October 5, 2016  |  

Three different perspectives on climate change

This blogpost was written by Lavette, Razarta and Tim, participants at World YMCA Programme Innovation Camp, and YMCA-RGE activists. 

We are here at the Innovation Camp in Switzerland and the experience has inspired us to spread awareness about climate change. This camp is very international with 66 people from 23 different countries and we all face different challenges. Every country experiences climate change and contributes to climate change in a very different way, but we all want to do something about it. One thing we can do is to share experiences from diverse regions of our planet in the hope that these perspectives will generate ideas to do things differently.

trash2

Ebnat-Kappel in Switzerland.

Lavette from Cameroon:
In Cameroon cities and rural areas are really affected by air pollution. Cameroonians contribute to the pollution of our atmosphere in different ways. Agriculture is the most essential part of our economy, but to increase production people use fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides in farms which is very dangerous because of their chemical elements. In most houses people are not separating rubbish and at times prefer to burn it, which as you can imagine sends dirty smoke into the air. In addition, It is s habit of Cameroonians to leave trash in the streets, in commercial areas and around houses. We have to be conscious of the fact that the fight against air pollution concerns each of us and we all have to react by changing our mentality and think more green.

Razarta from Albania:
Albania really needs to take action. Everyday people are watching the situation and they don’t do a thing to improve their lives, because pollution is so commonplace. Do they not notice that every city is dirty because people are throwing away rubbish? Yes, they do. They know this is a really bad situation but then… they start throwing rubbish again. Municipalities think that the way that they are managing this situation is right, by gathering all the rubbish together and by making it look like a big colourful mountain. Then, without separating items, they burn them. They think that the situation is solved but what about the smog? Don’t they notice that this thing is happening near peoples homes? The air pollution is increasing and people are breathing more polluted air. Their lungs are screaming for fresh air, they are screaming for oxygen.

29123582784_14699270a6_o

Learning from different perspectives.

Timothy from Switzerland:
In Switzerland climate change is a big topic. In Switzerland it’s possible to recycle almost anything, and the majority of the population realizes that this is important. We separate glass, plastic, paper, wood and metal. We recycle old electronics and batteries and organic waste is composted. Everything that can’t be separated and recycled is burned in special facilities, that filter the smoke and use the heat to produce electricity. But all of this does not mean that we don’t have room to improve. There still are people who don’t understand the importance of recycling and taking care of our planet. And especially in public spaces it isn’t very convenient to separate your trash, so most people will only recycle it when they are at home. We will have to keep thinking of the future and of new ways to improve.

29750509755_14fcf252e3_o

Sharing the YMCA-RGE mission at the Innovation Camp.

These perspectives could be depressing – but we cannot give in! After the Innovation Camp we have all pledged to go back home to find ways to use the motivation that the camp has given us to make change. Talking about these issues is important but without action we will stay where we are. We will have to work together and learn from each other if we want to make a real difference and solve this global crisis.