Young Achiever: students aim to save planet

  • Cabinet meeting: Salayah Stange, centre, and Katarina Rance talk to Wayne Furbert, the Cabinet Office minister (Photograph supplied)

    Cabinet meeting: Salayah Stange, centre, and Katarina Rance talk to Wayne Furbert, the Cabinet Office minister (Photograph supplied)

  • David Burt, the Premier, discusses environmental policies with the young Fridaysforfuture protestors. (Photograph supplied)

    David Burt, the Premier, discusses environmental policies with the young Fridaysforfuture protestors. (Photograph supplied)

  • Cabinet Office minister Wayne Furbert with members of the Fridaysforfuture protest. (Photograph supplied)

    Cabinet Office minister Wayne Furbert with members of the Fridaysforfuture protest. (Photograph supplied)


Two Bermuda High School pupils organised a march to Cabinet Office as part of a global protest to tackle environmental problems.

Katarina Rance and Salayah Stange, both 15, marched with 12 other students from different schools to meet Cabinet members and offer policies to help protect the environment.

Katarina, from Devonshire, explained: “The march was about protecting the world we live in, especially for our younger generations.”

The girls said that they wanted a ban single-use plastics and styrofoam, put limits on meat supplies for grocery stores and tariffs on products containing palm oil because its production had led to large-scale deforestation.

They also made proposals to increase the use of carpooling and recycling to cut down on carbon emissions, fuel usage and waste.

Salayah added: “Tariffs would be hard since we import everything, but palm oil is one of the main reasons for deforestation, so we’d like to do our part in reducing that.”

The Devonshire resident explained that the march was a part of the Fridaysforfuture movement, a global protest where pupils leave their classrooms and walk to government buildings to urge those in power to introduce environmental protection policies.

The movement was inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish girl who staged a school walkout last year to ask the Swedish Government to reduce the country’s carbon emissions.

Similar protests have happened in 168 countries over the past two years, with the last event, held on March 15, attracting about 1.6 million schoolchildren around the world.

Katarina said: “I was in Germany for an exchange and the movement was this huge thing when I was there.

“When I came back, I mentioned it in one of our history classes and no one knew what it was, so I went to Salayah and I explained it to her.

“She said ‘yeah, we should do this’, and since then we’ve been working together to bring this to Bermuda.”

The girls organised their event, held last Thursday, with a website for people to register and through social media.

The pair co-operated with the Government by giving it advance warning and moving the protest to a Thursday to avoid a conflict with the Bermuda Day Parade.

She said the response from pupils to the protest was supportive, but that adults had been more critical.

Katarina explained: “In Fridaysforfuture you generally strike from school, so we’d talked with our principal and she said that we could do one after our exams or after school.”

Salayah added: “A lot of the reactions to our goals, some people think that it’s unrealistic or that saying something won’t change anything, but nothing’s going to happen if you don’t try.”

She added that the duo had also approached restaurants about the use of single-use plastics and many had introduced alternatives.

They said that they planned to carry out another protest to petition the Government to make further policy changes and declare an environmental emergency like the United Kingdom.

Salayah said: “The older adults will die from old age, but all of us here who can’t vote, who don’t have a voice and who can’t take any action are going to die from climate change.”

Katarina added: “There is no Planet B. This is our only planet and we need to do what we can to protect it.”

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published May 27, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated May 27, 2019 at 6:33 am)

Young Achiever: students aim to save planet

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon

  • Take Our Poll

    • "Who are your favourites to win the Cricket World Cup?"
    • Australia
    • 11%
    • Bangladesh
    • 3%
    • England
    • 28%
    • India
    • 17%
    • New Zealand
    • 5%
    • Pakistan
    • 4%
    • South Africa
    • 4%
    • West Indies
    • 27%
    • Total Votes: 3942
    • Poll Archive

    Today's Obituaries

    eMoo Posts