Tuesday, 19 June 2012

1er Forum Eco-Citoyen des Enfants de Phnom Penh

450 Students from 15 Schools attended
Working with Phnom Penh French School, I supported the organisation and development of Phnom Penh's first Eco-Citizen forum.  Working over six months of preparation that included developing partnerships with schools, NGOs and charitable foundations, the forum spread the concept of Sustainable Development and Eco-Citizenship beyond the simple and often misunderstood concepts of environment, and expanded into cultural participation and so on.  

A key goal was to provide young people living in Phnom Penh an opportunity to participate in the City's sustainable development and decision making process, which was warmly supported and accepted by His Excellency Kep Chuktem, the governor of Phnom Penh, as well as the French overseas development agency and the Embassy of France in Cambodia.  Schools included two private schools, three charitable school foundations with the remainder state schools. 

Student representatives with the Governor
The forum's objectives were: 
  • Educate children about the issues of sustainable development in Phnom Penh.
  • Provide activities that promote the development of Eco-Citizen attitudes both individually and within the wider community.
  • Offer an environment for young people to express, debate and reflect on ideas of sustainable development.
  • To facilitate the implementation of joint actions for young people and sustainable development.
450 students from 15 Phnom Penh Schools, along with a another 200 teaching, NGO, foundation and support staff attended the main forum day on 12th May 2012.  The day was split into three main components:  Stands, Workshops and Discussion Groups, using the following themes:

Theme 1:  Living in a safe and quality environment (ensuring sustainable human development):
Theme 2:  Managing and sharing resources for the future (inter-generational solidarity):
Theme 3: Produce and consume differently (to make choices for sustainable development) 

Discussion groups were facilitated to allow young people provide their opinions on the following topics:
  • What can we do with our
    Student reps in the
    Governor's office
    waste? How to produce less waste?
  • Where to play? Where to go? Where to meet in town?
  • How to eat healthily in Phnom Penh?
  • How can we improve our safety on the road?
  • How can we live with new technologies safely? 
  • How can my family help me “grow” as a person?
  • Where can we play sports in the city ?
  • What does the notion of "solidarity" mean?

On 13th June, students presented the results of the discussion to the Governor, which were warmly received.  For more details, please visit the forum blog here (in French).

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