Researches conducted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) show that the well-being, of children and youth are at stake due to climate change impacts. Undernutrition, accounting for 3.5 million deaths annually, worsens as droughts and floods diminish food production. Vector-borne and waterborne diseases such as dengue and malaria, which result in high mortality especially on young children, propagate further as temperature rises. The breakdown of social and economic structures leads to the decline in access to education, displacement of families, loss of livelihoods, and poverty rate upsurge (UNICEF 2007).
Filipino children and youth, who accounts for one third of the population, are already experiencing the adverse impacts of climate change. Incidence of climate-sensitive diseases such as dengue dramatically increases with young people as primary victims. Typhoons, flooding and landslides also cause injuries and even loss of lives. Likewise, climate change hampers school and livelihood productivity. Documented anecdotes in some coastal and marine communities show that rising sea temperature causes difficulty in fishing forcing parents to make their children work as well, thus encumbering education as children eventually stop schooling to toil and save more (UNICEF 2007, UN 2010).
Different children and youth groups are already making significant contributions to combat climate change. In the recent Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Filipino youth representatives with their dynamism and zeal actively participated in the negotiations. Youth-led programs and organizations are also instigated in support of the advocacy on climate change. Nevertheless, despite existing children and youth initiatives, there is still a need to promote awareness and empower the youth in order for them to undertake a more proactive role in decision-making processes and program development to adapt to and mitigate climate change.
Through the advocacy concert, we aim to mainstream climate change into the consciousness of the participants. We also aim for the children and youth representatives to clamor for the prioritization of climate change in the government’s agenda.
The Advocacy Concert will be held on November 22 at the 2nd floor, Function Room 3, SMX, from 5:00 to 10:00 pm. Admission is free, so come and join us!