Young Pacific islanders to benefit from new climate awareness initiative

Thirty high school students from two schools in Port Villa, Vanuatu kick-started a new initiative that aims to get youth driven media content on climate change in front of decision makers through traditional and new media.

A2C2 ?Action Against Climate Change?, a collaboration between Apidae Development Innovations, AusAID and the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS), will provide climate science and media training through a mentorship program to support high school students in producing innovative and targeted media content to create awareness on local and regional climate change issues.

?We hope to improve understanding in the Pacific about climate change and adaptation through media but, more importantly, build capacity among youth by?creating a fun and engaging learning experience for young people. The aim is to demonstrate to decision makers the power of youth ideas and voices in finding climate change solutions for the future.??said Joelle Auffray, the co-founder of Apidae, who is leading the initiative.

The initiative will involve five Pacific countries Vanuatu and Samoa (in country media production), and Kiribati and Tuvalu (via the University of the South Pacific hub campus in Fiji).

A key focus of the initiative is partnering with the country ministries (Education, Environment or others), selected schools and media institutions to create maximum awareness on the science and solutions to climate change.

Young people from Vanuatu were the first to benefit from the A2C2 training that was held?on Friday?9, August. Through a combined training and Mentorship Program the students from Central School and Lyc?e College were trained by local and international experts on climate science and media production to help them start creating their media projects.

?Now is the time we have to act against climate change. This is the action generation, and we are really excited to see the creativity of Pacific youth coming through to influence good decision making on climate change in these countries,? added Adam Bumpus, co-founder of Apidae.

The next round of workshop will be held in Samoa, late August.

The initiative is funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and will run until December 2013.

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About:?Apidae helps communities respond effectively to climate change, through the implementation of innovative climate and development projects and communications focused on impact, effectiveness and community participation.