The issue of climate change is one that calls for awareness and immediate action, most especially for the younger constituents of our society. With this in mind, Museo Pambata gathered participants from all over the nation and the world for the 2nd Asian Children's Museum Conference, with the theme “Children and Climate Change,” held at the historic Manila Hotel last February 2 to 4, 2012. This was made possible through a grant from the Japan Foundation-Manila.
Over a hundred participants from different fields came together for a three-day conference to discuss climate change awareness and how to teach children about the role they play in facing the effects of climate change.
Speakers from the Philippines, Japan, South Africa, France, and the USA discussed their projects dealing with issues on climate change and effective methods in imparting this knowledge to the youth. Main theme areas included: Climate change exhibitions for children in Japan, Reinventing Exhibitions on Climate Change, The Gamot Cogon School Initiative, Children's Literature and Climate Change, Children and Coral Reefs, and Children's Perceptions of Climate Change.
“It was a wonderful conference because it brought together so many different people from different backgrounds and interests. There are some serious issues and challenges but there are so many different people with wonderful ideas so it really makes me feel positive and hopeful,” says Meg Burke, a speaker from the California Academy of Sciences.
There was also an innovations panel where several speakers talked about their projects that help conserve the environment. One of the panelists is Bryan McClelland, who builds bicycles out of bamboo. He shares: “It’s great to have so many people involved in educating the youth. I think that these are great steps in order to have an educated student body that is going to make the environmental movement stronger here in the Philippines.”
Tresnawati Prihadi, a participant from the Singapore Philatelic Museum says, “It brings me this idea now that we should do something about climate change and get the children to understand it better through our exhibitions, and localizing it because we live in Singapore. It's a city, it's hard for our kids to understand about reefs and deforestation and so on, but there's something that we can do to get us to start preserving our earth.” A public school teacher from Manila also shared: “I've learned a lot of new things - things that I can share with my co-teachers. It is good to know that there are many different agencies and institutions who help each other out in taking steps on climate change.”