Nature Protects if She is Protected
- 6 Articles
- Age 21
What exactly are we waiting for? For the polar caps to melt or for the destruction of marine biodiversity? WHY are we waiting for the government to force us to change? Are we going to make changes that we know are needed!? What will it take to make us work together to live within the environmental limits of the Earth while meeting everyone’s needs? Youth have both special concerns and special responsibilities in relation to the environment.
A number of environmental risks and hazards affect young people, who have to live for an extended period with the deteriorating environment bequeathed to them by earlier generations. WE constitute a large part of the world’s population. Many, especially young children, are particularly vulnerable to environmental risks associated with, for example, access to clean and safe drinking water, especially in rural areas. In addition, WE will have to live longer with the consequences of current environmental decisions than our elders. Nonetheless, there are actions that can be taken and the deliberations are going on in full swing at The United Nations Conference on Biodiversity: COP11.
Aside from having a greater stake in the near future, WE are especially well-placed to promote environmental awareness simply because WE have better access to information about the environment than our elders. Established anti-ecological ways of thinking and behaving are not ingrained in young people, and they can introduce fresh ideas and outlooks to issues. Because young people have a stronger awareness of the issues and a greater stake in long-term sustainability, the environment is one area in which they ought to take the lead.
As a strong warning everyone should know if and when the damages appear on the earth it will be too late to reverse the process. So it would be criminal to sit with our hands on our lap, knowing that it jeopardizes our own future. I am convinced that environmental destruction won’t end unless people are presented with real solutions that are cost-effective and ecofriendly.
Someone told me : "Don’t ‘fight’ climate change. Don’t fight people. There are no bad people, only unconscious people. Don’t fight them. Give them a better option."
-Saket Mani Youth Activist United Nations Environment Programme