Diana Award recipient Bella Lack is a fierce advocate for eco-awareness and began her mission by speaking to her entire school about conservation and the dangers of palm oil. Here she explains why taking climate action is vital for supporting peace on Earth.

18 September 2019

International Day of Peace is observed all around the world on the 21st September and is a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples. This year the theme is Climate Action for Peace which draws attention to the importance of tackling climate change as a way to promote peace throughout the world.

Bella received her Diana Award in Cardiff, Wales earlier in 2019 in recognition of her activism protecting the environment.

Peace. Often defined as ‘freedom from disturbance; tranquillity’. Peace. A state which humanity constantly strives and aspires for. However, the man-made environmental and climate crisis will cause unprecedented disturbance and will shred any last vestiges of tranquillity. That’s why I became an environmental activist. To fight for our planet is to fight for peace.

When we think of global crisis, we often segregate environmental and social issues. After all, we hear of ice caps melting and conjure up images of pitiful polar bears. But whilst polar bears are some of the worst affected victims of this man-made crisis, climate change will also pose a great threat to international peace and security and it is possible that if we don’t take concrete action, it will cause the collapse of civilisation as we know it. Humanity has never been so powerful, yet so vulnerable as we are at the moment.

“The climate crisis IS a conflict. We are waging war on the natural world and ultimately, on ourselves. Natural disasters, an effect of climate change, displace three times as many people as conflicts. The growing tensions over resources results in mass movements of people and this is affecting every country on every continent.”

But even when we shift away from this homocentric view, we see how we are weakening and undermining the precious web of life – our life support system.

If we want to ensure the safe continuation of our species, we MUST live at peace with our planet. This means we need systemic and drastic change. We need bold transformational policies, political will and public pressure. We need climate action.

Bella is Sussex’s very own Greta Thunberg.

I say that as a young person who would someday like to have the pleasure and privilege to explore the natural world and show it to my children. I say that as a young person who feels terrified about what our future may hold. But I also say that as a young person who feels faith in the ability of humanity to turn things around. Our intellect and our inclination for working together is what will save us. And when we begin to act, hope will be everywhere.

That’s why I am part of the global youth movement where we strive for climate action. We’re not here to fight against anything, we’re here to fight for something.

We’re fighting for our future and for the future of life on Earth.


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