A Report by Yonten Norbu
World Student’s Summit for Climate: an intro
The World Student’s Summit for Climate (WSSC 2019) which was organized by the ENO schoolnet in cooperation with the cities of Helsinki and Joensuu, municipality of Liperi, Ministry of Environment Finland and the Ministries for Forestry and Agriculture for Education and for Foreign Affairs based in Finland 2019 was attended by 135 students and 100 teachers from 70 countries, all gathered together with the ultimate goal to tie 3 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2025.
Environment Online – ENO is a global network of schools and communities for sustainable development. ENO together with the City of Helsinki, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education and Culture, and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry organized a climate summit for school students. The summit was endorsed by the president of the Republic of Finland, Mr. Sauli Niinistö.
The event took place from 29th May to 5th June 2019 in Finland in two different venue of Joensuu (29 May – 2 June), and the latter part in Helsinki (3 June – 5 June) respectively. The concluding event was held on World Environment Day, 5th June 2019.
The event focused on climate change and concrete ideas and deeds by students. One outcome was a commitment to plant trees every year. During the event, ENO School net performed research on learning and co-creation in an international network.
Bhutan was represented by a teacher and two students for the summit as a part of ENO network. We started our journey from Bagdora Airport in India on 27th of May towards New Delhi. We took the connecting flight of around 11 hours from Delhi to Helsenki on 28th May and reached Joensuu at around 5:00 pm. The journey of 11 hours was the most exciting flight as we got an opportunity to fly over the places which we aspired to see in our lives like Indian ocean, Caspian sea, Baltic sea, different countries like Poland, Pakistan, Russia, etc… we actually couldn’t take our eyes from the monitor attached on the seats as we kept on staring at the screen showing all the places beneath the aircraft.
The most fascinating experience in Finland starting from the first day was the increase in daylight hours. We checked in the hotel and tried our best to sleep but it was not getting dark anytime sooner.
On 29th we moved towards Liperi where the summit was schedule and met with other delegates from different countries. We took rest and on the morning of 30th May a short opening ceremony was held after which the students were divided in groups and started doing the assigned works that was to discuss on the climate and forest issues as per the preliminary assignment.
In the next three days from 30th – 2nd June, students fully got engaged in drawing the action plan from 2019-2025 with full energy and enthusiasm. On 1st June teachers and students participated in tree plantation in Finland. We are proud to inform that we planted the first ever tree in the name of our country, King and people in Finland with lots of prayers and wishes. We wished for the better world with better environment for the generation to come. Towards the evening of 1st June, the delegates went to attend the opening of summer festivals.
On 2nd June, 2019 we moved towards Helsinki from Joensuu by train to attend the opening ceremony of the World Economic Circular Forum where students put on the show to protect the environment for better future. Students kept no stone unturned to convey the message on how important is the youth to combat the climate issues. On 3rd June students got themselves engaged in practical workshop to recycle things from waste and solar power whereas participated in the workshops conducted by the organizers.
On the 5th June, the closing ceremony was held in the city hall of the Helsinki where the concluding remarks and the closing lunch was arranged by the Organizers. We waved and hugged each other to again see in future. At around 6:30 pm we took flight from Helsinki Airport towards New Delhi from where we took connecting flight to Bagdora. We reached to Bhutan around 8:00 pm at night of 6th June.
Some of the lesson learnt from the conference and the Finland are which we can also pick it up are;
- Highly civic sensed people who takes care of their own waste and waste segregation. It’s disheartening to see a country of less than a million population not able to keep our own surrounding clean when it is possible in a country of more than a million population.
- Self-accountability of taking care of public properties like toilet, school, street light, etc… as its also provided free in Finland. But people their respect the amenities provided free and use it as their own.
- Schools are well equipped with excellent facilities and resources for teaching and learning.
- Forest is taken care for by the people, like their own and preserves it well for the future. Planting tree has become their essence and many master programs in environment are also available.
We really need to thank our monarchs and their farsighted visions and missions which we come to know only after being in other countries. I personally got touched with many aspects during the course of stay in Finland whereby I thanked my king and the forefathers.
Some proud moments for us
- Our national dress really attracted everyone else and they were loved by many people around the world. It was very unique in nature and lots of people came towards us seeing the dress. I proudly narrated the stories and significance of it.
- What the world leaders are thinking now has been already thought and implemented by our Monarchs. E.g. the preservation of forest which is mandate by our constitution is a very great noble vision.
- Many countries recognized us as the last Shangri-La and the happiest country.
- People were curious to know about our country and the policies on the tourism. Many showed interest in visiting our country once in their life time.
All in all, the summit was a relearning and rejuvenating one as it erased the boundaries along the countries and brought together to think about the planet as one and protect it as our responsibility. When we interacted among ourselves, we came to know that every individual are concern about climatic change and also aspires for peace. It’s the politic that is drawing line among us. The 8 days summit gave insights on the climatic issues and moreover the ways to overcome it.
Finally, we would like to thank all the individuals who protected and helped us in making our journey to and for a successful one with lots of enriching experiences we garnered from the summit.
- Almighty and triple gem for ensuring our safety during travel to Finland and way back.
- Our monarchs for shaping us with lots of values and making us stand proudly as Bhutanese.
- Bhutan’s National ENO coordinator (Mr. Karma Kuenzang Wangdi from Thimphu) for rendering all necessary support and help during the course of works undertaken to attend the summit. He is just a voluntary coordinator, but he went beyond himself in nominating us for the summit.
- Mika, founder of ENO for inviting us to attend the summit
- ENO schoolnet team for organizing and supporting us during the course of the summit.
- President and all the stakeholders of Finland who supported the summit.
- Principals (Sengdhyen LSS, Dorokha and Bajothang HSS, Wangduephodrang) for allowing the students and the teacher to attend the summit.
- And finally, all the families and friends who prayed and supported us to make our dream come true “THANK YOU VERY MUCH”