29 January, 2020

Climate Action Day in Kosovo

The future is uncertain and as youth climate movement used to say: History will judge us!

On the 13th of December, GAIA Kosovo organized a Climate Action Day. There were multiple activities, some to inform, some to take action and some to have fun. The morning was dedicated to kids, they got introduced to upcycling. Since every effort we are making to combat climate change is in the interest of the future, it is especially important to inform children and mobilize them to take their own future in their hands. Why upcycling? Because in Kosovo we don’t have the best waste-management system, it is important to use waste that can be used for longer. This way, they got introduced to this in a fun way, but they were also taught to not throw out something immediately that they can use a second, third, fourth time. The children of now are the ones that are going to have to carry the burden of our policy choices. That is why on Climate Action Day, for the morning part, the focus was on children.

After, there was an information action on the streets, with signs, tea and brochures. In Kosovo, people are not very informed about climate change, or they do not view it as a legitimate threat. That is why it is important that on Climate Action Day there were also people in the streets that would know, or at least were made aware, of the threat that is climate change. Taking a minimum of two minutes of their day, we engaged in conversation that made them think about it. The most important thing that we can do is take action and raise awareness. Raising awareness will, hopefully, result into more people taking their future in their own hands. Reducing meat and dairy consumption, traveling by land instead of by air and reducing energy consumption are individual choices that can be made to combat climate change. Making people aware of how easy it is to reduce your carbon footprint can help reduce emissions on a larger scale.

During the afternoon, there was a living library, with people who were there to tell their own story about taking action. They were climate activists that either work in the field of climate change or were faced with climate change related problems and took actions against it. These stories are important to be told and to be heard, because it makes climate activism palpable, and can inspire to take action ourselves. These stories give an insight in how we can ourselves take action against climate injustice and how we can make simple changes in our lives to combat climate change.

We also invited political figures to come and talk about climate change. They were very willing to answer all questions and take responsibility for policies. Moreover, they promised that they would stop certain policies that are ruining the environment in Kosovo. That gave a sprinkle of hope, however it is always healthy to be a bit skeptical. On a global level we have seen much promises that have been made. COP25 was one of the longest UN climate talks and probably one of the least successful.

The future is uncertain and as youth climate movement used to say: History will judge us!

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After ten years of activities and brainstorming on climate change, non-formal education, peacebuilding, friendship, volunteering, or activism, GAIA Kosovo decided it was time to gather testimonies, stories, experiences from friends from the Balkans and beyond in the form of podcasts.

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