YOUNG Wearsiders have added their voice to a global debate.
Members of Sunderland Youth Parliament were invited to contribute their views to the Washington DC-based Earth Day Network’s Campaign, which helped to mark Earth Day yesterday.
Their debate on the theme of Mobilise the Earth was held during the regular meeting at the Awards Centre in the city’s Havelock Terrace and filmed to be uploaded onto the American environmental awareness organisation’s website.
John Maleri, associate director of Earth Day, said: “We hope to get people all around the world talking about what the environmental movement means to them, and how they hope to work in their cities and communities to spread the word about a sustainable future.”
The themes under discussion by members of Sunderland’s Youth Parliament – which provides 11- to 18-year-olds with the chance to debate issues affecting their lives, included green spaces, litter, recycling, sustainable transport and renewable energy sources.
Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We are delighted that the close links between Sunderland and Washington DC, which we have just strengthened with the renewal of our Friendship Agreement, continue to open up opportunities such as this.
“In the last few months two University of Sunderland students have become the first city students to study for a semester at the University of the District of Columbia, two renowned Washington DC glassmakers have spent time as Fulbright visiting lecturers at the University and with Creative Cohesion, and pupils at Monkwearmouth School have taken part in a visit to their partner school in Washington DC.
“It is fantastic to be able to strengthen this partnership activity further through Sunderland Youth Parliament’s continued involvement in the ongoing environmental debate which affects us all.”
The annual Earth Day was initiated in America more than 40 years ago to help stimulate debate on environmental issues.
Sunderland Youth Parliament will also be sharing the film with members of Washington DC’s Youth Advisory Council.
David Crone, 18, who studies at Bede Sixth Form College, is chairman of the Sunderland Youth Parliament.
He said: “Environmental issues don’t stop at borders so it’s important to have international dialogue about these matters which affect us all.”