My Goals by Andrea Wilson

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Andrea Wilson, Child Author from North America

Hello Everyone! My name is Andrea Wilson, and I am a North American Child Author

In September 2018, I was in London attending an event in the House of Lords where Child Authors and kids just like you discussed problems of our earth and how we can solve them.  With kids from schools from around the UK, we talked at length about the meaning of a concept called intergenerational equity. 

Intergenerational equity means treating others with respect regardless of their age.  Broadly, it means understanding that each person is only one drop in an ocean full of people who would all like to be respected and shown reverence.  But intergenerational equity is now a phrase and something we aren’t acting on: the earth has been around for billions of years and has supported thousands of generations of people.  It could support thousands more if we take care of it.  Unfortunately we’re not doing a good job.

My goals in life and with this blog are to encourage everyone to make a difference and to spread my passion to solve pressing issues around the world.  By the time by my generation is at its prime, I would like to be in a world where everyone’s hearts and minds are evolved to the point that we care about the environment, each other, and people who don’t have as much.  I feel very strongly about animals, people with no homes, gender equality and global warming as well as many other issues.  Overall, I believe my purpose in life as a child and adult is to help prevent and solve disasters in humanity and our earth such as whole forests being chopped down, the loss of a species, greenhouse gas levels going up, a billion more tons of trash into the ocean, natural disasters, and many other things.  I want to help to return the balance of climate and air to what it was before we started mass-producing greenhouse gasses.  Someday, I hope I can travel to a rainforest or other biome teaming with life the way it was before we started to hunt and destroy the homes of the biome’s inhabitants.

“I hope I can travel to a rainforest or other biome teaming with life the way it was before we started to hunt and destroy the homes of the biome’s inhabitants”

Try to imagine a world untouched by humans.  The whole earth is covered in trees and prosperous life.  Rolling hills, majestic mountain ranges, vast grasslands, magical waterfalls, endless forests, rocky plateaus and any other imaginable environment stretched for as far as the eye could see.  Even the arid desserts were bustling with life.  Every species is plentiful; none have gone extinct as a result of humanity.  The air quality and temperature is balanced and only adjusted by the environment.  Every species only takes what they need and respects the food chain.  This is life at its balance.

Then humans came along.  At first we were one with the animals: we too foraged for food and always kept moving.  Then human brains developed and came up with ideas to make life easier.  We kept reproducing until other species dwindled while our numbers grew.  And this will continue unless we do something.  Indeed eventually our earth will be unable to support us and we will run out of food.  We will eat animals poisoned with chemicals and plastic (actually we’re doing this now in part).  The oceans will be of garbage not water (some are now).  The sheer amount of greenhouse gasses will cause storms that kill many people.  Some countries will cease to exist in a civilized way.  There will be no life except for us and our cruel ways, and even we will be diminishing.  We must change and stop going down this path before it gets even worse.

The UN and its member countries came up with a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to try to prevent this demise and fix the damage we’ve already done. Together, the SDGs will help to make a world with no poverty, no plastic lying everywhere, no pollution, a thriving world with respect to all people, gender equality, and the right to speak up. They will allow many more generations to benefit from our earth. As we implement the goals, I believe we must also be practical and consider how to provide for people’s basic needs and economics. We must achieve the SDGs to ensure the survival of both our planet and humanity itself; we cannot let them be just a collection of ideas on paper.

The other children in the UNESCO Voices of Future Generations Children’s Initative have similar goals to mine and we work together to bring these goals to life.  I believe we can do it and I am making this blog to inspire you to take action and do what’s right.  Be an influence and work to change the environmental and economic problems you see.  All of you are important and I want us all to use the power we have to make a difference.  Your age doesn’t matter nor does your size, all that matters is how big your heart is and if you’re willing to take real action.  Just remember your actions define who you are and who you would like to be every moment, every decision, every action you choose.  Don’t wait, as now is the time - who are you going to choose to be?

Jona David, Andrea Wilson and Ying-Xuan, Child Authors at The House of Lords, London

Jona David, Andrea Wilson and Ying-Xuan, Child Authors at The House of Lords, London

Roadkill: Through the Eyes of the Leopard Cat

Roadkill: Through the Eyes of the Leopard Cat By Ying-Xuan Lai, Child Author from Taiwan

The leopard cat drew a lot of attention when it was chosen to be the mascot of the 2018 Taichung World Flora Exposition. However, people do not seem to know that leopard cats are constantly killed by cars. According to Taiwan Roadkill Observation Network statistics released on 17th January 2018, the recorded number of roadkill leopard cats was 54 from 2012 to 2017. Reports from TA News also mentioned that six leopard cats had been killed by cars in four months from January to May 11th 2018.

Why have roads become the leopard cats’ slaughter ground? We are always proud to get around easily, which comes at the cost of leopard cats’ fear of death. Why are leopard cats are so vulnerable on the road? What is the meaning of leopard cat existence for eco-environment of Taiwan? What is the number of leopard cats that still exist in Taiwan? Is it possible for these leopard cats to be rehabilitated?

 First, leopard cats are highly adaptable species and they are never picky on what they can eat. Therefore, you could see them everywhere in Taiwan about 50 years ago. However, they have now been seen occasionally in Miaoli, Taichung, and Nantou county, and their numbers have reduced to only 300 to 500 leopard cats in total. Although leopard cats are keystone species at lowland areas, they still facing extinction at this stage. Once the leopard cat disappears, it means the total collapse of the lowland areas ecosystem in Taiwan’s environment.

Is it possible to turn crisis into opportunity? It depends on people’s attitude and actions. The three main factors of endangering leopard cats are habitat destruction, pesticide poisoning, and roadkill. Although NGO groups are currently promoting the conservation works for leopard cats, only 5% of people are aware of this action. Most people have hardly heard about or realized the situation, much less to realize the importance of protecting it. The people always prefer the instant economic benefits of opening new roads rather than the long-term beneficial effects for environment.

The conservation of leopard cats is equal to the preservation of the overall environment, and it is time to communicate that with people and parties.

The fundamental approach is to reinforce the environmental ecological education, and encourage the younger generation to go out into nature instead of playing electronic games, to walking in the woods to feel the real nature, and to change what they eat. Only people start to choose friendly farming products, the farmers can then use less pesticides. And if people drive slower in suburban areas and mountainous areas, the leopard cats can avoid or survive road kills.