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As the world’s climate negotiators battled to thrash out agreements to keep the planet from overheating at last month’s COP26 conference in Glasgow, three primary school pupils made sure the voices of Lochaber’s children were also heard.
On Friday November 5, 11-year-olds Ben Webb, Mollie Donohue and Maya Cameron from Lundavra Primary School in Fort William, addressed representatives from countries around the world via video link at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on the perils of climate change as part of the Globe Legislators’ Summit COP26.
Established in 1996, the Children’s Parliament is Scotland’s centre of excellence for children’s participation and engagement.
Ben, Mollie and Maya have been participating in the parliament over the last 14 months, specifically, with the Climate Changemakers programme.
The three youngsters, along with other children from across Scotland, have been working together to develop 41 calls to action ranging from A National Tree Planting day to Better Education on Climate Change in schools.
Ben, Mollie and Maya have also held meetings with MSPs, climate activists and scientists as part of the programme.
The day previously, they took part in an online meeting with Mikiko Otani, the chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, where they discussed what it was like being part of the Climate Change Assembly and discussed what other countries can learn from what they have been doing.
Since returning from the event, Ben wanted to do more and set up what has now been christened the ‘Children’s Parliament Grove’ at the Highland charity Trees for Life site at Drumnadrochit.
The aim is to grow the grow the current 36 young saplings to at least 100 trees, perhaps more, in line with the action points the Lundavra youngsters spoke about in the Scottish Parliament.
Ben’s father Mark the Lochaber Times: ‘Hopefully, the children can make a real difference with this. Each £6 donation plants a native tree protected from the herbivores to reforest the Scottish Highlands with native deciduous trees.’
CAPTION : The Lundavra primary pupils at the Scottish Parliament, from left, Maya Cameron, Ben Webb and Mollie Donohue.
NO F48 Ben cropped