Involving Youths in Environmental Issues
Youths, adults, global citizens… Let us realise these:
- Smaller number of youths involved in climate change activism;
- Youths not able to exercise theirs rights in speaking about and voicing out their opinions on environmental issues;
- Less coverage of youth participants on media regarding climate crises resolution.
Well, at some point in the future, they are going to have to take control over everything that older generations are really restricting about including environmental problems.
Why youths are unable to express their rights and voice out their opinions on environmental issues?
In some parts of the world, young people consider environmental issues as less of an important issue. From a personal perspective, school curriculum does not bother to cover up on important environmental topics. They are more on basic facts and details.
The way I see it, they are more interested in playing video games, planning their leisure moments around having a great time. With limited information received by them, it’s no wonder that they don’t have a voice or opinion to give.
Too young, they said, that when the youths are trying to make an impact in a society, the adults find it ridiculous. They think that we don’t know anything about, essentially, everything because we haven’t experienced what they had in the past.
Youths are unable to express their rights in environmental issues as they are being looked down upon by adults. These adults claim that youths are stupid and idle that they tend to always make mistakes which creates trouble. In other words, youngsters are seem as problem instead of solution to them.
I think regardless of the age groups, people make mistakes every day and that is a great way to learn a lesson. Instead of thinking how bad the mistakes are, youths should see each mistake as an opportunity for growth which will help them to take up responsibilities.
Some of young environmentalists that deserve recognition
Wouldn’t it be great if the media give attention to young environmentalists other than Greta Thunberg?
I feel that Greta Thunberg only shares her anger, frustration and anxiety about the climate with the world. She does not give practical solutions to the ongoing climate crisis.
With that being said , here are two young environmentalists that youths should look up to and follow the footsteps of who are working to save the Earth and offering practical solutions to the economic devastation of this planet.
I found out that the below mentioned young environmentalists are doing something beneficial for the environment:
Sisters Amy and Ella Meek
From Nottinghamshire, UK; They are on a mission to encourage people, businesses and schools to adopt a “plastic clever” approach to reducing single-use plastics. In 2016, they learned about the UN’s 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development while being home-schooled. Shocked by the impact that plastic pollution has on marine wildlife, they decided to do something about it. They founded their child-led campaign, Kids Against Plastic, and in April 2018 they presented their first TEDx talk.
From Canada; She is Anishinaabe-kwe and a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation and an internationally recognized advocate for clean water. Peltier is a water protector and has been known as water warrior and fights for water conservation and indigenous water rights. In 2018, she spoke at the UN about the importance of water conservation and water access, explaining the sacred role water plays in her culture.
Why it is important for youth to participate in environmental issues?
I believe that youths are like the backbone of the society. Younger people should be able step up into the world of decision-making sooner than later and get more involved in concerned world issues. Their opinions and works can play a great role in our society and future. Young people can have a powerful voice once they find something that they are passionate about.
Furthermore, the older generation should encourage them to participate actively in improving and protecting the environment. If youngsters are given the chance to implement plans and strategies with their courageous behavior, then they can really get things done. When they see what they do produces results, they will be more encouraged to participate as their efforts and works are being appreciated by the society.
I would suggest that the key for youth participation in environmental issues is education. Schools should also focus on environmental issues, not only in academic activities.
I see that there is no planet B that can save us from the environmental problems unless NASA has got other plans in store! So, it is important that youths do something about the environmental issues on different platforms before it is too late. As a result, future generations would not have to suffer at the hands of our adults and current world leaders.
Youths are the future with current solutions to avoid repeating the past.
Written by Fathimath Eemaau Mohamed
Views expressed in this article are those of the author and they do not necessarily represent the position of UNM IGNITE.