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Statements from UNEP and other youth conferences show that young people everywhere want more environmental education, more involvement in decision-making and for us to think globally and act locally.

Environmental education should be compulsory and should include:
  •  a requirement for all graduating students to demonstrate understanding of sustainable development
  •  action projects in primary schools
  •  getting students involved in local environmental decision-making
  •  optional exam courses
  • students teaching about environment in partnership with teachers.
  • click picture to enlarge
    Martina Rizza, Italy

    Hi there! 30 enthusiastic young people from all over the world launched the UNEP Youth Advisory Council on February 1 1999 in Nairobi, Kenya at the ‘Green Fire’ event. Our goal is to exchange ideas and lobby for international agreements. We have UNEP’s authority to speak at environmental meetings. Twelve advisors, two from each region, were elected to represent the Council. UNEP has asked us to create a Youth Strategy for Sustainable Consumption – find ways to persuade young people to cut down on their consumption and favour sustainably produced products. If you have any ideas on this, or any other environmental concern, the YAC wants to hear from you. Let’s work together to build a healthy future!
    Celine Schwob, France, on behalf of the Youth Advisory Council, contact: theodore.oben@unep.org

    Each country should have a Youth Environment Security Council to look at environmental issues and suggest what action the government should take. The council would also develop projects for young people to carry out, with government support. Representatives of the national councils could meet to exchange ideas and lobby for international agreements to protect the environment for their, and future, generations.
    The Editors of Pachamama

    [From the statement of the UNEP Global Youth Forum, Washington DC 1994] As young, caring citizens of this planet, we commit ourselves to restoring and preserving our world, and to rebuilding our dreams of tomorrow – pure waters, vast wildlands, clean air and cities free from poverty. We embrace these ten commitments:
    1. Natural resource utilisation: We must display wisdom and creativity in preserving resources for future generations.
    2. Biodiversity: We will protect the web of life – its diversity and habitats – and support the preservation of all life on Earth.
    3. Atmosphere: We will protect it. It is the skin of our planet!
    4. Water: Water is the nurturer of all terrestrial and aquatic life. We will clean it, protect it and ensure free and fair access for all.
    5. Energy: We will end wastage of it, conserve it better and seek alternative sources of energy.
    6. Waste: Waste is a poison in the heart of the global ecosystem. We will reduce, re-use and recycle our waste.
    7. Sustainable living: We will live in harmony with our ecosystems.
    8. Cooperation and education: We will build a global community based on fair trade and free transfer of technology.
    9. Human rights: We will not be intimidated by our apparent lack of power. Together we will act for change. It is our human right.
    10. ACTION! Above all, we commit ourselves to action. For the fate of the Earth lies not in government hands but in ours.
    web site editor: webmaster@grida.no Last update: March 2000