BELMOPAN, Fri. Oct 8, 2021– 17-year-old Kiefer Mes, a young environmentalist of Independence Village, is heading to the Conference of Youth (COY16) in Glasgow, Scotland. COY16 stands as the largest youth conference pertaining to UN climate processes. It will be held from October 28 to 31 and stands as a precursor to the COP26 event that is to be held in Glasgow, Scotland between October 31 and November 12, 2021.
The COP26 event is an expert-studded convention in which climate-change activists worldwide will convene to discuss mitigation and minimization efforts to diminish the effects of climate change and foster climate resilience. The Conference of Youth features a more capacity-building approach. In attending this event, it primes younger populations for future participation at COP.
Similar to the COP event, youths will be working together to consolidate coordinated action to curb the effects of climate change, inputting the discussion into an official youth policy paper. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers had fallen short on income, and as a result the participants were asked to fund their trip to the conference. Mes has been petitioning for assistance for some time. Today, during the ceremony for the closing of the REDD+ Belize project, Kiefer received a cheque for over three thousand dollars from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management.
The ministry felt Keifer’s valiant efforts must be rewarded and thus transitioned the REDD+ Phase I Project closure ceremony to a handing over ceremony for Mes. The ministry believes he stands as an exemplary model for all youths across Belize. Using Mes as a benchmark, the ministry encourages more youths to be more involved in taking climate action. In accepting the cheque, Keifer said, “I will represent Belize well, and I hope I can be able to experience, being it is a first-time experience. As you know, it will be my first time going outside the country, and by doing this, I will be able to represent Belize, and I would like to thank everyone in here for being here to support me as well. I know I got you guys right here on my back, so I will be right here trying to represent Belize as well as I can.”