Preparations have begun to hold "Citizen Climate Assemblies" in different parts of Maldives to discuss environment and climate change.
Ecocare Maldives, the organisers of the event, said in a press release on Wednesday that the project aims to bring together people from different walks of life to discuss environmental and climate change issues and make their own decisions through local environmental forums.
Following the discussions in the assemblies, Ecocare will develop its own national manifesto on how to deal with the environment and climate change, with the help of civil society, the public and field experts in light of the decisions taken during the meetings.
According to the association, "citizen assembly" is now widely used in the international community. Canada, Australia, the United States, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland all hold "citizen assemblies." This is the first time such a meeting will be held in the Maldives.
The first "citizens' assembly" was held in 2004 in Canada, which discussed the voting system in a Canadian territory. After the discussions, a new voting system had to be introduced.
Ecocare said the environmental meetings will last for three days. The first session will be held in Addu City on February 26.
“The participants of the assembly will be split into groups and will share experiences, express ideas and thoughts and learn from each other to draw up a "citizens’ conclusions" document,” the association said.
According to Ecocare the two main things needed to be achieved to make the project a success are:
- Before the end of 2023, the Assembly will be held in three parts of Maldives and 50 participants will be recruited to represent each region.
- Develop a manifesto based on the results of the assemblies.
Ecocare said the manifesto will be approved at a conference with relevant government bodies. The manifesto will be the main tool used to influence and advocate to leaders and political leaders, the association said.