As the world readies itself for critical climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December this year, environmental campaigns have also gone into high gear. All want to force action during what is being called the most important event in human history. In our region, acutely vulnerable to climate change, strong political statements have come out.

In mid-August, the Alliance of Small Island States and the Group of LDCs (Least Developed Countries), released a joint

Picture: Taken in Victoria after 2004 Tsunami

statement demanding quicker action on climate change from developed nations. They insisted that developed nations - responsible for the bulk of green house gases causing global warming and climate change - should commit to higher percentage of reductions of emissions, and make those reductions sooner rather than later. They said that adverse impacts are already being felt in their nations. "These impacts have the potential to threaten social and political stability, and in some cases the very survival of low-lying Island states". Said Bruno Sekoli, from Lesotho, the Chair of the Group of LDCs.

On the social side of things, a controversial movie has been released to mixed reactions. Hailed and lambasted equally,  the "Age of Stupid" is a film set in the devastated future world of 2055. It looks at old footage from 2008, and asks the question, "why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?" Its main star is a man who has survived the devastation. But the producers also picked six other people to focus on based on "hotspots".

Twenty three year old Layefa Mayemi, a medical student from the Niger Delta, represents the LDCs. As she goes fishing every day she discovers the river is "not good" because of the pollution caused by the extraction of millions of dollars worth of oil from the area.

The film is powerfully pessimistic. Its aim is to shock every individual to the harsh reality of our times. During its launch in the UK the President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed sent this message.
"Now the world has an opportunity to come together and prevent the looming environmental catastrophe. That opportunity is called Copenhagen. And let’s be very frank about this: Copenhagen can be one of two things. It can be an historic event where the world unites against carbon pollution, in a collective spirit of co-operation and collaboration. Or, Copenhagen can be a suicide pact. The choice is that stark. My message to you, my message to the world, is simply this: please, don’t be stupid."

At the end of the film one ought to feel like they don't want to live stupid. They should want to take action for the planet and for their country. To assist us "the NOT STUPID" campaign has been launched, and will run up to the climate talks. It is supported by among others WWF, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. The campaign is targeted mainly at people from the rich nations but it is relevant to people all over the world. It lists a number of actions that one can take. Reducing our individual carbon footprint is one of them.  So is adding a voice to the other millions of voices demanding for firm action to reduce emissions, and fast!

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Seychelles Nature, Green HealthClimate Change, Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability Organisation

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Roche Caiman, Mahe

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Centre for Environment & Education

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