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South East Asia

Global Action Month 2019 and promoting children´s environmental rights in the Region

Southeast Asia is a region where biodiversity is one of the richest in the world. It is also in danger of massive biodiversity destruction caused by  globalized capitalism, over-emphasis on economic development, expansion of genet­ically-modified crops, deregulated use of chem­icals in agriculture, proliferation of extractive industries and agro-business plantations, civil wars, lack of laws to protect biodiversity and passage of laws inimical to biodiversity, and the worsening poverty of local peoples. During the last decade, over 23 million hectares of forests have been destroyed in Southeast Asia with over 2,670 species of fauna and flora endangered or threatened.

This is why, over the past years, terre des hommes Germany partners have completed studies and researches on local indigenous wisdom and biodiversity, and have conducted several media advocacy and training-workshops on biological and cultural diversity.

The campaign, “Our Rivers, Our Life,” envisions and works with children and youth who are re-learning nature-friend­ly indigenous practices and the intelligence of their ancestors to maintain diversity and balance. Through this, children and youth can re-appreciate their own iden­tity and build them up to strengthen their communi­ties from the level of marginalization to the level of self-determination.

The #NoPlastics program also started running in Indonesia where, children and youth in fishing villages, initiated actions to protect the mangrove forests and remove plastic waste. The goal is to have a country wide action of reduce, reuse and recycle of plastics waste through communities with a key role of youth and children in awareness raising and changing behavior.       

For the Global Action Month 2019, the members of the Southeast Asia Youth Network (SYN) and the Mekong Youth Assembly will be initiating activities to improve awareness and understanding of young people on environmental issues that impact children’s rights, such as the effects of mega development projects (i.e. dams, plantations, mining activities) affecting rivers and displacing communities. There will be trainings, festivals, camps, cleanups and awareness raising to be done in the local communities as well as on social media.       

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