A former Exeter student is set to chair a UK-wide virtual debate that will give young environmentalists a chance to discuss the big issues being raised by world leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
Bek Trehern (27), who graduated with a degree and masters in Zoology from the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus, will host the COP26 Youth Debate on November 3 on behalf of environmental education charity the Field Studies Council (FSC).
The event, which will coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference (October 31 to November 12) is expected to attract a wide audience of young environmentalists from across the UK, who will be given the opportunity to share their own ideas and thoughts on how world nations are tackling the climate change crisis.
Bek, who has remained in Cornwall since graduating from university, now works with FSC as an engagement and training assistant and since joining has been instrumental in the development of the charity’s eco-skills courses that run online and across the UK to encourage hobbyists and young people looking to take their first steps into an environmental career.
She said: “Education has a significant role to play in the future fight against climate change and many of the young people who will be taking part in this debate are already developing the skills and knowledge needed to tackle the challenges we face.
“By sharing ideas and knowledge, we as a council, can encourage greater engagement in nature and the environment and help shape and influence environmental actions at a grass roots level.”
“This will be a great opportunity for young people that have a passion for the environment to put forward their ideas or reservations on how the world is addressing climate change.
“We will be discussing and debating the headline topics being raised at the COP26 conference but also sharing our own solutions and ideas on how we can build back greener.
“Anyone with an interest in the environment, either through their studies or work, can take part in the debate and we look forward to welcoming as many people as possible.”
The Field Studies Council has been delivering environmental education in the UK for more than 75 years and is considered a leader in its field.
It operates a network of field study centres across England, Wales and Scotland including FSC Slapton Ley which is located in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, near Exeter.
It aims to educate people of all ages from primary school upwards about the environment, how to connect with it, protect it and understand it.
Mark Castle, Chief Executive, added: “FSC is here to inspire curiosity about the world around us and share the knowledge needed to protect and defend it.
“Through our events, courses and wildlife guides, we aim to encourage positive and practical ways for people to make a difference to managing the climate change challenge and this debate is a fantastic way for young people to get involved in discussing global issues and have their say on how we can better address the ongoing challenges.”
The FSC Youth Council is made up of 12 volunteers who represent and provide a voice for the increasing number of young people that are involved in the charity’s work and educational courses.
There's still space to attend and young people can sign up either as a participant or as a member of the audience. To register for the debate, visit https://www.field-studies-council.org/shop/courses/cop26-youth-debate/.
There is also an opportunity for individuals and professionals outside of the 18-25 age category to take part in the event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about FSC’s environmental courses, experiences and wildlife guides for adults, families and young people, to find out more about what the charity is doing to tackle its own carbon footprint and how you can support them visit https://www.field-studies-council.org/fscs-response-to-cop26/.