Belize Telemedia Limited, now rebranded as Digi, held an unveiling ceremony for this year's version of telephone directory in Belize City on Thursday, April 25, 2019. In collaboration with Yello Belize, the company chose to highlight the issue of being more environmentally friendly. Gracing the cover of the telephone directory is San Pedro’s very own Madison Pearl Edwards.
Yello says they believe that sustainability is the way forward and that is why this year’s directory is themed, ‘Go Green’. Belize city media is calling Madison a trailblazer and quite possibly the country’s youngest environmental activist. In 2017, Madi made history by snorkeling the Barrier Reef from San Pedro to Toledo (the length of the reef) to create awareness against offshore oil exploration. She cleaned up the ocean, learned more about the reef’s marine life and inspired her community to be more vocal about sustainability. She was named Oceana Belize’s Ocean Hero for 2017.
In 2018, Madi was awarded the World Wildlife Fund International President’s Youth Award. The prestigious award recognizes young individuals who “are committed to protect the natural world and help people live in harmony with nature”. She flew across the ocean to Bahrain and spoke at UNESCO’s 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee Meeting.
“I came back from my snorkeling trip a different person,” commented Madison. “Not only did I find a million different reasons to save the reef, but I learned to appreciate all of nature. I saw examples of how species work together and realized: OUR PLANET IS SO ALIVE. It’s not a collection of concrete buildings and roads. It’s a living thing and it really needs our help.”
“I’m gonna share a little secret with you,” shared Madison at the directory launch. “I’m never going to do drugs, because I wanna live. I don’t let bullies intimidate me, because I’m too busy living my best life, but climate change?… THAT SCARES ME! It’s literally the biggest threat to my future and the future of my entire generation! Still, many of us are ignoring it in our daily lives.
“According to a UN climate change report last year, if we don’t take extreme action we will see extreme effects by 2030. I’m going to be 24 years old IF we make it there. I WANT TO LIVE and I’m really gonna need this planet to do that! So, I do my part to refuse, reduce, recycle, turn out lights, use less plastic, carpool, ride a bike instead of a car when I can, stay conscious of the origin of my food and now I’m here…Please remember me every time you see this cover and think of all the ways YOU do different to save the life of our Belize Barrier Reef and our ONLY planet and home.”
Madison writes about her activism in an article inside the phone book that is also filled with information on conservation, protection, tips and local environmentaly safe products we can use. You can pick up your copy of the directory from any of the Digi offices countrywide for free.
Madi and Amber share a selfie with cover photographer Wil Moreno