Roots and Shoots event Windsor Castle

This summer, I attended the Roots & Shoots international conference which is annually hosted at Windsor Castle.

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Dr Jane signing a Peace poster for Colombia

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Tara Golshan and Jasmina Marcheva from Roots and Shoots UK

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Six continents…One table

 

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Dr Jane and myself…!!!

 

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Team activities!

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Yfan, Tara, Jasmina, Kate and Michelle

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Jasmina, Umar and Tara

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Jen Duffy introduces us to the talking stick

 

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Myself and very active Roots and Shoots UK students!

 

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Umar from Uganda, Vikky from Austria and Ray from Tanzania

 

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Mariah from USA, Yfan and Wu Zhinian from China

 

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Dr Jane gives Youth leaders an afternoon talk

 

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Mary Lewis from UK and Andres from Argentina

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Jasmina, Dr Jane and Tara

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Sylvia Ruambo from Tanzania

 

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Together we can do it!

 

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I have the talking stick

Coordinators and youth that are active with the programme from all over the world gathered for a week to discuss many pressing environmental and societal issues. The group consisted of people from: Uganda, Nepal, Australia, Japan, Argentina, South Korea, Tanzania, Malaysia, Singapore, Colombia, China, Austria, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Spain, UK, Italy, USA, Taiwan, Canada and last but not least….the United Arab Emirates!

I was sent because I work for the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, which is a government entity who is committed to protecting the environment, and which sponsors Roots and Shoots. I am a coordinator for the programme here in the United Arab Emirates.

Each day, we had presentations from the different countries. It was fantastic to hear about each one’s persectives from all corners of the globe, as we all have different outlook. Of course, many issues were discussed as each part of the world have completely varying standpoints. However, we all seemed to have the same vision and goals at heart.

Every afternoon, we had a different theme as group discussion. These ranged from the status of refugees and how they are perceived in different countries : this was particularly interesting as it tackled both angles of the refugee crisis. Moreover, we discussed species migration and what fascinated me was how small creatures (like the monarch butterfly) get around! It had never occurred to me how far and wide little birds can travel.

Forests and oceans was a theme that struck me the most, as global issues such as deforestation and waste dumping in oceans make me feel extremely upset. Nevertheless, a positive outlook was maintained, even with the theme of endangered species! I realised how much work and passion different people across the world commit to doing what they can for their Natural environment.

What I think I liked the most about these sessions is that they were structured like ‘Think Tanks’ and so we got the chance to hear about everyone’s outlook and take on various issues.

We also had a really moving presentation on the Day of Peace, and this inspired me so much to think about how many people in the world are committed to PEACE and how we can sometimes get overwhelmed with the media and tend to forget how beautiful human compassion really is, whether it is towards other humans or animals in general.

There was a lot of singing, moving, (eating…), laughing, sharing, even tears. I have saved this til the end of my post, but of course my highlight was definitely getting to spend time with Dr Jane for a couple of days (in a castle…) and being surrounded by the incredible people that were there.

I feel  very blessed for having been a part of this and am happy to close this with the good news that all the participants are very much still in touch with one another and we are planning projects on different themes (the one I am involved in is the Hawksbill Turtle migration project).

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