Change Climate Change Campaign
The former ambassador to Kiribati, Teburoro Tito joined SeYoon Yoon, the founder of Echo the Eco, for an interview. When asked about the seriousness of the issue, Ambassador Tito shared his experience on the island:
“The islands are certainly being battered by the waves, storms, extreme weather events, therefore, the islands are very much disturbed and disrupted by the climate change.”
Mr. Tito emphasized the importance of young leaders as they have greater awareness about the environment, which can help in reducing, if not stopping, the adverse consequences of climate change.
He emphasized that large global companies want island nations to keep saying that Kiribati is sinking because they want to gain billions of dollars from environmental funds to create an artificial island. An artificial island would then be used as a grand tourism project. He further added that companies are coming to Kiribati and instilling these false ideas in the minds of general people to make them live in fear, hoping that the locals can persuade the government to focus on migration. These tourism and real estate developers’ ultimate goal is to have the government receive significant funding from the Green Climate Funds so that the artificial island project can turn into reality.
“[These companies are] thriving on the misery of people. That is something which is not acceptable.”
He appealed to everyone to be aware of these companies that are fueled by greed and monetary gain, asking global citizens to help to rebuild Kiribati. When asked about what Echo the Eco can do in this case, Ambassador Tito emphasized the voice of the global community. He noted that the voice of students, such as Echo the Eco, is imperative in combating against climate change. During the 2nd Pacific Climate Change Conference, the government of Kiribati stated that their first priority at the international level is “to ensure that the pacific region maintains a strong voice in the international arena.” Teburoro Tito specified that it is critical to educate the ones that are unaware of this silent crisis taking place in island nations in the Pacific.
In response to Mr. Tito’s request, SeYoon Yoon initiated the “Echo the Silent Crisis” campaign. “Echo the Silent Crisis” is a educational campaign that has a goal of informing 10,000 scholars annually under 18 years old regarding climate disruptions, sea level rise (SLR) impacts, local action on energy efficiency and migration and shifting populations. Its mission is to educate local and global educational communities so that primary and secondary students understand the causes and wide ranging effects of climate change.
Echo the Eco has talked to more than 1,000 students in the state of Connecticut. By next fall, Echo the Eco is planning on talking to more than 10,000 students. Currently, most of Echo the Eco's efforts will be dedicated to informing students of age 10-18, specifically in the state of Connecticut and Massachusetts.