Reflections on International Youth Day 2020

It is fascinating to see young people come together around the world to rise to the occasion. Our move to rise is motivated by our selflessness and understanding that we have to choose between deliberate action or leaving it to chance! A choice between depending on the delayed responses from world leaders or we respond promptly to see the change that we desire. We know we are the last generation to make it better for the generations to come, we know that the increasing human population, coupled with the degrading natural resources is the recipe for the disaster that we cannot afford, thus demands our quick response and change.

As a young forester growing up in one of the most biodiverse countries with no or little biodiversity conservation efforts, I started a movement with other youths in my locality, this movement has been reaching out to rural communities who depend solely on the use of forest resources to educate them on climate change, how the demands they place of forest resources can lead to degradation if not done sustainably and consequently the alternatives to their forest dependence. Additionally, we are embarking on restoration programmes to restore some of the degraded forests, and this is an example of deliberate action we need to take. This is the power of youths to make a change! From providing education, to taking to the street, to implementing actions on the ground, we are doing this because we understand that we are all the globe needs to realize the urgent and sustainable transition in every sphere.

This IYD 2020 again tells us that our population as young people, our motivation to act, our technological competence, and our academic prowess strategically position us as a champion for change actions.  We have the voice, we have the population, we have the vision to effect change. Hence, we need the opportunities, platforms, resources and powers to effect the change we have long waited to see. We know that the future of every community, nation and the world depend on their youths. Therefore, it is crucial to get the youths involved in the decision-making processes and policy formulations at the local, national and global scales.

Oluwaseun Adekugbe

Founder, Eco-Sustainers

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