Students’ message to leaders at G7 summit
Head of campus Ruth Martin with students at Newquay Harbour
26th May 2021
By Warren Wilkins
Newquay students have launched a campaign to showcase the main issues they want addressed at the G7 Summit in June.
Degree students at Cornwall College Newquay are sending a message to the world’s leaders through a series of videos titled ‘#heyG7.’
They would like to see conservation and biodiversity at the top of the agenda during the talks between the leaders of the most powerful economies in the world at Carbis Bay.
Leaders from the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan and invited heads from Australia, India, South Korea and the EU are due to be there.
The students say they would particularly like the leaders to address the effects palm oil production is having on the rainforest, as well as prioritising wildlife and human development.
Students launched their campaign at Newquay Harbour on Wednesday by sketching #heyG7 in the beach before taking part in a Surfers Against Sewage million-mile beach clean.
Conor Kendrew, Cornwall College Newquay’s curriculum development manager for ecology, conservation and the environment, is spearheading the project.
Conor said: “Here at The Cornwall College Group, we are in a unique position to make sure there is a student voice at the heart of those big discussions in Carbis Bay.
“Both in the sense that as a college we specialise in the topics on the agenda at the summit; conservation, biodiversity and providing the skills employers of the future will need, and that we run these courses in campuses across Cornwall at a time when the most powerful people in the world are visiting.
“We felt it was important to go out and ask our students what they want to be discussed when Cornwall is front-and-centre on the world stage.
“We’ve been really blown away with the things they have told us and we’re incredibly proud of them all.”
Josh Symes, a student on one of the conservation degree courses, was among those taking part in the campaign launch at Newquay Harbour.
His message to the G7 leaders was asking them to focus on making sure the environment and people can thrive at the same time.
Josh said: “I would ask them how they are going to prioritise wildlife and human development, securing future housing, securing wildlife havens, securing food sources for bees and safe waters for fish to swim and making all of that work alongside humans.”
Lauren Ratcliff, who is in her second year of an animal management technical advanced diploma at Duchy College Rosewarne, which is part of The Cornwall College Group, is writing her specialist project on the subject of palm oil production.
Lauren said: “I’d like them to discuss the effects that palm oil production is having on the rainforest, especially the Indonesian rainforest.
“The production is producing a lot of Co2 that is contributing to climate change.
“It is also having an impact on the orangutan population in the area, which is decreasing, along with other species.”
The students’ messages to the G7 are being aired on social media via the Cornwall College social media accounts in the run-up to the summit on June 11.
The digital campaign follows a week in April when the college’s 10 campuses held a series of discussions to renew their focus on sustainability. Influential speakers from across the county joined staff and students.