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Global Youth Summit: A Reflection

Trevor Hu '18, Contributor

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A few weeks ago, BC High hosted a conference called the Global Youth Summit. At this conference, students from various locations throughout the state come together and discuss climate change and its effect on the global community. Students are divided up into several groups and are assigned a country to research. After they research the country, students will have to create a solution with a theoretical budget of 1 million dollars. In the end, there is a competition among the groups to see which solution is the best. At this competition, each group needs to present the information through social media or a PowerPoint.
In my case, my group had to discuss the effects of climate change effect on Bangladesh. Initially, I did not know a lot about Bangladesh or its problems. However, I realized that Bangladesh’s landscape is primarily composed of waterways. Also, Bangladesh’s land is mainly under sea level. With this combination, Bangladesh experiences several flooding issues. Another problem Bangladesh faces involves the salinity of its rivers. Due to global warming, the water levels are rising dramatically. Therefore, the salt from the sea water is mixing with the freshwater within the rivers. This rise in salinity threatens the purity of water and wildlife found in this river. In recent years, the population of fish that live in freshwater rivers has declined significantly. This reduction in fish damages the lifestyle which many citizens live.

To combat these issues, my group proposed to plant mangrove trees along these rivers. Mangrove trees are trees that have the capability to absorb the salt found within freshwater. Their roots act as a filter that only allows water to pass through. By planting these trees, we hope to see a rise in the fish population and a decrease in the salinity.

Due to Bangladesh’s poor economic state, many people cannot afford basic needs such as bathrooms. Consequently, people in Bangladesh simply utilize the river to resolve this problem. This also contributes to the impurity of rivers. To fix this problem, my group wanted to build latrines in heavily populated areas. The construction of these latrines will eventually purify the rivers and give citizens of Bangladesh access to something that we often take advantage of.
When it was time to present, my group decided to create a Twitter page. On our page, we posted information about Bangladesh, its problems, our solutions, and our budget. After presenting, our audience seemed impressed by our solutions. In the end, we did not win the competition, but I enjoyed the experience.

I took away many lessons from the Global Youth Summit. During the day, I was able to work as a team with a diverse group of students. I discovered the horrific conditions people currently live in. Likewise, my eyes were opened to some of the privileges that I often take for granted. Moving forward, I am going to be more aware of global warming and how it impacts everyone. The Global Youth Summit exposed me to the problems our global community faces, but also revealed the potential that I had to solve these issues.

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Global Youth Summit: A Reflection