Speech to the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Fremantle Town Centre

By October 22, 2014 Blog No Comments

In the face of Climate Change, we need to widen the scope of our vision together, from our own homes here in Australia, to look at the problems our world is facing on a global scale. The challenges are many, and we have yet to forge a clear pathway of solutions together. Our world and our environment is a single organism: it is the very foundation of our being. And yet, how could we not take good notice of the changes affecting our nearest neighbours?

The unfortunate trend is that most of the time when we portrait sustainable living, we are unwilling to look behind glossy images. We reject the health issues that those in the mining industry are facing and close our eyes to the fate of the Small Island Developing States, my countrymen.

The Small Island Developing States are known for its isolation, relatively small size and limited resources. We rely largely on international trade and due to its low lying coasts, we are on the frontline of climate change. I am from the small island nation of Mauritius, we are a speck of dust on the world map, lying in the middle of the Indian Ocean. While we have been known to accommodate the most beautiful beaches and romantic spots in the world, there is no apparent vision to preserve it. We are not the only ones; our friends from the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, South China Sea, Pacific and Caribbean are observing the same thing.

We see the consequences of climate change in front of our eyes, in our countries, every day, and we see it, directly impacting the ecosystems of the communities of the Small Island Developing States. Seas are taking over our land, the fish are disappearing from our oceans, tropical storms and draughts are ravaging our crops and our homes, and our economies are greatly affected; we are suffering the consequences of a lifestyle we have not lived!
The reason why we choose not to feel the stress of climate change here in Australia is that the country is very big, we are at luxury to isolate mines, create segregation of communities, and favour large economic expansion of cities over rural areas, which are more dependent on closed loop economy. We need to change this destructive lifestyle. As one example; Australia does not suffer the full consequences of the coal it mines. Coal plays a large part in global warming an 70% of the Australian coal is exported to other countries. In other terms, Australia is being paid to favour a lifestyle where some can live in abundance, and others are willingly sacrificed.

My friends, I am unwilling to have my homeland, and my people, dragged down the landslide of ecological disaster, that is not, of our own making. I do not wish for my future generations to spend a lifetime wondering about their future, after the ocean devoured lands.

You are young, innocent, and full of energy and convictions to do the right things, I plead with you, save us and work together to develop new frameworks more adapted to a sustainable living for us all, global citizens.

Sustainability, in its true sense, enforces a more eco-friendly way of life and transcends the barriers of time. At its core, it delineates a quality and way of life which allows the current generation to meet its own needs without splurging the resources available for the future generation and their potential needs. The underlying belief is that we can have a symbiotic relationship with the environment and work to ensure our lifestyle and actions are not of harm to our ecosystem. “Essentially, it means ensuring that we leave our environment no worse than we found it (and if possible, better)”.

In the face of the dramatic consequences of global warming around the world and the flagrant role of the global industry in the process, it is urgent, now more than ever, to re-evaluate our ethos, our hearts and our actions as global citizens together. Our aim should be to re-align the present and future of our shared planet. In this, my friends, the people of the Small Island Developing States, are at your mercy.

We must strive to be environmental guardians and have the duty to not only encourage but to adopt sustainability on all levels. It is high time for us to become personal and professional advocates of a new system thinking. Our work more than ever, should be clear in purpose, focused on the usage of appropriate ideologies, intent on pursuing not only economical output, but also regeneration of nature and dedicated equally to the service of status and wealth as it is to social equity. We have to prove ourselves worthy of our infallible human spirit and heed the cries for help of our planet. Passivity on global warming is a crime, and hence we should all rise to the situation and fight for the survival of our planet, the mother and sustenance of our future generations.

This chance at our disposal, is a generational moment; a moment when we collectively decide our own path and draw the face of the future. I am asking each and every one of you, to join our planet’s cry for help and build our destiny: one that truly strives for what is true. If we have your support, we would be able to lift our nations from the pending doom that threatens us, and reach a goal that will not only inspire, but also change the face of our history.

Thank you.

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