Some of our Young Reporters for the Environment practiced their reporting skills during the recent World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC). The conference, which brought together educators and thought-leaders in environmental education from across the globe, took place Sept. 9-15 in Vancouver, B.C.
During the conference, students from Seaquam Secondary School in Delta, B.C. and the University of British Columbia—all previous winners of our national eco-journalism competition for youth—attended various conference sessions and interviewed some of the speakers, including famed environmentalist David Suzuki and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. When they had a break, they worked away on their stories in the press room. Their final stories were published online. (See all the stories.)
One student even had the chance to represent YRE on the international stage. Abnash Bassi, a grade 11 student, was chosen to participate on the closing conference panel about how to get youth involved with environmental issues. Here’s a clip of her speaking:
The students also got to connect with Young Reporters for the Environment from another country. Some young reporters from Turkey travelled all the way to Canada to also report on the conference.
In case you’re not familiar with Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE), it is an international environmental education program. YRE invites youth to go out into their communities and investigate solutions to local environmental issues. Then, the students share what they have found through videography, photography, or writing. The program is run internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education. Environmental Defence operates the program in Canada.
Young Reporters share their WEEC experience in their own words
WEEC was not only a great opportunity for the students to hone their journalism skills, but it also inspired them to take further action for the environment. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here’s what the students had to say:
“My experience covering the World Environmental Education Congress was an eye-opening one. The sheer amount number of countries and places represented was almost overwhelming! However it was ultimately encouraging to know that there are so many people from all over the world that are working together to address issues that I am passionate about.” – Dryden Wiebe
“As a Young Reporter for the Environment, it was an honour to be able attend the World Environmental Education Conference on culture and environment, weaving new connections. The number of places that delegates came from, the languages they spoke, the diversity of their ages, and the impact that the keynote plenary speakers had on me was quite a remarkable experience.” – Parvin Malhi
“Attending the WEEC as a young reporter was an absolutely amazing experience! Not only did I get to connect with professionals from all walks of life worldwide, but I enhanced my ability to interview others. I learned how to take risks and ask interesting questions. The most inspiring moment of the conference was definitely speaking with David Suzuki about addressing Indigenous reconciliation after his fascinating talk.” – Abhayjeet Sachal
Are you 11-18 years old and would like to get involved with YRE? We will launch our 2017-2018 national eco-journalism competition this fall. Visit youngreporters.ca for more information.