Girl Guides from Australia to speak out against climate change at COP 16 in Mexico

Australian Guides Christine MacRae, from Canberra, and Bronwyn Hughes, from Thirroul NSW, are two of fifteen remarkable young women from 11 countries across the globe who will form the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ (WAGGGS) youth delegation at this year’s UNFCCC climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico.

The two young women, who were selected by Girl Guides Australia, will join with key policy makers and international leaders at the conference, which starts today and runs until December 10.

“Giving Australian Guides a voice at this important conference will raise awareness of the fact that girls and young women are disproportionately affected by climate change and need to be placed at the heart of any solution,” said Girl Guides Australia’s Chief Commissioner, Lynne Price.

Twenty five year old Christine MacRae added, “We, as the young people of today, are going to be the leaders and custodians of the world tomorrow, so it’s very important that we make ourselves heard and stand up for what we want at these important international events.”

Both young women were chosen to represent Girl Guides Australia due to their commitment to environmental sustainability and experience in advocacy. Christine leads on environmental projects within her Guide unit, including participating in Clean Up Australia day and raising awareness of living in an environmentally-sensitive way amongst young Girl Guides. She studied environmental science at university and currently works with the Murray Darling Basin Authority on assessing and conserving water resources.

Bronwyn is currently undertaking an international exchange with Girl Guides in Mexico, and has been involved with a project to combat the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico using a biodegradable and recyclable and solution. In Australia, she studied international relations and development studies at university and has been involved with numerous Girl Guide environmental projects, such as a bush regeneration and a seabird rescue project.

“I am committed to undertaking further research in the area of climate change, the COP 16 UN Climate Change Conference being an area in which I am already doing some study. I am also committed to sharing my experiences and enacting what I have learnt from the conference upon my return to Australia,” said Bronwyn.

Notes to editors:

  • COP 16 is the 16th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework of Climate Change Convention taking place in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010.
  • Girl Guides Australia is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). There are 145 Girl Guide and Girl Scout Member Organisations in the network.
  • Girl Guides Australia delivers non-formal education on a range of topics, including saving the environment, personal development and leadership program. Girl Guides Australia currently has 30,000 members and is celebrating its centenary in 2010.
  • Bronwyn and Christine will join with Guides from Canada, Denmark, USA, Kenya, UK, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Costa Rica, Honduras and Zambia at the conference.
  • As WAGGGS delegates, Bronwyn and Christine will be involved in all youth activities organised by YOUNGO, such as the 6th Conference of Youth (COY6), a training and networking opportunity where they will run workshops. The delegates will also contribute to a side event about Article 6 of the Convention, which addresses the issue of climate change related education, training and public awareness, on how education and non formal education can impact climate change
  • To read daily updates and blogs by the delegates during COP 16, please visit www.wagggsworld.org, www.uniteforclimate.org, www.VoicesofYouth.org (UNICEF) and www.youthink.org during the conference.