Children's Appeal
to The 9th Conference of Parties of The Ramsar Convention

8th November, 2005

We the children of the world would like to thank the organizers of Ramsar CoP9 for this opportunity to participate in this conference.  Many conferences like this one are held all over the world, but children never participate.  The organizers of this conference have given the young people from different parts of the world a chance to present our concerns as follows;

A. Information about wetlands

When our parents were still young, our grandparents passed on information to them in form of stories and folk tales.  The adults of today have made all this information as scientific and academic that it is difficult for us to understand.  We only use this information to pass the exams but not to make a difference.  There is a saying in the Bible- "Train a Child in the way you want them to behave and when they grow up they will never depart from them."  We therefore appeal to you to do the following;

Please find some simple ways of making the current information easy for us to understand.
Work with us young people to reach out to as many people as possible through awareness activities such as music, dance and drama.

B. Tools to manage wetlands

Our grandparents developed different norms and cultures that govern the wise use of Wetland Resources. We are worried that today all these cultures are being destroyed. Today, the guidelines for using wetlands are written in a language we cannot understand well. We appeal to the delegates of the conference and the governments all over the world;

To write the guidelines for using wetlands in ways that young people can understand.
To support cultural leaders all over the world and empower to educate us on the conservation of wetlands. 

C. Conservation of wetlands

We have noted with concern that the climate in our home areas has changed as can be seen from the floods we all experience.  We are also concerned that the habitats for many beautiful plants and animals continue to disappear at an alarming rate.  On the conservation of wetland resources around the world, we appeal to the delegates to do the following;

Strengthen the laws on the conservation of wetlands and consult young people in the making of these laws.
Gazette more wetlands as protected areas.
Re-settle the people living in essential wetlands.
Include wetland conservation in the school teaching programs.

D. Restoration of degraded wetlands

There are many importance of wetlands but we see you destroying them.  We are now confused on what is right and wrong.  On the restoration of degraded wetlands around the world, we ask you to do the following; 

Develop alternative raw materials for the construction industry.
Establish laws for industries to repair the damage caused to wetlands.
Work with all partners including young people to repair the damage on wetlands.
Fight poverty to avoid further encroachment.

As you get into your discussions, let what the children have communicated to you be on your minds.  Provide opportunities out of this conference for addressing children's concerns in wetland management.  Please remember that Children are also affected by the decisions you make during such meetings.  Sometimes much more than adults, since for us we have a longer time to stay.  We also believe that however, little it may be, we have a contribution to make in the management of wetlands.

Together, we can make the world a better place.

Thank you.

Appeal drafted by children organized by NatureUganda, Wildlife Clubs of Uganda, ENVITA, and Ramsar Center Japan.