Biology student Nayara Almeida, 21 years old, is a leading member of Fridays for Future in Brazil. Every Friday since March, she participates in a climate strike that now covers several cities in Brazil – – addressing what she describes as “the most urgent global issue.”
In an interview with GLOBO, Almeida explains that she decided in high school that the best way to help with environmental issues would be to study biology at university and become a scientist. However, she realised that her impact could be limited given the vast swathes of people not believing in science. “So I thought: How can I act beyond science? From then on I started to participate in NGOs, such as Engajamundo, which is made by young people and for young people.”
She praised Thunberg’s ‘radical’ message, saying that without being radical, climate change can never be reversed.
Almeida stresses that there’s a particular climate education deficit in Brazil. “Where there are classes on this, information usually deals with consequences in the distant future or far away from Brazil. The way it is taught, it seems to be something that still has little effect on the population, which is not true.”
She bases her message on assessing how catastrophic the February rains were, for instance, or the heat waves in Rio de Janeiro, even in the winter. “The Ministry of the Environment has blocked 95% of the funds to combat climate change,” she added in the interview. It was no longer enough, and was cut. It’s a slap in our face. We want to recover 95% and triple that goal.”
In an interview with Veja, she adds: “The truth is that we do not choose to be climate activists, we are forced to do so because the previous generation failed to prevent this problem from happening. Now we have to value the space we have conquered.
“We are on the streets because we have to secure our future. If we don’t do this, who will? We can’t count on the previous generation.”Tags: Activism, Brasil, Climate crisis, School Strike