Environmental preservation by Malena 17 from Cuba

Malena Beltrán Puebla is sharing her feelings regarding global warming prevention and its devastating side effects.

It’s incredible how fast innocence fades out in our lives as time goes by.   When we are small we see a hurricane as the need to flee our homes to other places, along with the scared faces of adults.  Then we do not understand that it’s not just that, but a natural phenomenon that can bring catastrophic consequences to a whole community or country.

We need to be prepared for all the kinds of risk situations that this can provoke.  I believe that the fundamental base of knowledge and awareness about environmental problems lies within the family. It is from the core of the family that young people’s perspectives about environmental problems towards risk reduction and disasters is built- it is crucial that families include us in decision-making to strengthen youth participation in actions that contribute to our environmental culture and that of our society.

These efforts can also be strengthened by educational institutions, where it’s key that teachers are constantly trained to carry out activities like participative risk maps and simulations from an early age.  These connect us more strongly with the subject, learning and playing alongside.

There are moments in which we read a geography book and reflect on our own community- the settlement of Casilda in my case, a village in Trinidad, in the province of Sancti Spiritus- and for a moment we stop. We compare the present with the reality of five years back.  Immediately after we realize that nature has suffered drastic changes, which we now know are the result of climate change, mankind effects’ effect on nature.

It’s also evident how in the blooming spring of five years ago it would rain every day, and nowadays it hardly rains once a week.  The realization of these negative transformations take us to an awareness awakening in which the focus of the new generations on disaster risk reduction and community resilience are essential.

Malena Beltrán Puebla is a 17 years old Cuban, whose compromise and involvement in environmental and Disaster Risk Reduction issues in her community led her to participate in the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction of the Americas in 2014. In her perspective, one of the objectives of the platform is to demonstrate the importance of listening and taking into a count the voices of children, adolescents and young people. At 14 years old age, her wish was that “children have the right to an excellent preparation at their schools”.


This post is also available in: French