With the Project:
Tasmanian Youth Climate Leaders’ Program
The Tasmanian youth climate leaders‘ conference aims to equip youth from across the Australian island Tasmania with the necessary skills to become climate leaders in their schools and communities. Each year, over 300 student leaders from 30 secondary schools around Tasmania are engaged in climate change action. The outcomes of the conference inspire youth to pursue leadership opportunities, studies, careers, and volunteering in the fields of climate science, justice, renewable energy and sustainability.
Tasmania is an ecological haven with around 40% of its ecosystem falling under protected national parks and reserves. However, the midland of Tasmania is a biodiversity hot spot due to its large population of threatened species on unprotected farmland. Prior to the implementation of the Tasmanian youth climate leaders’ programme, there was little awareness of climate change and sustainability in the area, leading to community members using the natural resources in an unsustainable way.
The Tasmanian youth climate leaders’ programme started with a small group of students from Huonville, a rural high school in Tasmania. Their commitment to improve their environment fostered the implementation of several sustainability initiatives within their school and community. An energy think tank was organised comprising community mentors, leading to their first Huon youth climate change forum, engaging fellow students in climate change and sustainability issues. Following the success of the forum, the Tasmanian youth climate leaders conference was formed. Three conferences engaging 600 students from 30 schools have been organised in the years 2018 and 2019.
The programme presents students with a unique opportunity to take on leadership roles in addressing climate change and sustainability issues faced by their communities. Local issues and problems are identified and actions are implemented. The programme receives immense support from climate scientists, researchers, and community leaders to ensure that the students develop the necessary skills and knowledge to proceed in an informed context.
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