site.btaDutch Ambassador for Youth: Stories Can Teach Children about Climate Change
The Dutch Ambassador for Youth, Education and Work Jurriaan Middelhoff, who attended the Bulgarian pavilion at the COP28 climate conference here on Saturday, told BTA that even stories could be used to teach children about the risks of climate change and the importance of tackling problems together. Middelhoff participated in a discussion at the Bulgarian pavilion at COP28, jointly organized by the Bulgarian government and UNICEF.
The Ambassador commended Bulgaria and UNICEF for backing the Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action, which brought together high-level representatives from EU and UN Member States, as well as youth delegates from Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Turkiye and Spain.
Middelhoff spoke about his country's efforts to bring young people into the discussion on climate action. The Netherlands actively tries to involve young people in policy-making, to seek their opinion on how policies can be improved. The result is numerous innovative ideas. Middelhoff is positive that young people's outside-the-box thinking can benefit not just the Netherlands or Bulgaria, but also the world.
The Ambassador said that education systems need to take climate into account, to teach young people about the environment, about dangers and risks and ways to diminish or prevent them. He believes that stories can be used to show children that the world faces huge risks, but also that solutions exist.
Middelhoff cited a short story known as The Hero of Haarlem, which is often told to Dutch children. The story is about a young boy from the Netherlands who noticed a leaking dike and put his finger in the hole to save his country. The Ambassador noted that while this is just a children's story, it does prove how important it is to be aware of climate change, the risks it poses and the ways people can mobilize to fight them together.