At the Champions 4 Change “Have Your Say Day” on the environment, young people were given the opportunity to voice their opinion on the controversial topic of Hydraulic Fracturing (A process of extracting shale gas often referred to as Fracking). There were some strong arguments from both sides of the debate and the passion of the local people cannot be underestimated! In attendance at the event were young people from all across N.I, many of the local community were fearful of the negative impact Fracking could have on their families livelihoods.
Within a close proximity to the event, Tamboran were preparing to drill the first exploration borehole and one girls even claimed “Fermanagh are continually let down by representatives and even the G8 failed to deliver on many promises”. Others were more concerned about the pressing issues of the economy, jobs and energy security stating that “Fracking would bring jobs, boost the local economy and provide and income for Northern Ireland”. Everyone at the event agreed that the lack of consultation was unacceptable and that if Fracking was to ever go ahead that much more regulation, discussion and consultation should be a requirement first.
All of the young people were extremely vocal and well-spoken while getting their opinions across. Many of the young people said that they enjoyed the ability to engage in debate and discussion while learning more on the subject from each other. There was a definite feeling that days like this are a great way to allow young people to voice their opinions on controversial issues in a respectful environment. What they had to say was so important and we should continue to listen to young people as they are the ones that these current environmental and economic decisions being made now. This event got a lot of attention. It was tweeted by “Talk Frack”, Vivienne Westwoods Climate initiative “Climate Revolution” and was attended by Julian Fowler, a BBC newsline reporter who interviewed the young people. Please take a look: http://youtu.be/_Ita_GTw5cU
I would like to thank everyone who voiced their opinion, the attendees, the Staff, and all of the speakers on the panel who made this event so successful.
For further information please contact:
Stiofainin Furlong (Event Organiser) email@example.com
Michelle Nolan, The Bytes Project (Participation Worker) firstname.lastname@example.org
Champions 4 Change is a youth initiative programme, funded by Big Lottery and run in partnership with The Bytes Project and Northern Ireland Youth Forum.