Climate Activist of the Month: Q&A Series with a Youth Climate Activist
Climate Activist of the Month: Q&A Series with
A Youth Climate Activist
Name of Activist: Eisha Ayub
1. Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you become passionate about the climate crisis.
My name is Eisha Ayub. I am 17 years old and currently doing my A-levels from the Beaconhouse school system. I am a youth climate activist from Pakistan. My fields of interest vary from climate activism to all types of art; performing arts, literature, music, painting, sculpture, architecture. I aim to work for my society and in the last few years, climate change is a globally rising issue with irreversible effects. Therefore, right now I spend most of my time fighting for the climate crisis.
I first became passionate about the climate crisis when I was 15 years old. It all started from a very brief lecture on the environment of Pakistan given to all of us by our environment management teacher. The words were simple yet powerful and were enough to inspire me.
After that day, I started watching documentaries regarding the crisis and felt unsatisfied by what is being done to limit/stop its harmful effects. Therefore, I decided to serve my energy and time into this cause so I can help my community and the coming generations in any way possible.
I am now involved in climate activism initiatives locally and am trying my best to get involved internationally. I actively take part in local campaigns and am part of social media groups. The groups comprise students and other youth activists who work for this cause. Content-related work is shared in the groups by primary and senior school students. I am also involved with WWF Pakistan and often share my perspective.
Most recently, with the help of our institute, about 50 students took part in a tree plantation drive along with a trash box setting campaign in our vicinity.
My sense of responsibility and duty motivates me to feel obligated to give back to my community. I believe participating in the institutions of civil society and volunteering are some of the great rebuttals for satisfaction.
Other youth activists like Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg are a great source of motivation for me.
2. How has the climate crisis affected children and youth in your country?
Pakistan is being adversely affected by climate change. As a result of ongoing climate change, the climate of Pakistan has become increasingly volatile over the past several decades; this trend is expected to continue. In addition to increased heat, drought, and extreme weather conditions in some parts of the country, the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas threatens many of the most important rivers of Pakistan. According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Pakistan has ranked the 5th worst affected country in terms of extreme climate caused by climate change. Due to the lack of resources in every educational institute, hotter days increase students' risks of heat-related illness and reduce their performance in the classroom, particularly those living in low-income communities. Storms have also led to a deterioration of infrastructure thus burdening the locals, especially the youth upon whom every family member is dependent.
3. How do you see the role of children and youth in campaigning for climate justice?
What I see as the role of children is:
1- To have a say in decisions made by the government and other authorities.
2- To be involved in tasks regarding climate action along with adults.
3- To be given a platform to speak so that their voices are heard by a larger audience.
4- To be involved in meetings and gatherings.
4. How do you think climate crises may impact your future?
Climate crisis impacts our future and the future of our planet with the loss of wildlife and biodiversity, unpredictable weather patterns, rising sea levels, and temperatures, ocean acidification, widespread illnesses and harmful effects on all socio-economic activities, and so on.
Children especially infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are among the most vulnerable from water-borne illnesses to respiratory illnesses and many more. Climate change in Pakistan is affecting the social, mental, and educational aspects of youth like me.
5. What would you say to the world’s governments and leaders?
I’d like to say, all governments have taken nature for granted. Our economies and political systems are unconditionally predicated on the belief that nature will continue to be a benign regular provider of the conditions we need to thrive; regular seasons, freshwater, pollinators, minerals, soil. It’s now apparent that our stable, reliable planet no longer exists. The impacts of this destabilization will profoundly impact every country on earth. When you think about it, that is perhaps no more unsettling thought.
The only conditions modern humans have ever known are changing and changing fast. Governments and world leaders are all in positions where they can make difference. If ever we needed a strong signal from world leaders like the that we are going to solve this; this is now! In 2021, we had the key moments in history, some have called it a super year coming together with major global decisions on climate, nature, oceans, and development. It could not be more important than far-reaching. What we do in the next few years will determine the next few thousand years.
6. What message would you like to share with children and youth globally to help them engage in climate action?
Every single person either adult, child, or elderly has a right to put forth their opinion. Never hesitate to speak up for your rights. Every human is equally important. People will cherish your thoughts once you start working for a good cause. Every little bit you do, every little effort you make is worth it.
So, let’s join hands to make a clean and green environment for everyone and the future generations.