The African Leadership University (ALU), in partnership with Ideas For Us (Mauritius), organised a climate change conference and symbolic tree planting exercise on Saturday, 1 June 2019 in commemoration of the World Environment Day, which is celebrated on 5 June. YUVA was invited to participate in the event.
The aim of this conference was to work on sustainable initiatives in order to counteract climate change and change the future. Ideas For Us joined hands with all its partners present at the conference to engage in a good cause. The organisation has also accepted the UN Plastic Challenge programme to beat plastic wastes in Mauritius.
For this half-day conference and symbolic tree planting activity, the Key Speaker was Ms Doorgawatee Ram Gopal, representative of the UN Resident Coordinator for Mauritius. Dr Emmanuel Nuesiri, a governance expert at the Social Sciences Faculty of the ALU Mauritius campus and a research affiliate with the Center for African Studies (CAS) of ALU, talked about the mitigation of climate change in Africa. Additionally, a video was projected, displaying the statistics and measures being taken to reduce the effects of climate change.
Then, Ms Rushdana Doobory, who is in charge of the Environmental Department at Ideas For Us (Mauritius) talked about the mitigation of climate change in Mauritius. Ms Doobory believes that we should start by doing simple things such as using eco-friendly products, eco-friendly bulbs, switch off lights when not in use and avoid using plastic and plastic products.
This was followed by a tree planting activity, which was conducted in the yard of the ALU campus, where 6 saplings of Terminalia Catappa, commonly known as “Badamier”, were planted with the help of all the participants.
Afterwards, Mr Rick Bonnier introduced the audience to his latest invention, a vacuum machine that can make the ocean plastic-free. Mr Bonnier also talked about the manufacturing cost and sought the help of investors in order to make a significant change in our oceans. He also sensitised members of the audience about how to clean the ocean, beat pollution and thwart climate change.
The conference then proceeded with a dialogue on climate change between a youth panel, consisting of students from ALU, and members of the audience, and ended with a question and answer session.