26 September 2022 | Story Anthony Mthembu | Photo Supplied
Letsatsi Lekhooa
Letsatsi Lekhooa, a UFS student who was selected to be part of the COP27 Simulation Model.

Nearly 150 students from across the world will gather in Egypt for the COP27 Simulation Model from 9 September to mid- October 2022. Among them will be Letsatsi Lekhooa, a Master of Science student specialising in Climate Change from the University of the Free State (UFS). 

Lekhooa was one of 150 students from a pool of more than 1 800 applicants across the world who were selected to be part of this prestigious initiative. “This opportunity is appealing, because as young people we need to work hard to not only ensure that we break through walls, but to also represent our university well everywhere we go,” Lekhooa indicated.

The COP27 Simulation Model

The COP27 Simulation Model, which is organised by the British University in Egypt along with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is a worldwide climate conference led by and targeted at the youth. The conference is important for several reasons, such as encouraging conversations around climate action among the youth. As it stands, the initiative is split into two categories, which include the hybrid capacity-building programme that started in September, and the COP27 Mock Conference set to begin in October. Lekhooa is currently engaged in the online capacity-building programme, which he describes as a learning curve. “Every day I learn something new, and I enjoy it because the process is assisting me in learning more about this climate change issue,” Lekhooa expressed. 

The benefits of attending the COP27 Mock Conference

Although the first leg of the COP27 Simulation Model is online, Lekhooa will get the opportunity to travel to Egypt and physically be part of the COP27 Mock Conference on the campus of the British University in Egypt. As such, he hopes to take away as much as possible from the experience. “I hope to learn about the ways in which I can better communicate this climate change issue, not only in my home country of Lesotho, but generally in Southern Africa,” said Lekhooa. Furthermore, through his interactions with international scholars, he hopes to create and encourage a collaborative spirit to battle climate change. 

The experience does not only serve as a learning curve for Lekhooa, but it is also one of the key steps that will allow him to reach a life goal. “I would like to be an international consultant in bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as they play a key role in making decisions on climate change,” Lekhooa highlighted.

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