FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THE HOADEDHDHOO ASSOCIATION FOR DEVELOPMENT JOINS GLOBAL DAY OF CLIMATE ACTION AND HOASTS HUVADHOO ATOLL CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION CAMPAIGN AND LAGOON CONFERENCE
Hoadedhdhoo, Gaaf Dhaal Atoll, Republic of Maldives – 24 October 2009
People from around Huvadhoo Atoll are gathering October 24th, 2009 to participate in the day-long advocacy activities facilitated by the Hoadedhdhoo Association for Development (HAD). HAD is holding the Maldivian Youth Civil Society Climate Change Conference in the shallow lagoon area off the southeastern tip of Hoadedhdhoo. This conference is a forum for youth civil society leaders from throughout Huvadhoo Atoll to discuss local climate change issues, actions the national government has taken, details of the Maldivian Youth Climate Change Declaration, how it will impact the Copenhagen negotiations; they are also voting on and signing the document. This declaration, along with an accompanying short film of today’s activities – filmed by TV Maldives – will be presented to world leaders – by a civil society organization attending the Copenhagen Conference – at the December 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference. Following this event, HAD is conducting an awareness secession to educate Hoadedhdhoo’s community about climate change, the purpose of the International Day of Climate Action activities, and what they can do as individuals to fight climate change. The next activity is a harbor cleaning that demonstrates the importance of protecting and restoring the coral reef ecosystem that Hoadedhdhoo – as well as the entire nation relies on for survival. A collaborative partnership of volunteers from the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), divers from Fish Corner -Thinadhoo, civil society leaders, and community members are participating. Youth volunteers planting 350 trees throughout Huvadhoo Atoll, including on Hoadedhdhoo, is today’s final activity. This action highlights the importance of carbon dioxide mitigation and empowers community youth to take proactive steps toward fighting climate change. Additionally, a resource table located near Hoadedhdhoo’s harbor contains educational posters, leaflets, a suggestion box, as well as community, business, civil society, and government pledges, so the entire community can participate and learn about climate change issues.
These activities facilitated by the Hoadedhdhoo Association for Development are part of the largest day of climate change activism ever. Participants joined more than 3,000 communities in over 163 countries as part of a global day of action coordinated by 350.org to urge world leaders to take bold and immediate steps to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions.
“The Maldives is the most vulnerable country on Earth to the impacts of climate change. Huvadhoo’s civil society leaders recognize this and the importance of taking coordinated actions at the community level now to address the environmental, human rights, and humanitarian catastrophes that threaten their survival,” said Leah R. Malone, an International Consultant from the Hoadedhdhoo Association for Development.
Around the world today—from capitol cities to the melting slopes of Mount Everest, even underwater on dying coral reefs—people held rallies aimed at focusing attention on the number 350 because scientists have insisted in recent years that 350 parts per million is the most carbon
dioxide we can safely have in the atmosphere. The current CO2 concentration is 390 parts per million.
“That’s why glaciers and sea ice are melting, drought is spreading, and flooding is on the increase,” said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author twenty years ago of the first major book on climate change. “And it’s why we need a huge worldwide movement to give us the momentum to make real political change. Our leaders have heard from major corporations and big polluters for a long time—today, finally, they heard from citizens and scientists.”
These global actions come six weeks before the world’s nations convene in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Conference to draw up a new climate treaty. 89 countries have already endorsed the 350 target, as well as the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, the world’s foremost climate economist, Sir Nicholas Stern, and Nobel prize-winner Al Gore.
Images of the events from around the world, including the actions in Hoadedhdhoo will be featured on giant video screens in Times Square in New York as part of a 350 countdown, and are accessible at 350.org as part of a online photostream. Visual documentation From the Day of Action will be delivered to the United Nations on Monday.
“People have said the science of global warming is too confusing for average citizens to understand,” said McKibben. “Yesterday’s events prove that millions of people understand exactly what is at stake in the next few years, and that they want swift action to safeguard the future.”
ABOUT HOADEDHDHOO ASSOCIATION FOR DEVELOPMENT
Hoadedhdhoo Association for Development (HAD) is a non-governmental, youth organization located in Gaaf Dhaal (Huvadhoo) Atoll and founded in 1987. HAD is an entirely volunteer-run organization with a total of 273 members. HAD’s mission is to achieve rural socio-economic development of youth, women, disabled people and the community, as well as to increase active citizenship and civic participation, strengthen civil society organizations, promote responsible governance, and improve the image of the Maldives throughout the world. HAD also believes that good democratic, equitable governance and a prosperous society can be built only through achieving constructive civic participation. HAD primarily works to improve the quality of life for Hoadedhdhoo’s population, especially, youth, women, and the disabled. Additionally, HAD’s other target groups – with which they primarily work on capacity building – are other civil society organizations and local communities throughout the southernmost atolls of the Maldives.
HAD is an extremely active organization that maintains, develops, and undertakes multiple projects holistically and simultaneously. To successfully achieve its mission and objectives, programs and projects are run in the areas of environment, employment, education, and healthcare. HAD has received many accolades as well as participated in many international leadership and capacity building trainings. Most recently HAD learned they have been selected as the 2009 National Award recipient from the Maldivian government.
For more information contact Executive Director Imad Mohamed at email@example.com or (960) 766-2474
Founded by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, 350.org is the first large-scale grassroots global campaign against climate change. Its supporters include leading scientists, the governments of 92 countries, and a huge variety of environmental, health, development and religious NGOs. All agree that current atmospheric levels of CO2—390 parts per million—are causing damage to the planet and to its most vulnerable people, and that government action at the Copenhagen climate conference is required to bring the earth’s carbon level swiftly down to 350 ppm.
350.org is member of TckTckTck – a global alliance of faith groups, non-governmental organizations, trade unions and over a million individuals calling for a fair, ambitious, and binding international climate change treaty.
For more information, visit www.350.org.