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Youths Seek to Raise Climate Awareness

More than 600 Cambodians participated in International Youth Day in Phnom Penh Aug. 12, where participants like Srean Lalune and Sim Virak discussed global climate change.

More than 60 percent of the population is under the age of 24, and as it grows older, the generation will produce leaders who seek to mobilize communities and raise awareness of climate issues in Cambodia.

This week's forum, "Youth and Climate Change: Time for Action," sought to draw out such leaders.

"On this International Youth Day, 2008, we commit ourselves to believing in generations beyond our own and to taking action now to ensure the world is cleaner for us," said Sreang Lalune, who recently became the first female "Youth Leader" to win a trip to the US. "Young people can be the solution to many environmental concerns."

The forum gathered representatives from the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Environment, the UN, and young people from various youth associations.

"By just changing our habits and by just saving water or electricity, each can help the country," said Sim Virak, a student from Kampong Cham province. "So as young people, we seek to add our voices to the call for every effort to be made by governments and international bodies towards climate stabilization. With the support of governments and international bodies, young people can be a great force of positive change."