Policymakers urged to include children's rights in climate policies

KOTA KINABALU: Policymakers has been urged to move towards a child-sensitive climate governance framework.

This is because children are currently not recognised as rights holders and crucial stakeholders in environmental laws and policies, said United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) representative to Malaysia and special representative to Brunei Darussalam Dr Rashed Sarwar.

The call to policymakers was based on the “Impact of Climate Change on Children: A Malaysian Perspective” (ICCC) report, he said when sharing the findings and announcing a Unicef and Sabah Environment Protection Department (EPD) project called “Air Quality Monitoring in Schools” (AQUAMS Project) at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) here.

“Climate change and environmental pollution is arguably the single greatest threat to the realisation of children’s rights which continuously undercut decades of global progress in improving children’s welfare,” said Dr Rashed.

UMS deputy vice chancellor (research and innovation) Associate Professor Dr Ramzah Dambul said children were consistently overlooked in the design and content of climate policies.

“So far there is also insufficient attention given to enhance awareness and understanding of the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on the lives of families and children,” said Dr Ramzah.

EPD Sabah director Vitalis J. Moduying said the programme aimed to raise awareness of air pollution issues as well as various environmental issues in Sabah including waste management and water pollution, among others.

The AQUAMS project will be implemented over a 12-month period which will involve capacity building, engagement with schools and communities, and the production of a guidance handbook.

Meanwhile, Siung Films was announced as a participant of the MyUnicef Impact Challenge via their education platform Agents4Change.

“We were so excited to learn that our educational platform Agents4Change had been accepted to be part of the programme and honoured to find out that we were the only social enterprise from Sabah to have been selected,” said Siung Films chief executive officer, producer and director Jo Luping.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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