On September 9-10, 2020, the Red Cross Red Crescent (Climate Center) network, their partners, and a fascinating array of speakers gathered at a virtual climate summit to inspire climate action. The summit comprised more than 200 engaging sessions to ensure the ambitions toward the climate.
High Atlas Foundation (HAF) project manager Errachid Montassir participated as a speaker and a workshop co-host in this climate summit. Below you can find a summary of Errachid’s address to the summit participants.
Errachid’s address at the summit:
“On behalf of HAF, I would like to sincerely thank the Red Cross Red Crescent (Climate Center) for organizing this important summit. But we must know that we are not here today to celebrate progress, we are here because there is a lot of progress to be made, and a lot of work to be done. Obviously, there are many challenges ahead of us in order to act, but the difficulty is not an excuse to comply. We must therefore not allow anything to become an enemy of progress, as we must not allow the old divisions that have characterized the climate debate for many years to derail our progress.
“Each one of us must do what they can to grow the economy without endangering our planet, and we must all do it together. We must view the climate agreements (the Paris Agreement, for example) as important steps forward against climate change.
“For developed countries that are causing a lot of damage to the climate, they must take on a responsibility to increase investment in renewable energy and promote climate actions such as funding environmental initiatives and projects designed by local communities, to reach the short term goals, updating Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) on the top of them. And they should link NDCs to long-term mitigation strategies such as protecting coastal wetlands, promoting the benefits of sustainable agroforestry, decentralizing energy distribution, securing indigenous peoples’ land rights, and improving mass transit. This will be the key in ensuring efficient use of resources, particularly crucial for responding to climate change amidst and following the COVID-19 crisis.
“The good news is that there is a clear willingness of the United Nations and decision-makers to engage young people in the journey of fighting current matters, as well as in organizing major climate summits. The tremendous energy of young people clearly contributes to driving and managing global matters and development projects.
“My message today to decision makers; please as you base your economic growth on scientific studies, do so for climate change solutions. And put more trust in young people in leading the climate movement.
“I call upon the youth to act more in their own communities by addressing the sense and reality of climate change’s future impacts through a participatory approach principle.
Building a better tomorrow:
As one of the Moroccan young people, I’m taking climate action with the High Atlas Foundation by facilitating participatory meetings with local communities, in order to help them figure out their needs and challenges, and to reflect what they carry in their hearts for decision makers. HAF ensures that schoolchildren, women, and farmers are involved in designing and managing their environmental projects, particularly through USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer initiative that sends highly-skilled volunteers to help people access the tools and information.
I had a priceless chance to manage an environmental initiative (Sami’s project), which works directly with schools in Morocco benefiting kids by planting organic fruit trees and conducting environmental training workshops with them.
Obviously this action alone is not enough contribution toward climate solutions to make a large impact, but I guarantee that there will be a completely different and positive impact for our planet as long as we believe in enhancing the quality of our schools in all levels (ie. better education system that is environmentally-conscious, with suitable and good facilities to promote permanent guidance).
Engineers, entrepreneurs and scientists, should put more emphasis and power on climate change to build a better world based on the reality of what local people are facing.
We should all come together in a very strong way to contribute in this long and hard journey, we don’t have much time left. This journey requires each of us to defend our climate on every little step of progress toward a safe planet. As we aim to fight climate change, we must have a common effort in order to achieve a common purpose, so we and next generations will have a world that is safer, healthier and cleaner.