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The Kingdom of Eswatini

MTN Bushfire Green Round Table Environmental Forum

MTN Bushfire has partnered with Hlumisa and the Eswatini Climate Coalition (ECCO) to start a new environmental sustainability discussion forum for the youth, the Green Round Table, supported by the EU. This will become an annual component of the MTN Bushfire Schools Festival.

Under the #GREENYOURFIRE call to action, using the transformative power of the arts to creatively advocate for positive change, MTN Bushfire encourages the kind of world we would all like to see – a global community of change-makers, thought leaders, and creative problem solvers who unite in a celebration of the arts and in the spirit of taking action against environmental degradation and poverty.

The youth are the key stakeholders in climate action, because they will inherit the planet and have the most to lose. The objective of the Green Round Table is to provide an opportunity for youthful environmental activists in the Kingdom of Eswatini to come together to explore creative climate action and green solutions for the country.

In the run-up to MTN Bushfire, the first edition of the Green Round Table was held at House on Fire. The forum was funded by the European Union (EU) and coincided with EU Green Week. The event brought together 40 dynamic environmental and climate activists, students, teachers and practitioners under the theme “Exploring Creative Climate Action & Green Solutions in Eswatini.” With the success of this first edition, it is envisioned that the concept will be expended into a regional forum, centred on Eswatini.

Climate change is a global crisis. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, and natural disasters are becoming more extreme. It is disrupting economies and affecting individuals, aggravating poverty and rapid urbanisation. Climate change is likely to push millions further into poverty and limit the opportunities for sustainable development, unless we as humans adapt to the changing situation. Developing countries such as Eswatini will be among those most adversely affected and least able to cope with the anticipated shocks to their social, economic and natural systems.

Through a series of talks and workshops, the inaugural Green Round Table provided an opportunity for like-minded youth to meet, network, learn, share and brainstorm creative ideas and solutions to some of the most urgent and pressing issues of our time. Dane Armstrong from ECCO/Hlumisa gave a brief overview of climate change and how it would affect people in the coming years, and MTN Bushfire’s commitment to achieving a zero single-use plastic festival was reaffirmed by festival Director Jiggs Thorne. The EU Ambassador, Dessislava Choumelova, expressed her support for the initiative on a personal level and encouraged the youth to remain driven in solidarity towards climate action.

For more of MTN Bushfire’s environmental initiatives, subscribe to the MTN Bushfire on the Ayoba app (downloadable from www.ayoba.me) and follow @mtnbushfire on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.