WATCH: Should children care about climate change?

Yes, of course! Meet Cristine, an 11-year-old environmental advocate from Compostela Valley. She’ll tell you why.

Program: Education

Type: Video

Glaciers are melting and forests are burning, both are happening across opposite sides of the world. The culprit? All fingers point to “climate change.”

In the Philippines, however, we don't have similar ice formations or severe cases of wildfires. So why should we care?

Because everyone is affected by climate change, including children, says an 11-year-old girl we met in Compostela Valley, Mindanao.

Cristene is a young environmental advocate who’s on a mission to educate fellow Filipino children on the causes and effects of climate change, as well as on the different ways students like her can help protect the environment.

“We should take care of nature,” Cristene said in Filipino. “So that our environment will be even more beautiful and clean.”

“I wish all schools can have plenty of trees,” she added. The classrooms in Cristene’s school are small, but its gardens and open fields are huge. Here, children are free to run and play in the grass.

Her school is also equipped with a solar panel, in an attempt to conserve energy.

Should children care about climate change?

Awareness, Action

The Earth has been growing warmer over the years, with humans sharing the blame for its fast deterioration.

The Philippines is known for experiencing several typhoons each year; with the impact of climate change, however, such extreme weather and climate events become more intense. Stronger typhoons could mean worse flooding and larger damages.

Due to climate change, droughts can also worsen.

All these affect our livelihoods, safety, biodiversity, health, water and food security.

Food insecurity might not be immediately felt by all Filipino households, but those dependent on small-scale farming or subsistence agriculture will be the first to experience such shortages. Since environmental conditions make it harder for them to grow crops, they will have less to eat and sell.

Cristene’s father is among them, “he works in the mountains,” the young girl said.

“We’re also experiencing more typhoons because people aren’t t disposing their garbage properly,” said Cristene. “And people cut down trees, without replacing them.”

As our carbon emissions grow and our environment becomes even more polluted, the manifestations of climate change may worsen. And this is why we need to educate children, as early as possible, on how to fight all these.

Should children care about climate change?

Criseine is among the students Save the Children trains on disaster preparedness and climate change awareness.

“What we can do is segregate our waste,” the 5th grader suggested. “Let’s separate trash that’s biodegradable and non-biodegradable, and those that are recyclable.”

“For example, we can recycle bottles and use them in planting vegetables,” she continued. “And don’t throw your garbage in places other than trashcans. Also, if you’re going to cut down trees, be sure to replace them.”

She also advises students to conserve energy by turning off faucets and unplugging appliances when not in use. It's also helpful to put up waste segregation and recycling bins at school.

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