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A Child's Call-to-Action cries to COP27 leaders

Madhvi Chittoor with Madam VP Kamala Harris

Madhvi shaking hands with Gov Polis during Ban PFAs - Bill signing ceremony on June 3 2022

Madhvi at the Plastic Bag and Styrofoam containers ban bill signing ceremony on July 6 2021

Madhvi Chittoor, a child Climate Warrior activist, founder of EcoEthics Global movement, issues 5 Call-to-Action steps on the heels of COP27 event

ARVADA, CO, USA, November 7, 2022 / -- The 27th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 27) is hosted this year by Egypt in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh from November 6th to Nov 18th. 

Around 90 Heads-of-states from around 190 countries are planning to attend the conference. 

The conference this year is happening on the heels of unprecedented severe droughts, severe floods, severe melting of glaciers, severe heat, severe water level drops in rivers, etc.. costing billions of dollars to the economies and posing grave danger to human health and in fact to human existence itself. 

The human mindset in the past 4 decades has been that each nation with globalization as its steed, does whatever they want in their self-interest without care for our nature and ecosystems.  Humans have forgotten that they belong to nature, are dependent on wildlife, they were created from air, water and food from soil and wild, are living only with the help of air, water and food from the soil wild and will finally decompose into them.   

Humans are viewing everything around them in the light of one and only one attribute – economic value;  Mountains, lands, streams, rivers, oceans, snow packs, air, space - how can these be utilized to serve humans even if it means destroying them?

This colonialist, competitive, capitalistic mindset has to be changed. Everyone talks about human rights, disability rights, social justice, economic justice, intergenerational justice, etc.  but not living-being rights, nature-rights and nature-inclusivity. 
The UN and the Heads-of-States of the 190 nations can set a precedence to bring about a change in this mindset from this COP27.

So, how to bring about the change in the mindset?

The United Nations has SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals.  But what is “Sustainable” is not defined and is not obvious.  The UN and all nations are looking into each SDG as a separate silo. Let’s take the SDG 8- “Decent work and economic growth”.   So, now nations, especially developing nations in Africa and Asia, are focusing only on SDG 8 and UN supports them too thus leading to the plundering of our resources and ecosystems.

Hence, I propose 3 “Call-to-action” steps to bring about a change in the mindset and action accordingly: -

1) Change Sustainable Development Goals to Nature-Rights-yoked Development Goals - NRYDG
2) Change SDG8 - “Decent work and economic growth” to “Decent work and Nature-Rights-yoked economic growth”
3) All policies, permits and any human action must be “Nature-Rights-yoked”

Now, let’s talk about Children’s rights.  UN talks about Children’s rights. I myself am a child.  I am appointed as a UN Child Advisor for the formulation of UN General Comment no 26. (UNGC26).  UNGC26 is the official United Nations guidance on how children’s rights are impacted by the environmental and climate crises and what governments must do to uphold these rights. I am very grateful for the opportunity of being a UN Child Advisor.

My 4th Call-to-action step is

4) Governments must also think about children's rights in policy formulations.

Now, I have been appointed as a UN Child Advisor since Feb 2022.  But, I’m not invited to attend COP 27.  One branch of UN does not talk to another branch of UN.  For example, UNFCCC, UNESCO, UNCRC, UNOC, UNEP, UNDP all act in their own silos.  What is the point of appointing me as a UN Child Advisor if the UN does not provide a platform for me to participate in policy negotiations or at the least allow me as a child to express my voice in UNFCCC’s COP27? I pose this question to UN because UN is the facilitator for COP.  Conference of Youth (COY) is organized but is a separate silo.   I've been a Climate-aware
Warrior since I was 5 years of age. I have interacted with many voiceless, under-privileged, disproportionately affected children and also disabled children through many forums that I have organized and through my travels. I have also interacted with many scientists like Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Michael Mann, Dr. Ed Maibach, Dr. Olga Speranskaya, etc etc and mobilized many for the Global Plastic treaty.   I have brought about large-scale policy changes globally, nationally and locally.  I fight for every living being’s fundamental right to clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean food and great health. I have been invited to meet with Madam VP Harris, the US EPA, Governors, Senators, legislators and I have worked with them.

But still no invitation for COP.

My 5th Call-to-action step is

5) Child advisors must be given the invitation for participation in UN conferences and also allowed to sit at the table with adult government policy makers for any policy decision meetings at UN conferences.

Children are the future of this planet and climate-responsible children must be given a seat at the table to participate in policy making decisions in the UN conferences.

It’s time for adults to seriously act to halt the destruction of our Planet Earth and think about Nature-rights, co-existence and harmony with nature and Children’s rights.  Will COP27 heed to my rights and justice cries?

Madhvi Chittoor
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