted by the Tunza Ambassador. According to the Coordinator of the Little Angels of the Environment Cameroon and the Tunza Programme in the Country, Priscilla Song, the choice of RBC by the Ministry of Environment and Protection of Nature, MINEP, to mark the Tunza Day, was prompted by the brilliant performances of the students at the World Ozone Layer Protection Day that earned them a first prize.

She promised to furnish the students with up-to-date information on Tunza which she hinted warrants children to handle the environment with care and affection. Presiding at the occasion, the Regional Delegate of MINEP for the Centre, Timothée Kagonbé, appreciated the students and the school administration for the enormous efforts they deployed to challenge well known schools in Yaounde as they bagged the first prize at a quiz to mark this years World Ozone Day commemoration.

Kagonbé talked about the importance of trees and urged the students to plant as many as they can, noting that by so doing they are putting government policy into action. He announced that RBC would, henceforth, be part of all activities organised by MINEP. Corroborating his principal, the proprietor of RBC, Fidelis Djam Ngong, told The Post that the school, which also has a primary section, admits and trains all refugee children for free.

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