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Ashley Kolaya interviews Marshallese Climate Activist, Bertine Lakjohn

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To the Marshall Islands and Kosrae, the climate emergency poses severe threats to its security, human rights and everyday way of life as the sea level rises.

Last year, its government declared a national climate crisis. It’s President said “the failure of the international community to adequately respond to the global climate crisis of its own making holds particularly grave consequences” By 2050 - many of its islands may be uninhabitable if we don’t act now.

Something Bertine Lakjohn is acutely aware of, having taken part in and led youth leadership camps and dialogues on the subject, which inspired her into taking Environmental Studies at college.

Speaking with her is Ashley Kolaya, the former Senior Director of the YMCA Youth in Government program in Kentucky USA, after which she joined the team at TED-Ed to establish and grow their global youth voice programme. While at TED, Ashley led the design & launch of the Youth Council for TED’s Countdown initiative, a massive world-wide effort to combat the climate crisis. Over to you Ashley!

This video formed part of the launch of the Youth-Led Solution Summit Launch on Monday 19 October 2020. It is YMCA's new initiative to amplify youth solutions that positively impact local and global sustainability, the development of just and equitable communities, and the well-being of all people.

Contributors:

Bertine Lakjohn

Environmental Studies student, Marshall Islands

To the Marshall Islands and Kosrae the climate emergency poses severe threats to its security, human rights and way of life. Something Bertine is acutely aware of, having taken part in and led youth leadership camps and dialogues on the subject, which inspired her into taking Environmental Studies at college.

Ashley Kolaya

YMCA + TED Alumni

Ashley Kolaya is the former Senior Director of the YMCA Youth in Government program in Kentucky USA, after which she joined the team at TED Talks to establish and grow their global youth voice program, TED-Ed Student Talks. While at TED, Ashley led the design & launch of the Youth Council for TED’s Countdown initiative, a massive world-wide effort to combat the climate crisis.

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