Our world and our environment are changing. Unfortunately, not in a good way. Climate change has already had a devastating impact on humanity. Working in unity for climate change is essential in the international arena since it affects the lives of everyone, as well as nature.
Today’s youth is the largest generation in history, and young people do have the power to make a difference in pro-environmental change by working together beyond national borders. This is the part where the Youth Empowerment and Training Initiative (YETI) assisted us. This programme’s Europe edition has been created by the EU-funded ACP MEAs programme, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNDP) and the European Union.
Together with 14 other young people, two Young European Ambassadors – me and Anaelle Barthel – took part in YETI, a learning initiative that took place online, throughout 2021. The Youth Empowerment and Training Initiative empowered us with crucial knowledge in order to become influencers and young leaders, able to carry out training, support, and empower other youth, and provide inputs to governance and management related to pro-environmental change. We had a chance to enhance our knowledge, exchange ideas, and gain new perspectives from experts, well-known professors, and youth activists. The main action goal of YETI is to empower youth from all over the world by giving sufficient expertise to them. Furthermore, we got worldwide mentorship from experts throughout the programme.
After gaining and enhancing our knowledge of environmental issues at different levels by combining them with management and governance, we created a toolkit on the Pro-Environmental Engagement of European Youth. The toolkit contains information about how to engage with environmental protection activities as a young person in the household, at national, and international levels. One can find a different kind of opportunities to participate and join.
YETI helped me to understand the significant role that young people have in climate action, and reach out to other youth by giving sufficient information to them in order to actively participate in pro-environmental engagement. Thanks to the programme, I learned about policy making and writing, and how to contribute to governance in order to help to solve environmental issues at some point.
However, it sometimes made me wonder whether youngsters have that much power in policy-making and governance. How much are we able to make our voices heard? We always say that the future is in our hands, but how supportive are others? Also, most importantly, how much do people care about living sustainably rather than living in the present and not thinking about future generations? These are the questions we should ask each other and on which we should start to take action. I believe that if we want to have a decent future, we should start right now, not tomorrow, not any other day; Because the future starts now, the future starts with us!
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