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Seychelles' President signs Climate World Cup ball, initiative of US teen

Victoria, Seychelles | June 7, 2023, Wednesday @ 16:40 in Environment » GENERAL | By: Salifa Karapetyan Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 9760
Seychelles' President signs Climate World Cup ball, initiative of US teen

With a purple marker, Ramkalawan wrote that what he would love would be to "protect the planet for this and the future generations." (Seychelles Nation)

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Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan has become the first and only African leader to sign the Climate World Cup ball, an initiative of a 13-year-old boy promoting awareness and commitment to the fight against climate change.

Hailing from California, United States, the young boy, Ismachiah Oduwole, paid a courtesy call to the Ramkalawan on Wednesday, where the latter signed on two balls dubbed the Climate World Cup balls.

Each person who signs his balls writes their full name, country of origin, and the plan they have to prevent climate change. Before signing, Ramkalawan outlined that the country has already banned single-use plastics and balloons, is protecting 33 percent of its waters, and is protecting the mangroves amongst other environment protection initiatives.

With a purple marker, Ramkalawan wrote that what he would love would be to "protect the planet for this and the future generations."

The story of Oduwole started in mid-November 2022, when he learned that following 10 months of savings by his family, he was going to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

When he learned of the trip, he had the idea to bring along two footballs, which he would get attendees at the FIFA World Cup to sign, and in doing so commit to the fight against climate change. In a short interview following the ball signing, Oduwole shared that the idea had roots in a trip he made to Nigeria, where he saw a lot of single-use, non-recyclable plastics.

Oduwole chose the President of Seychelles because of the effort that the country is making in the fight against climate change. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY 

In his meeting with Ramkalawan, Oduwole shared that so far he has gotten people from more than 28 different countries to sign the first ball.

"When my first ball was fully signed, I thought I should get the next one signed by CEOs of major companies such as Anthony Capuano, the CEO of Marriott Worldwide, Peter Ingram, the CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, Mr. Raj, the CEO of FedEx. Then I was thinking I should get world leaders to sign my football and you are the only country in Africa that is going to sign my football," he told the president.

He explained that he chose the leader of Seychelles because of the effort that the country is making in the fight against climate change.

"The first is that Seychelles is protecting its bird species. Sometimes people cut down forests to build buildings, houses, and hotels. I see that it is important for you guys to protect your species so that they don't become extinct, or endangered. You guys also protect the coral reefs and have a Blue Economy. Another reason is that you are protecting fish from overfishing," said Oduwole.

The 13-year-old wishes to get another world leader, which so far remains a secret, to sign his ball.

It is also his wish to attend the upcoming COP28, which will be held from November 30 to December 12th at the Expo City in Dubai, so as to gather more signatures there.

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Tags: Climate World Cup ball, FIFA World Cup

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