Fighting Climate Change
Global Citizen Corps youth in Iraq created an action project that involved 2,000 people working together to plant 1,300 seedlings and trees in 5 different cities. For 3 days in March community members and local authorities implemented the planting to promote environmental balance. The project reached about 2,500,000 people in these 5 cities with considerable media coverage - radio, local TV and satellite channels – which represents about 8% of Iraq’s population.
The project in all five cities - Kirkuk, Wassit, Khanaqin, Sulimaniya and Kalar - was the same, to create a large impact with one individual effort. Not only did they implement the tree planting, but students contacted local radio and TV stations to broadcast an announcement promoting awareness about climate change; calling for direct action in such areas as: decreasing the use of chemical sprays, avoiding burning of garbage and increasing the use of public transportation.
Youth in Sulimaniya held a symposium about the dangers of climate change and pollution’s affect on the environment, while in Wassit youth worked with the governor and the Dept. of Electricity to shut down the power for 1 hour on March 22nd. The departments of agriculture in Wassit and Sulimaniya also donated 600 trees for the youth to plant.
“By the end of the project, GCC youth felt happy about the impact they had on their communities on Climate Change Day and the quote “There are no limits to our potential” is achieved again” said Mohammed Abeer, Mercy Corps staff member, after the event. The youth indeed showed their potential, and how youth anywhere can make a huge impact.