Delegate Bios

Find out more about the amazing young women who are participating in COP21 as our delegates!

Delegates representing WAGGGS at the Conference of Parties in Paris: 

Cecilia Wesslén

30, Sweden

Cecilia WesslénMy name is Cecilia Wesslén. I’m 30 years old, and I’m from Sweden. I am the delegation coordinator leading this year’s team to COP21.

I've been a girl scout since I was 7 years old. I continued as a leader when I was 18 years old and have had different roles on local, national and international level.

Climate change is one of our main challenges in today's society. When I studied meteorology I realize how serious it was and what responsibility we have towards future generations. Everyone has the right to grow up in a safe world without the risk of having to move because of drought, fire, sea level rise or any other consequence of climate change. It makes it even more difficult because almost all of this is due to the developed countries, but the most suffering are the non-developed countries. Which makes it a question of fair and responsibility. It is a complicated issue since it involved all systems in the world, including the economic, the ecosystem and politics.

I am really excited to be part of WAGGGS delegation to COP21. I have previously participated in COP18 and COP19 and I know that we can make a real impact. This year is specifically important, since the Kyoto Protocol is running out and we need a new legal, fair and ambitious agreement.   

Aishath Thoifa

29, The Maldives

Aishath Thoifa_COP21Girl guiding; my way of life.

I joined the guiding family at the early age of 9. Now, as a young member of the Maldives Girl Guides Association, I am the National Secretary in the Executive Committee of MGGA. Also a leader of a unit, I currently work as a freelance trainer on Violence (Mainly Gender based).

Known for its beautiful beaches, blue Lagoons and extensive reefs, I belong to tropical island nation; Maldives, an archipelago comprising of 1,190 low-lying coral islands scattered across the equator, in the Indian Ocean.  Built on the world’s most endangered ecosystem, coral reefs, it is one of the lowest lying country in the world, with over 80% of the land area being less than 1m above sea-level.  With climate change issues, almost all environmental issues come into sharp focus here.

Hence, I find it in my interest and responsibility to join the fight against climate change and contribute to the sustainable development of my nation. To be the voice of 10 million girls across the globe. To be the face of youth in the war against climate change. And this motivates and inspires me to participate in COP 21.  

Claire Gassiat

27, France

Claire Gassiat_COP21My name is Claire, I am 27 and I am from France. I have been involved in Girl Guiding for 10 years, I have carried out several projects to raise environmental awareness. 

I am passionate about climate change issues because to me climate change is one of the most important challenges faced by humanity, as it not only impacts the environment, but also food security, health, the economy, safety... To address this issue, we have to shift from a fossil-fuel economy to a more sustainable way of life; we have to rethink our definition of development and growth. I think this is a major opportunity to welcome new ideas and develop ambitious and innovative projects, in order to reinvent the way we live!

I am very excited to participate in WAGGGS’ delegation to COP21, and to represent the voice of girls and young women at the international level. This is a great opportunity to better understand the current stakes of international negotiations, what the main obstacles and the levers of action are. And I am thrilled by the prospect of meeting young people involved and inspired to change things for the better and to make ambitious projects happen!  

Ale Salas

25, Costa Rica

Ale Salas HOLA! My name is Ale Salas, I’m 25 years old and I am from Costa Rica. I have been involved in guiding and scouting since I was 6 years old and I’ve been a leader for 5 years; right now I lead a unit of boys and girls aged 15-18.

I am a biologist and I am passionate about ecology and biodiversity. I am currently studying environmental interpretation because I love non-formal education and enjoy working with people very much, sharing as much as I know with others and learning from them at the same time. I’ve been involved with YUNGO challenge badges, especially with the climate change and food security curriculum. I was part of a national committee in my MO that started a project with schools in Costa Rica for students to work on climate change projects in their schools and communities.

I am very excited to be part of WAGGGS delegation to COP21 and I can’t wait to meet other youth from around the world who are just as passionate as I am and to work together to come up with great ideas and new projects. I’m sure we will do our best to represent the 10 million girl guides and girls scouts from around the world and that COP21 will be a success.   

Our Remote Delegates, engaging members around the world: 

Viviane Treves

23, France

Viviane TrevesI am a 23 year old from France and have been a Scout since I was eight.

I have studied environmental policy and sciences, which led me to understand that climate change is the biggest threat that our societies have ever faced, but that solutions do exist. These solutions will not only help to solve the climate crisis, they can also bring more social and trans-gender equality and foster human development. This is what our politicians need to understand.

Being part of WAGGGS’ delegation to COP21 is very exciting for me, since I believe WAGGGS has a strong message to carry to our negotiators –change is possible and girls all over the world are already taking action. This best way to prove that they need to act too! 

Sarah Hammoud

26, Lebanon

Sarah HammoudI am 26 years old and have been part of the Girl Scouts for 18 years. Climate change is an issue that is threatening the whole planet and I believe that, as youth, we should care about our future and the future of our families.

When it comes to climate change we can still change, and we can still prevent more disasters and decrease the natural impacts. COP21 is a platform that will enable us to speak out to the world in a way that will strengthen us, raise awareness, and encourage people to act. 

Together we can change the world.  

Renatha Pastory

26, Tanzania

Renatha PastoryI am a 26 year old Tanzanian and have been involved with the Girl Guides since 2014.

I am fascinated by climate change because even though it has such a profound effect on many peoples’ lives, there is still a lack of awareness about it, particularly with regard to cause, effect and how to tackle it. I want to use my time at COP21 to improve my understanding of this issue so that I can share this knowledge with others. I am particularly interested in how climate change affects women, younger generations, and the most vulnerable.

After COP21 I will be sharing the arising issues worldwide through social networks and sharing the knowledge with my local communities.  

Save Redfern

22, Kiribati

Save RedfernI am 22 years old and come from Kiribati, an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean.

I have been involved in Girl Guiding since 2009 and my passion for climate change issues stems from seeing, first-hand, the serious effect that it has had on my part of the world. Tuvalu and Kiribati, my home islands, have experienced some of the worst effects of climate change and I want to do something positive to help my country and my people.

I am excited to represent my country during COP21 and am looking forward to sharing experiences and knowledge with contemporaries from outside Kiribati. I hope to take these insights back to my country and to do what is possible to reduce the impact of climate change.  

Claudia Herbert

19, USA

Claudia HerbertHi, I’m Claudia Herbert. I am a 19-year-old college student attending the University of California at Berkeley living in the USA. I have been involved in Girl Scouting for the last 15 years. 

I am passionate about studying and taking action against climate change because it is the challenge of our generation and will frame future global trials and triumphs. I think it is an incredible opportunity to be involved in working with WAGGGS on the UNFCCC. 

WAGGGS works to represent both youth and women’s interests and I think this is an invaluable position that is not always equitably represented in international environmental governance regimes. Despite the lack of representation, youth are inheriting the problem of climate change and women are often affected disproportionately by the scarcity of resources that can be part of the impacts of climate change. 

I am honored and excited to be involved with an organization that works for more aggressive international agreements and gives a voice to perspectives that may not be included fairly at the negotiations. It is the efforts that we make now that will define our future and I am humbled to be a small part of that process.  

Aisling O'Boyle

19, Ireland

Aisling O'Boyle Hello, my name is Aisling, I am 19 years old and I am from Ireland. I have been involved in Guiding since I started Brownies at the age of six and I now run a Guide Unit. 

I have always had an interest in equality, justice and development, and my interest in these issues has been cemented throughout my 13 year membership of the Irish Girl Guides. The main reason I am passionate about climate change issues is because it has become clear that climate change is one of the main causes of injustice in recent times and has a disproportionate effect on women and girls. In university I am studying Political Science and Geography which means I get to explore the issue from lots of different perspectives. 

I am excited to be participating in COP 21 because I want to do as much as I can to ensure the talks result in a strong, equitable, practical and legally binding agreement will keep our Earth safe for future generations. I am delighted to be working with other young women from all five WAGGGS regions because it is fantastic to get to engage with such a diverse range of experiences in our weekly webinars. 

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