November 8, 2017  |  

Day 2 at COP 23 Fiji- We need action

The second day of COP23 is about to finish here. The YMCA-RGE group has been active in advocating for the youth within environmental questions, collaborating with other organizations and keeping the media loud and people posted on our need to address the issues on the table.

Since the adoption of Kyoto protocol in 1997, many species have gone extinct. According to WWF, climate change poses a fundamental threat for both people’s and different species’ livelihoods. Judging by what has been discussed at the negotiations this year, parties involved appear to finally understand the urgent need to support talk with action and practical operation.

We should remember the fact that eventually extinction concerns each species – even us humans. If we do not start acting against global warming and Climate change in practical terms, the people hit by the bullet are the same as the people behind the gun – ourselves. What is especially required now is that you and me – normal people living normal lives – start taking action. As the elite of the nations gather around the table to talk framework and discuss what should be done, the change in our system may not necessarily seem like a fast, easy process. What we can do is educate more people in this matter and therein improve the standard of knowledge and actions undertaken to fight this issue. It will not be enough to solely talk and discuss. We need action.

I acknowledge the fact that I personally am not the perfect role model to teach people on how to act environmentally-friendly and be totally sustainable in decision-making. However, as I am empowered and inspired by the knowledge received from other people and many organizations, I am willing to raise awareness of the fact that we need to do more. We need to act.

The work does not stop here. After COP, the YMCA people – although standing as one united group here – will split up, return to their home communities and keep working for the good of young people. What keeps us together is the important work we do for the youth around the world in our local environment. We need to keep our local communities healthy and vital – not only in terms of social inclusion and youth empowerment, but also by recognizing healthy surroundings and healthy environment as a human right.

We need action. We need to act.

Otto (YMCA-RGE member) at COP23


Otto Vainio

YMCA Finland / World Alliance of YMCAs





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Alvin Kan
Alvin Kan

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