Our planet. Our future.

    April 24, 2024

    Statement of the Association for the Rights of Children in Southeast Asia for Earth Day 2024

    Children hold a plant preparing it for planting

    As we mark Earth Day this year, let us remember that the impacts of climate change are not felt equally around the globe. In Southeast Asia, the effects of climate change are particularly pronounced. Rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and dwindling natural resources threaten the lives and futures of millions of children across the region.

    From the bustling cities to the remote villages, Southeast Asian children face the harsh realities of a drastically changing climate every day. Displacement, food insecurity, and health hazards are just a few of the challenges they encounter. As we work to protect their rights and ensure their well-being, it is imperative that we also address the root causes of these issues.

    While the task may seem daunting, there are actions that citizens, including children and their families, can take to combat climate change and protect the most vulnerable among us. Whether it’s reducing our carbon footprint through the reduction of waste and the conservation of energy and other resources, growing food in our homes, advocating for sustainable policies, or supporting renewable energy initiatives, every effort counts. Together, we can make a difference.

    However, we should not ignore the historical and extensive role of big industries and industrialized nations in accelerating climate change. The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities states that those who have contributed the most to the problem must bear the greatest responsibility to take action towards resolving the crisis. Holding them accountable is not only essential in achieving climate justice but also for safeguarding the future of our planet and its children.

    On this Earth Day, let us recommit ourselves to protecting the environment and ensuring a sustainable future for all. By working together and holding ourselves and others accountable, we can create a world where every child can thrive in harmony with nature.

    Standing united for the rights of Southeast Asian children and the planet, we hope for a meaningful Earth Day for everyone.