COP23: Shalvi wows crowd at climate talks

“THE drought and water problem in my area was the reason why I wanted to participate.”

These were the words of 10-year-old Shalvi Shakshi during a panel discussion at the child rights, climate change and climate action side event in Bonn, Germany on Wednesday.

The lass from Bua on Vanua Levu delivered her powerful speech that earned her the ticket to travel to Bonn to speak at COP23, the international meeting on climate change that is being attended by hundreds of people.

Speaking with confidence, Shalvi pleaded with world leaders to think of the children and their future.

“This is the time to commit, this is the time to slow down the rise of sea level,” she said.

“Who has to stand up for this? I ask you ladies and gentlemen who is responsible for this?

“Let us work together, hand in hand and I plead with everyone, let our voices rise not the sea level.”

The 100 people gathered at the side event gave Shalvi a standing ovation that lasted for about five minutes.

“I am extremely proud of her as this is our first time together out of the country,” said her father Shalendra Raju, who is the assistant head teacher of Nasarawaqa Primary School in Bua, which Shalvi attends.