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Global Youth Climate Activists Unite in Davos to Take Message to World Leaders


DAVOS, Switzerland - January 15, 2020 ( Newswire) Youth climate activists from around the world will come together in Davos to deliver their message to world leaders at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, January 21, starting at 2pm CET.

Campaigners from Brazil, China, Greenland, the Marshall Islands, Uganda and the USA have travelled to Switzerland as Youth Delegates at Arctic Basecamp, a unique science-solution outreach platform demanding urgent action on climate change from political and business leaders.

The six delegates are leading youth voices in the #fridaysforfuture climate strike movement and will join scientists and researchers from Lancaster University and British Antarctic Survey at the Arctic Basecamp in the first Arctic Basecamp Youth Tent. In addition, two youth volunteers from UK/Netherlands are helping with camp logistics.

"We need to unite the voices of these youth climate activists with scientific voices to ensure the message on climate change is heard loud and clear by all those leaders from business and politics attending Davos," said Professor Gail Whiteman, Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business at Lancaster University, and founder of the Arctic Basecamp.


Brazilian delegate Kaime Silvestre, 23, was is a law student born in the Amazon region.

He said of his presence in Davos: "Arctic ice is disappearing fast and soon our lives will too if we do not act now. That's why I am very grateful for joining the Arctic Basecamp and spreading the word about saving the Artic.

"We desperately need our global leaders to put their resources towards dealing with the worsening climate emergency. A revolution in the human lifestyle is needed, and time is running out."

Chinese delegate Wenying Zhu, an intern in the Climate Finance Unit at the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Geneva, has demonstrated her climate leadership as the captain of the Environmental Protection Volunteer Team at her home university in Shanghai.

She initiated the Clothing Swap Shop Program with H&M and Consulate General of Sweden in Shanghai on campus, developed environmental courses for pupils in local schools, and led SJTU Energy Conservation Project with energy-saving reports published every month.

She said: "I am really excited to join Arctic Basecamp because it provides me with the opportunity to bring the message of climate risk to the world's most influential people, pushing them to act now.

"The Arctic is melting. The Amazon is burning. We are in a state of planetary emergency, and business-as-usual won't work. We must act - not just talk - to save our planet and ourselves. As the Chinese saying goes, 'the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second-best time is now'."

Sascha Blidorf, 19, helped organise the Fridays for future demonstration in Nuuk, Greenland, and has helped to ban plastic from her gymnasium. Sascha was also a parliamentary candidate for Danish Parliament, spreading awareness of climate change in Greenland.

She said: "I am excited to go to Arctic Basecamp. It is a big opportunity for me to learn more about the climate crisis and to meet other young people from around the world. The world's leaders need to listen to scientists because they can't just pass the problems to their, and the world's, children."

Selina Neirok Leem, 21, recently finished working as a Youth Representative at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the UN in New York.

Born and raised in the capital atoll of the Marshall Islands, Majuro, she credits her grandfather for her awareness of the fate of her home through his stories about how the ice in the Arctic Antarctic was melting and would soon flood the nation.

Representing the Marshall Islands, she was the youngest delegate at the COP21 (the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris), and then Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony deBrum gave her the opportunity to give the final statement on behalf of her country. She told the world that the Paris agreement 'should be the turning point in our story; a turning point for all of us'.

Ugandan delegate Vanessa Nakate is the founder of Youth for Future Africa and the Rise Up Movement in Africa. She has been striking for climate for more than a year and started a daily strike for the forests in Africa.

She said: "I am excited to join the Arctic Basecamp, where I will be able to meet with other climate activists, learn, and discuss how to unite behind the science in order to stop climate change.

"My message to the leaders is this: Climate change is the biggest threat right now. Not even you can survive its wrath - none of us can survive this war against the planet. We ask you to stop ignoring our cries because we are fighting for the future of your children and grandchildren. We have no time. It is time to rise up and act now. We don't want the talks, we want the actions."

USA youth delegate Eva Jones, from Columbia Gorge, is a UNF Protector of Progress for her Girl Up fundraising and advocacy efforts encompassing donating more than 4,200 menstrual products to homeless women, and testifying in front of the US Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee about the importance of gun safety in rural schools.

She will serve as the Arctic Basecamp as the Youth Tent Co-ordinator.

Eva said: "This climate crisis is solvable. We have the power and the tools. Getting the attention of world leaders is how we can start this change. I have grown up a steward of nature and I am continuing that with my journey to Davos

"Our environmental future will impact every sector, so solutions must be implemented into every sector. The World Economic Forum is the perfect place to catalyse revolutionary change to save our lives."

The two youth volunteers for Arctic Basecamp logistics crew are from the Netherlands living in the UK.

Max Whiteman-Muller, 17, explained why he is excited to volunteer: "Climate change has been at the center of my life for most of my teenage years. I have spent countless hours thinking why we let it get this far out of hand and why our world leaders can't accept the legitimacy of climate change and its catastrophic effects. Our globe is warming and it's time to act. Arctic Basecamp will give me the opportunity to do just that."

His younger brother Brix, 15, said: "Arctic Basecamp is the opportunity of a lifetime. It allows a seemingly voiceless teenager like me to help drive the slow but promising movement to thrust through a broken system and reform a broken world."


Co-organised with Dr Jeremy Wilkinson, from British Antarctic Survey, Arctic Basecamp at Davos will highlight the global dangers associated with the changing Arctic region. Last year, climate change activist Greta Thunberg and superstar singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding both attended the Basecamp, along with global business leaders and climate policy expert Christiana Figueres. Greta and her father also camped with the Arctic Basecamp team for a night. This year, Rainn Wilson, star of the US version of The Office, blockbuster action movie The Meg, and sci-fi TV series Star Trek: Discovery, will be among those attending.

The Arctic Basecamp Youth Delegation's participation at Davos is facilitated by a generous donation by Novatug to cover the youth tent and expedition sleeping. Berghaus provided outdoor gear for the youth.

Arctic Basecamp is only possible through sponsorship contributions from some of the world's most innovative and responsible organisations. This year, BNP Paribas, X (The Moonshot Factory), WWF and The Fort Foundation are all major sponsors.


The youth delegates will hold a press conference at the Arctic Basecamp in Davos on the global youth response to Greta Thunberg's speech to the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, January 21, starting at 2pm CET. Arctic Basecamp is located at Berghotel Schatzalp.

Media Contact:

Lauren Maslauski
Ballantines PR

More Info: Newswire

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