Youth, a generation committed to a sustainable worldWritten by: Kurt Holle, General Director of WWF Peru
Today, humanity is facing an atypical time due to the COVID - 19 pandemic. We have witnessed how every aspect of society must reinvent itself and become resilient to the challenges ahead. The social isolation of the last few months has taught us the value of using creativity and taking advantage of digital spaces to reach more people and this has been reflected within the different areas of society, including education.
Education must be an ally to face the different problems that arise, one of the main ones being the accelerated loss of nature and its resources. Faced with this problem, young people become key actors in the fight and the search for solutions to counteract it.
Today, in Latin America and the Caribbean, we have the highest proportion of young people in our history. According to the ECLAC 2019 Statistical Yearbook, it is estimated that there are more than 109 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24, which represents 17% of the entire population. They have become a group that marks the way for future generations, we have seen them raise their voices along with a case that many of us already know, Greta Thunberg.
Through a global movement to fight climate change, Greta's voice was multiplied throughout the world by young people who have the same aspiration, to be more aware, proactive and take action for the planet, encouraging others to follow in her footsteps. Greta represents a new generation, a generation willing to fight for a tomorrow that puts the health of the planet first.
And this reality is not alien to our country. According to the Peruvian National Secretary of Youth, in 2019, 343 accredited youth organizations were identified throughout Peru, working under different headings, aiming at the same objective: to make the country a healthier place for its people and for the environment. A good example of these organizations is Global Shappers, a youth community that works around the world promoting solutions created by young people, in the face of global problems. Liga Ambiental, is another example, this venture, seeks to promote communication projects and environmental education to strengthen the environmental culture in the country and there are many more, such as PROA and AIESEC.
As we can see, we are facing a new generation that has been promoting initiatives and developing projects that mark the way towards a sustainable world and we are convinced that they need more support to turn their ideals into concrete actions. From WWF, a world conservation organization, we identified this potential and decided to work hand in hand with them through a proposal that would unify their efforts. With the Generation10.com initiative, WWF's first global youth network, we seek to provide a space that encourages learning, interaction and support among the young people who make up the network.
We continue to move forward, there is still a long way to go, and this will only be achieved if we continue to work in an articulated manner, at different levels and on various fronts, with the aim of offering spaces that allow this new generation to learn about the problems, learn how to be part of the change, ask for help and, above all, generate connections with other young people who are involved and share their same interests.