Take action to mitigate climate change says Xingwana

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pretoria- Action must be taken to mitigate the effects of climate change on children, says Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana.

"If we don't act now it will be too late to save the lives of our children," she said on Saturday.

The Minister was speaking at celebrations to mark National Children's Day at the Union Buildings. The day is celebrated on the first Saturday of November to celebrate progress made towards the realisation and promotion of the rights of children.

The minister said the effects of climate change would be felt mostly by children in the coming years and would also contribute to high food prices and higher levels of poverty as unstable weather will impact those who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.

This year's theme, "We are the World, Plant a Tree and Save the Earth", is linked to the 17th Conferences of the Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Durban this month.

"The theme chosen is to teach children of methods to mitigate climate change," said the minister.

The day, which is celebrated annually, gives children the opportunity to participate in matters that affect them such as climate change, which affects children globally.

The celebrations brought together children from all provinces where they presented their knowledge on global warming to other children.

Aida Girma country representative for The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said children should be encouraged to recycle and save energy. The day was also supported by the Nelson Mandela's Children Fund, Save the Children and other agencies.

Vuyelwa Situbati from Malikhanye Secondary School in Barkly East, Eastern Cape, said most children did not take climate change seriously.

"We as children must know learn more about climate change and not be dependent on others," said the 16-year-old who was part of others making representations on the issue.

A tree was also planted at the celebrations.