This Tuesday (October 19) various religious leaders will be presenting a climate change statement to the Hon. James Shaw, Minister of Climate Change. Over the last few months the Religious Diversity Centre Aotearoa New Zealand (RDC) has been bringing together leaders of different religions across New Zealand to help develop a statement on issues of climate change. The statement will be presented to the Minister at an event at the Anglican Cathedral opposite the New Zealand Parliament.
With climate change being the forefront of various discussions at national, regional and at local levels, the number of groups engaging in this discussion has increased. With youth being one of the demographics heavily impacted by climate change, there has been an increasing demand by young people for more work to be done in this area.
Mandira Shailaj, one of the members of the RDC Climate Change Advisory Group and volunteer for Hindu Youth New Zealand, was the only youth member on the advisory group. “In addition to bringing the Hindu perspective to the advisory group discussions, I was able to provide a youth voice to help form the climate change statement” she said.
Pursuing a Master's of Climate Change Science and Policy, Mandira is hoping to further her work in the Climate Change space. “This is an area which I’m particularly passionate about and want to help bring about a change” said Miss Shailaj. “With Hindu Youth New Zealand’s support, I look forward to taking these important discussions to the wider community” she continued.
Hindu Youth New Zealand (HYNZ) has been working extensively with young people in New Zealand, providing them a platform, and helping them to reach their potential. Youth who have worked with HYNZ have helped deliver national conferences, seminars and workshops for professional development, worked in advocacy with ethnic and interfaith communities, helped bring Hindu culture and arts to the mainstream and have worked extensively with Tangata Whenua. These young leaders have now gone on to work in governance, policy, and represent New Zealand at an international level.
“Hindus living in New Zealand have been actively contributing to wider society in various fields whether its education, politics, business, health, environment, creative arts or sports. Young Hindus are no different“ said Murali Krishna Magesan, President, Hindu Youth New Zealand. “It is very heartening to see young people taking the initiative to participate in these important conversations and helping to shape New Zealand’s future” he said.