Earth Day 2020 and COVID-19: time for the green ideas

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Kherann Yao, UNICEF ambassador, with his students in the Green Schools project, back in 2019
Kherann, with his students in the Green Schools project, back in 2019

The Covid-19 pandemic is pushing us to redefine our way of life, forcing us to adapt.

My name is Khérann Yao, I am 25 years old and I live in Côte d'Ivoire. In my country, as in most African nations, the virus is still not as widespread as in other places. Abidjan, the city where I live, has been isolated from the rest of the country and a curfew has been established.

The population has been invited to self-confinement, but due to the economic situation and the low popularity of teleworking here, many people continue to go out to go about their business, taking care to respect the distancing measures.

For those whose activity favours telework, they are happy to do so. As young people, we find this situation difficult to cope with. We can no longer go out and do the cool things, like go to the movies or go out in the evening with friends. That said, this situation leaves us with a lot of free time that we can use. How can you use all this free time you have until this crisis is over?

I am taking advantage of my free time to learn more about the environment. It is important to learn from this and redefine our relationship with nature.

Kherann's green ideas

Before the beginning of the pandemic, I had personal projects that I was struggling to make progress on because of my work and my classes. So I decided to put this time to good use.

First of all, I hurried to open the folder with my blog on my computer. Indeed, since the beginning of the confinement, I have spent most of my time developing my blog, called "Kherann's green ideas", through which I want to raise awareness among young people about the importance of protecting nature.

Within two weeks, I was able to design my website and write the first articles. I'm really relieved to think about it, because it's a project that was close to my heart and it was frustrating not to find the time to do it.

I am taking advantage of my free time to learn more about the environment. Recently, I decided to get involved in the environmental cause. I am taking action to combat climate change and pollution in my country.

I think it is important when you commit yourself to a cause, to be able to master the subject in order to be able to debate and convince more people. So I decided to do more research on environmental issues, which leads me to read a lot of articles and videos on the internet. 

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Kherann Yao

Redefining our relationship with nature

As an environmental activist, I cannot conclude without inviting you to make efforts to preserve the nature that is being degraded because of our consumption patterns.

In these times of coronavirus, we are seeing a reduction in pollution. Animals seem to be more fulfilled and nature is visibly doing better.

It is important to learn from this and redefine our relationship with nature. We share the Earth with other species. Therefore, our actions must take into consideration the right to life of other species.

That is why I call on you to take action against plastic pollution in the oceans, which threatens marine wildlife. You can do one simple thing: sort it out.

Sort your waste and separate plastic from other waste so that it can be recycled. This will help save the lives of marine species. The second action that I advise you to take to preserve nature is to increase your knowledge of ecological issues, for example climate change.

To do this, you can follow one of the many online courses offered by UNCCLearn. These courses will enable you to adopt the right habits to fight climate change.

The last important thing you need to keep in mind is to take care of yourself and your loved ones by respecting containment.

Read other blogs by young climate activists, here

Learn and relax

Finally, I try as much as I can to enrich my general culture. I have started reading a great book on Egyptian mythology, and I am fascinated by what I am learning. Especially about the Egyptian conception of the creation of the world. I have more books in the pipeline and I'm very motivated to read them.

Finally, sometimes I get bored at home. So, I prefer online games with my friends or family. My cousin and I play Scrabble or cards. This helps me pass the time. Otherwise, I watch movies or jokes on the internet.

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Côte d’Ivoire