NATASHA JASMIN DURY
FIJI / UNITED KINGDOM / UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
'As a teenager, I took part in a UN-style 'International Roundtable Conference by Future Leaders' on climate change in the UAE with His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, known around the world as the 'Green Sheikh.' It was a non-profit exercise represented by 16 nations to have interactive discussions on a candid platform that facilitated fruitful exchange of innovative ideas, challenges and insights to help understand the best way forward for the environment. This attempt to create awareness about pressing environmental issues and step up efforts to combat global warming was an eye opener for me as a Fijian. Our island nation produces less than 1% of the globe's carbon emissions, yet we have rising sea levels, coastal erosion and intense hurricanes which affects us negatively. We cannot escape the reality that the Earth's temperature is rising and we feel the effects of climate change in the smaller islands more than others. Let us take care of this planet for our future generations.'