Being a youth activist, a need of today?

Doing my bit, planting for the planet! Credit: Ms. Oyar Tatin
Doing my bit, planting for the planet! Credit: Ms. Oyar Tatin

Earth, the only planet with life, our home and place where all the great events related to human history have taken place, calls for our collective efforts to save its constantly changing environment towards the negative. We have to unite in order to save it, and work towards a sustainable future.

In this modern era, where climate change and sustainability are burning issues discussed globally, I, a youth activist and student of bachelors in Forestry and Natural resources, can visualise the need of moving over to renewable modes of energy and other sustainable techniques in order to save our environment and forests. I believe everyone has a say in sustainability issues, therefore everyone must do his bit as contribution for betterment of our natural environment. I do my bit by spreading awareness mostly among youth of my university and worldwide through social media and blogging. Locally, I have run awareness campaigns to promote learning about sustainability issues amongst the youth through short term courses which focused on topics such as sustainable development, Millennium Development Goals, Rio+20 Conference agenda/results, water conservation, forest conservation and the like.

Apart from this I have been actively involved in plantation programs to create awareness about sustaining our forest resources. Another recent and a unique initiative by me is the concept “Creativity for Sustainability” where I search for and encourage people especially the youth to develop or practice creative and innovative ideas which goes hand in hand with conservation of resources and facilitates sustainability. The creativity could also be any basic and simple act which encourages other people to learn or get involved, a recent example of a creative act which I came across accidently by observing my friends sparked an idea- the idea of cleaning hands using dew drops on grass (mostly during morning hours) if there is no source of running water nearby, this concept could be of use in any situation, mostly when one is out camping!

The above part was about work/observation at local level, around me, but in today’s modern world of networking and computer/online based information systems, I realise the need of showcasing the work/ideas over online media such as social networks, blogs, subscription mails, online groups and other internet based knowledge sharing platforms for better propagation of ideas amongst the people through-out the world. Therefore, I make a good use of social media and my personal blog to showcase mine and my colleagues’ works and ideas.

The significance of my work/activities may be on a small/local scale but has been successful in meeting its objective of making aware the people around me in a reportable and verifiable manner at the grass-roots level. Sustaining forests is a major issue today considering the high rates of exploitation of natural resources from the forests such as timbers and other Non-Wood Forest Products. Negligence of sustainability by the population is the main cause of uninterrupted exploitation therefore awareness among communities, especially the local indigenous community is must and developing nations are seriously lacking in such awareness campaigns. The people must be familiar with the concept of sustainability and must be educated that it ensures long-term benefit rather than lasting for a short period, the role of youth in this part is indispensable as they constitute a large part of world’s population, there are nearly 1.85 billion people (26.3% of total world population of nearly 7 billion) aged 15 to 24 in the world today.

They have the power to address global challenges and find a solution for them. They are the ones who can bring about a change in the world and create widespread revolutions. Because youth have a stronger awareness of the issues and a greater stake in long-term sustainability, the environmental sustainability is one area in which they ought to take the lead. To combat ―the greying of the greens‖, a new generation needs to come to the fore. The purpose of my projects and initiatives largely focuses on young generation as they need to be encouraged to study further into courses of interest up to research level with focus on sustainability and nature conservation and develop entrepreneurial skills for the overall betterment of human community as education is the key to awareness which in turn makes a social community developed. Environmental sustainability is one such issue where people must have the ability to differentiate between long-term and short-term benefits of the natural resources only then can we work on sustaining forests and sustaining people on this planet!

Further Reading: enviroholic.wordpress.com

Written by: Pranjal Dubey
Affiliation: HNBG (A Central) Univeristy, India
Country: India


This post is entry #12 in the #IUFRO2014 Blog Competition. The most popular entry will receive a certificate and 500 USD. The second and third most popular entries will receive a certificate and copy of the new book, “Forests and Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development”.

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