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Licypriya makes mark at UN ECOSOC Youth Forum 2021

 Source: The Sangai Express

New York, April 08 2021: In the ongoing United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) Youth Forum 2021 at United Nations Headquarters, New York, nine-year-old Indian climate and environmental activist Licypriya Kangujam urged world leaders to protect the rights of the indigenous people and the future of the children across the globe.

She highlighted that climate change is directly impacting the mental health and well being of the indigenous people.

Over 10,000 young people including world leaders, scientists, experts and academics gathered this year for the 10th Anniversary of the UN ECOSOC Youth Forum 2021.Today was the last day of the event.

She addressed the gathering via video conference that "It's time for both indigenous rights activists and climate activists to work together because we have common goals.

It will strengthen our global climate movement and will help protect our forests, safeguard our rights.

We can fight together to solve the global climate crisis" .

She talked about the worsening air quality in Delhi and said, "The air quality in Delhi is the worst in the world.

Air pollution in India kills about 2 million people every year.

It is the fifth largest killer in India.

In Delhi, poor quality air damages the lungs of 2.2 million or 50 percent of all children".

Sacrificing the lives of the millions of innocent children because of the failures of "our leaders" is unacceptable at any cost.

Asking clean air to breath, clean water to drink, a clean planet to live are our basic rights.

But all these rights are being "snatched away from us", she said.

She further stated that the indigenous peoples are among those who are most acutely experiencing the mental health impacts of climate change; but very little is known about this.

Many commit suicide every year due to failure of crops or loss of livelihoods due to extreme weather events like floods, droughts, etc.

Climate change is directly impacting people's mental health forcing people to migrate from one place to another for their survival.

The world needs to support indigenous-driven initiatives and decision-making to enhance mental wellness in a changing climate, she said.

In another session on Urban Mobility by UN Habitat during the forum, she stressed, "I have a dream where there are more electric and solar vehicles on roads instead of more fossil fuel vehicles.

I have a dream where there is shut down of every coal and thermal power plant and replacing them with clean renewable energy.

I have a dream where there are more bicycles on roads instead of more motor vehicles.

Riding a bicycle means there will be zero traffic problems, zero carbon emission and zero noise pollution.

And it will save our valuable green spaces from development" .

It may be mentioned that Licypriya is one of the youngest climate activists globally.

She was in the Special Mention List of Forbes India 30 Under 30 and currently working as the advisor of one of the reputed global organizations-Child Rights International Network based in London.

She is also confirmed to be the new ambassador of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for SDG Finance by the Geneva office in Switzerland.