AYC participation in the 350 Burundi Campaign

Dear friends,

Some weeks have passed without holding our ordinary programmes such us meeting, study circles, trainings etc. The main reason is that the Club has taken the lead in organizing October 24 Global day of climate action, an event that gathered several organizations from civil society.

We’d like to share with you a detailed report of what we have been doing during these last weeks.

The 350 Burundi Campaign

After the official launching of Amahoro Youth Club activities on September 21, a large number of its administrative team members starts to actively preparing October 24, the global day of climate action. The AYC took the lead and gathered more than twenty youth and environmental organizations in a large coalition called “350 Burundi Campaign”.

From September 28 to October 23, several meetings, discussions and media programmes were organised with a deep involvement of AYC members.
The following activities have been done during the campaign

1 ° Video watching of Home documentary at Lycée SOS
On October 16, 2009 the coordinator of the campaign accompanied by some members of the team visited Lycée SOS. Sixty pupils of this school as well as those of the Saint Gabriel Central secondary school viewed Home of Yann Bertrand Arthus, a recent documentary showing that the appearance of life on Earth is the result of fragile balance between elements which put millions of years before becoming stable. In this documentary they show how men use resources available on earth, but change the face of the world by the acts that he makes. The workmanship of oil and the over exploitation which follows from it have dramatic consequences as our planet. The man must change his behavior and his ways of living before it is too late, for him, for his descendants and for life on earth.
This educational documentary interested a lot the pupils who were touched when they heard certain figures which point out the dramatic state of environmental situation or at the sight of certain pictures of ecosystems deterioration.

A short session of explanation of the campaign 350 (background, objectives, activities) followed the projection of this documentary and the visit at the Lycée SOS ended by a family photo of all pupils who participated in this activity, their teachers and the members of the350 Burundi campaign team.
The same projection was planned at International secondary school on Monday October 19 but unfortunately didn’t take place due to problems of power cut.

2° Conferences and debates in universities
These conferences were organized at University of the Lake Tanganyika and University of Burundi. On October 20, the coordinator of the campaign was at University of the Lake Tanganyika where he explained to a group of students the background of the 350 campaign at worldwide level and in Burundi, the figure 350, the date of October 24th, the activities of the campaign in Burundi and negotiations of Copenhagen in December, 2009.
Students present at this conference had opportunity to ask questions and to exchange with the presenter. Interventions turned around the responsibility of industrial countries in the phenomenon of climate warming and as a result, their obligation to finance the plans of adaptation and mitigation of climate change. They also underlined ultimate necessity for African countries to adopt a same position in these negotiations and demand a fair and equitable agreement. They also recalled the importance for youth to be mobilised in favour of a good of natural resources and lasting environmental and agriculture practices. The government and the other organizations of the society were invited to promote significantly environmental education on a large scale.
The conference-debate initially envisaged on October 22nd at 15 h 30 at University of Burundi entitled: « The socio-economical impacts of climate warming” that must be presented by the Professor Jean-Marie Sabushimike did not finally take place due to a last-minute unexpected obstacle.
However, the team of 350 Burundi campaign enlivened a session of exchange with the present students on the danger which represents climate warming and showed some extracts of documentaries like Inconvenient Truth followed by another documentary realized last April in Buterere and that shows ravages caused by floods in this period.

3° The 350 Burundi Campaign in media
Since July, the 350 Burundi campaign benefited of significant media coverage. Three programs (Radio Vacances, 3000 seconds and Univers Durable) have been produced and broadcasted in the second channel of RTNB, the national radio. The coordinator of the campaign intervened as guest.
In the two weeks which preceded October 24, several programs related to the campaign were broadcasted. Those programs are:
-Tahura utahuze abandi on Octobre 14, at 16h30 on Radio Isanganiro, Richard Havyarimana intervened as a guest;
-Ibidukikije on October 15, at 9h on Radio Culture, Richard Havyarimana intervened as guest.
-Forum Jeunes on October 19 at 17h15 on Radio Isanganiro, Richard Havyarimana intervened as guest.
– Dukingire Ibidukikije on October 23 at 11h15 on Radio Publique Africaine, Richard Havyarimana et Cynthia Ndogozi intervened as guests.
– Notre terre, notre héritage on October 23 at 21h30 on National TV ;Landry Ninteretse and Albert Mbonerane were the guests.
-Teraryarenga on October 25 at 15h and on October 28 at 16h on National Television.
A press conference was held on October 22 at 9 h 30 by the spokesman of the campaign. Eight stations of radio (RTNB, BONESHA FM, Radio Isanganiro, RPA, Radio Nderagakura, REMA FM RADIO CULTURE and Ijwi ry’ Amahoro), a news agency (ABP), three newspapers (Resurgence, Ubumwe and Ndongozi) as well as National Television had answered present at this press conference.
The spokesman of the campaign not only introduced the campaign 350 but also presented briefly the picture of environmental situation in Burundi before answering the questions of the journalists.

4° October 24 : Global day of climate action
– This day started at 8 h 30 with clean-up activities at lake Tanganyika. In total, 23 organizations of young persons and working in environmental area, some persons of Burundi Geographical Institute IGEBU including the focal point of Burundi in the Convention of United Nations on Climate Changes and the Minister of youth were present. Having enlivened of a big dynamism, they uprooted the hyacinth of water, cut grasses around the lake, picked up plastics and sachets and evacuated all this waste. After these activities, a clear difference could be observed even if it is obvious that regular jobs are necessary to rehabilitate the shores of the lake.
At 10 h 30, the participants took part in a peaceful march of more than one hour in the streets of the capital to show their concern in this worldwide call in favour of an equitable treaty for the earth and the people. The march led participants from the lake Tanganyika to Jardin Public.
– At Jardin Public of Rohero, the coordinator of the campaign, the spokesman of the campaign, the coordinator of Global Water Partnership as well as the focal point of the government in negotiations on climate gave speeches. They all recalled the necessity to rally to acquire a treaty which guarantees a lasting future for the people and the earth, particularly for the youth that still have decades to live. The representative of the government reminded efforts already accomplished in the field and reiterated the support of the government in the initiatives of environment conservation.
The spokesman of the campaign invited everyone to spread everywhere the message of natural resources protection and management.
At the end of these activities, more than 200 participants signed a petition calling to struggle against climate warming. The national delegates in the negotiations of Copenhagen will bring the collected signatures as sign of Burundian mobilization for a fair and equitable treaty.

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