Hundreds of children in Barbados participate in climate walk and rally on World Children's Day
20 November 2023
Children deliver declaration calling for greater inclusion of young people in decision-making on climate.
Over 300 young people took to the streets of Bridgetown on 20 November 2023 for World Children's Day calling for for urgent action from leaders on climate change.
The symbolic walk through Barbados' capital city concluded with a rally at Golden Square Freedom Park.
Children carried placards calling for more green spaces, greater use of renewable energy and more deliberate efforts to reverse global warming.
Young people also delivered a Declaration on Behalf of Children of Barbados for World Children's Day to Minister of the Environment, National Beautification and the Green and Blue Economy Adrian Forde.
The declaration called for greater inclusion of young people, including those from marginalised communities in decision-making around climate change.
Young people also lamented that environmental issues like climate change continue to be inadequately taught in schools.
"In the aftermath of the Barbados Youth Climate Action Summit, our survey revealed that 53% of students harbor anxiety about climate change, yet only 13% actively engage in climate action," the declaration noted.
"Thus, we urgently call upon the global community and our Government to champion and defend these rights, understanding that our well-being today shapes the world of tomorrow."
This year's World Children's Day rally featured activism in the form of poetry, dance and music from various groups including the Foundation School Steel Orchestra, Rhythm Tribe, and the Richard Stoute Teen Talent group.
UNICEF Representative for the Eastern Caribbean Pieter Bult and United Nations Resident Coordinator for the Eastern Caribbean Didier Trebucq also delivered remarks.
Below is the call-to-action section of the Declaration on Behalf of Children of Barbados for World Children's Day.
1. Increase youth engagement on environmental issues through the Ministry of Environment, National Beautification, Blue and Green Economy, expanding initiatives across schools and communities.
2. Enhance education and awareness on environmental issues, enforcing legislation to underscore the role and importance of sustainable development in our lives.
3. Implement regulatory frameworks and legislation to incentivize sustainable fishing practices, facilitating a transition from fossil fuel dependency to renewable energy reliance.
4. Prioritize incorporating green spaces into urban planning and building designs, intensify recycling efforts, and repurpose state buildings that no longer serve their original purpose.
5. Increase funding and support for youth-led climate and environmental initiatives, fostering innovation and leadership in our community.