Youths who attended the Honiara Youth and Climate Change Forum, held last week, are calling for everyone in the community to take responsibility for reducing the impacts of climate change.

Over 50 young people met with climate change experts to build their understanding of climate change; visited sites in Honiara which are already suffering the impacts of climate change; and discussed the role young people have to play in the fight against climate change.

May Nonie, who attended the three day forum, says as young people it was important to see what climate change means for our future and the importance of why we need to start making changes.

"The forum gave young people in Honiara a good sense of how and why we should be concerned about our behaviour and how it affects our climate in the Solomons. Behaviour and activities (our actions); these are the things we need to modify because we now have a basic idea of how we act and interact with the effects of climate change."

The youth involved in the forum will now take their personal action plans which they wrote on Day 3, and implement them in their daily lives. The group also developed several interesting ideas for larger community action plans, which will require additional funding from donors in the near future.

The Honiara Youth and Climate Change Forum was organised by Solomon Islands Red Cross, Honiara City Council's Youth Division, Solomon Islands Youth for Change and Commonwealth Youth Programme South Pacific, with support from Ministry of Women Youth and Children's Affairs and Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Meteorology.

The forum was inspired by the theme for this year's International Youth Day (August 12) - Youth and Climate Change: Time for Action.

"This forum was the first of its' kind; of bringing young people together to discuss climate change, its' impacts, how it affects us in Solomon Islands, and what we can do about it or how we can adapt. Attendance remained high, interest kept growing and the young people participating really showed an incredible enthusiasm for learning about how we can make some changes. Watching their energy is encouraging, and should motivate us all to get involved!" says Mary Jionisi, Honiara City Council's Youth Development Officer.