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Hundreds of young people give their views on climate change

25 July 2019

Abbie Syvret handing out leaflets to young people

​More than 5% of Jersey’s 15 to 21 year-olds have so far given their views on carbon neutrality, in a consultation which will help form the Government of Jersey’s response to the climate emergency.

Young people are being encouraged to fill in an online survey or share their views at an outreach session, which are being held in a variety of locations, or at a focus group.

The online survey, which is open until Wednesday 7 August, is gauging the importance of climate change to 15 to 21 year-olds at a time when the issue is becoming increasingly prominent in Jersey.

The research project and survey is being made possible by the Earthwatch Internship scheme, which is jointly run by the Government of Jersey and Earthwatch Europe. The scheme aims to educate and inspire younger generations to understand threats to the natural world from a local perspective. 

Abbie Syvret, a former JCG student who is studying geography at Durham University, is running the survey and focus groups to help collect both quantitative and qualitative data. Abbie is also visiting youth groups and clubs to engage with as many young people as possible during her six-week internship.

Learning Manager at Earthwatch Europe, Katherine McGavin, said: “Earthwatch are delighted to be able to support Abbie through the Jersey Earthwatch internship programme. We are dedicated to helping young and early career environmentalists develop the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to become actors in tackling the world’s most urgent environmental challenges.

“Abbie joined us for a training weekend in early July exploring environmental education and communication with young people. She was an enthusiastic and engaged member of the team who helped keep discussions grounded in the viewpoints and roles of young people in the wake of climate crisis.”

Intern Abbie said: “I’m very excited to be helping government. The feedback that I’m collecting will become part of the wider feedback into the plan, so it will make a difference to how Jersey addresses the climate emergency that the States Assembly declared in May.”

The youth engagement work has been organised by eco active programme manager, Jane Burns, who said: “Since the States Assembly voted to declare a Climate Emergency, government has been working on building engagement channels with various groups to start gathering opinions. We are already engaging with many people from different demographics, and this has been a great opportunity to reach Jersey’s young people – one of the most important groups, which fits with the States common strategic priorities.

“We have given Abbie the support she needs to get a clear understanding of their attitudes and concerns, and so far more than 500 people have responded. This project is exciting for both Jersey and complements the aims of the internship scheme: to increase engagement in scientific research and to promote understanding and action in sustaining the environment. We are not aware of any other countries carrying out research specifically on the views of this age group which is surprising when you consider the ‘Greta effect’.”

The survey is part of Your Island, Your Say, which seeks to reach all islanders to get their views on four initiatives which have the environment as their common theme.

The survey is available online and includes the chance to win an Active Card for participation.

About Earthwatch

Earthwatch has been bringing people, science and nature together to tackle environmental issues for almost 50 years. To solve problems as complex as climate change and wildlife loss, we must bring together governments, policy-makers, scientists, businesses and civil society – working together is the key. We focus on the key challenges where we can have most impact: reducing the pollution of our water bodies; enhancing the health of our coasts; decreasing negative agricultural impacts and creating sustainable places to live and work.

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