Youth participation starts from home. Child learns the first lesson of cleanliness, water and power consumption, gardening and other issues from home. It is the responsibility of the parents/family to inculcate good habits in children’s and teach them cleanliness and wise use of natural resources such as electricity, water and other resources according to need to reduce wastage to enable them to become more responsible for the protection of environment and natural resources. School and Universities can play and important role towards environmental sustainability and should emphasis more importance to environment education. Young people constitute a large part of the world’s population and young people will have to live longer with the consequences of current environmental decisions than will their elders. Future generations will also be affected by these decisions and the extent to which they have addressed concerns such as the depletion of resources, biodiversity loss, and long-lived radioactive wastes.
Young people can play an active role in protecting and improving the environment. They can change their lifestyle and how it affects the environment. They can make their homes, schools and youth organizations more environmentally friendly by adopting environmentally friendly practices, recycling of different materials as well as preserving resources such as water and electricity. Engaging youth in environmental protection not only creates direct impact on changing youth behaviours and attitudes, but possibly influence their parents, relatives and parents.
Youth are back bone of the nation. They can change the future of the society with their well being and courageous behaviour. Unfortunately today we find the youth those who are more interested in other places which are not useful to them as well as nationally. They choose to spend their days doing drugs and playing video games. They spend their nights partying and living it up, so to speak. More and more young men of this age group are sitting at home in front of their televisions playing games all day instead of bettering themselves or going to work. They have no vision and if they do have dreams they do not have the drive to make any attempt at achieving them
By applying the greening knowledge at home and schools, we can help to market city, a greener city. Discarding computers, electrical appliances and rechargeable batteries can seriously harm the environment. Youth role is to implement recycling programs for used computers and electrical appliances. You can arrange for collection services with them. There are also many collection points for recycling of rechargeable batteries, so do not simply throw them away. Youth have a role to play in environmental and conservation efforts that will improve livelihoods.
The earth provides all the necessary resources for human beings to survive and prosper. But as the global population grows and develops, the demand for energy and consumer goods increases. This has led to increased pollution and misuse of natural resources, causing great damage to the environment. In turn, people’s health, food supplies and livelihoods are increasingly threatened. The release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that contribute to climate change, the overuse of agricultural soil that deteriorates the ground and often leads to deforestation, the contamination of water through bacteria and chemicals or the loss of biodiversity - environmental challenges are plentiful.
Today, many people speak about “sustainability” when highlighting an alternative model of how human beings can develop economically and socially without putting too much strain on the environment. Sustainable development is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This clearly shows that youth are at the heart of the sustainability debate. As politicians sometimes lack the necessary long-term thinking that is needed to effectively address pressing environmental issues, it’s key that global youth have a say in environmental policies, which have a direct impact on the current and future environment they live in.
Present day youth know that this is not the time to sit back and expect things to change themselves . Therefore almost every day we hear about a new movement or story of youth participation ranging from deforestation, disaster management or discouraging animal ill treatment. Engaging youth in organised effort to promote environmental sustainability has implications for youngsters themselves as well as for their communities. It is high time for youth to analyse their needs and decide what are their true priorities are. We have plenty of resources. But the demand is increasing day by day. It is the responsibility of the youth to manage it efficiently.
Youth participation should be increased for the environment protection. The participation of youth can be sought at all levels ranging from grass root activism to policy bodies to non-Governmental organizations (NGOs). Their role can be instutionalised in policy making through advisory bodies such as Youth councils. The deterioration of the natural environment is one of the principal concerns of young people world wide as it has direct implications for their well-being both now and in the future. The natural environment must be maintained and preserved for both present and future generations. The causes of environmental degradation must be addressed. The environmentally friendly use of natural resources and environmentally sustainable economic growth will improve human life. Sustainable development has become a key element in the programmes of youth organizations throughout the world. While every segment of society is responsible for maintaining the environmental integrity of the community, young people have a special interest in maintaining a healthy environment because they will be the ones to inherit it.
Human beings are joined in the most intimate of relationships with the outside world from the day they are born. The irony is that very little time is spent thinking and caring about one of the most important ones! Obviously, I am talking about our connection with the environment. This lack of attention is a major cause of concern because rapidly growing world population and the increased use of energy are placing unprecedented pressures on earth and hence our environment. Solutions will have to be found out which are truly global in scope. The nation’s youth have special responsibilities in relation to protection of the environment. This is mainly due to the fact that young people have to live for an extended period with the deteriorating environment bequeathed by earlier generations and there are a lot of risks and health hazards involved in this. Young people will be forced to engage in improvised and effective forms of action and activism; thereby generating effective responses to ecological challenges.
In order to turn your backs to such corporate, consumer boycotts and protests can be the most effective, eventually causing polluting companies to rethink their corporate strategy. Apart from having a greater stake in the more distant future, young people are properly poised to promote environmental awareness simply due to the fact that they often have better access to information about the environment than their elders. The youth have lived all their lives in an era in which environmental issues have loomed large. They can introduce fresh ideas and outlook to environment-related issues because anti-ecological ways of thinking and behaving are not ingrained in them. A major reason why the youth ought to take the lead in protecting the environment is stronger awareness of the issues and a greater stake in long-term sustainability. They will obviously face challenges as pressures are brought to bear in the opposite direction. Commercialization in every aspect of life is severely affecting the youth of today. In addition to these effects, on the whole, technologies that increasingly distance people from the environmental effects of their consumption decisions are growing with globalization, acting as an impediment to environmental awareness.
The United Nations Environment Programme is requested to continue its efforts to disseminate information to and exchange information with youth organizations. Governments should encourage and assist youth organizations to initiate and develop youth-to-youth contacts through town-twinning and similar programmes in order to share the experience gained in different countries. Governments and youth organizations should initiate programmes to promote participation in tree planting, forestry, combating desert creep, waste reduction, recycling and other sound environmental practices. The participation of young people and their organizations in such programmes can provide good training and encourage awareness and action. Waste management programmes may represent potential income-generating activities which provide opportunities for employment.
Recognizing that they will bear the consequences of current environmental policies, young people continue to have a strong interest in protecting and preserving the planet's resources. As demonstrated through their contributions to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, young people are strong advocates for environmental preservation. Accordingly, the Plan of Implementation adopted at the Summit indicated the need to promote and support youth participation in programmes and activities relating to sustainable development. The mobilization and support of local youth organizations will be critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goal of ensuring environmental sustainability.
Throughout the Summit process, young people also advocated for renewed commitment to education for sustainable development. The General Assembly proclaimed the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development beginning 1 January 2005.18 The draft International Implementation Scheme sets out a broad framework for all partners, including youth, to contribute to the Decade. Environmental education has grown steadily in the last decade and is strengthened by several regional and national professional associations of environmental educators. Young people are increasingly disseminating information on environmental issues via their own channels.
The difficulty in achieving effective environmental education remains in translating environmental values into action of any kind, be it in terms of lifestyle adjustments or political action. This highlights the need for information on environmental issues to lead to functional and action-orientated outcomes. One such example is the clean up the world campaign that inspires more than 40 million volunteers in over 100 countries each year to take action to improve their local environment. These volunteers include millions of young people, and the campaign represents a practical way for youth to take responsibility for their immediate environment in a voluntary setting.
Youth continues to be involved in implementing environmental projects, and the experience they have gained qualifies them for increased participation in decision-making about environmental policies. Youth participation in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development set the pace for participation by youth groups in other global conferences, culminating in their relatively high profile in the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Increasing the participation of youth in environmental protection depends on strengthening opportunities for young people to participate in the decision-making of government-supported organizations and NGOs. As recognized by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the involvement of youth in environment and development decision making is critical to the implementation of policies of sustainable development. Young people should be involved in designing and implementing appropriate environmental policies. Women and children’s are the worst suffers of climate change and pollution in many countries of the world. Women should be encouraged to fight climate change and pollution and their active participation is necessary to make the world a better place to live in. With the use of digital technology such as internet, mobile and social media youth can bring revolution in the world and protect environment with youth power. Commonwealth is also doing a lot for the participation of youth under its various programs. Commonwealth youth award itself is a proof that how youth are aware of the social, environmental and global issues and are taking actions and bringing positive change in the world.
Today we are hearing such stories daily how youths are contributing towards environmental protection and sustainable development in many ways and bringing positive change in the world. We should acknowledge their efforts and encourage them. I am a strong supporter of youth power and women empowerment and hope youth will definitely bring a change to make the world a better place to live in.
Youth Participation In Effective Environmental Protection – Youth ki
Awaaz By Sh. Gururaj Rao/ (2010)
YOUTH ENVIRONMENT - the United Nations report 2006
Environment WPAY - Social Policy and Development
Role of Youth for A Cleaner and Greener Environment
Voices of youth-Environment website
Writer and Innovator
Note: This research paper has al;ready been published in the Commonwealth Young Achievers Book-2015 by the Commonwealth UK and the same is published in the worldpulse on the demand of readers..