International Youth Day 2023
By Gio Francisco – United World Ambassador [Manila, Philippines]
New Humanity NGO and its youth sector, the Youth for a United World, joyfully joins the rest of the world in observing this year’s International Youth Day 2023.
In recent years, we have seen a shift in mentality in favor of a more conscious gaze towards our common home. Personal experiences of drastic changes in global temperature and its impact in various aspects of human life, accompanied by the warnings of scientists, has led us to an escalated awareness that responding to the climate crisis is no longer an option but a necessity. Governments, communities, and individuals have taken various initiatives to help contribute to this cause. This includes 15 communities whose climate actions are being realized with financial assistance from New Humanity NGO and its partners. Such projects include the construction of a domestic sewage treatment system that includes the possibility of agricultural reuse in Petrolina, Brazil, the training of students and housewives to produce biodegradable packaging in Cotonou, Benin, and the implementation of a system of hydroponic green fodder in a rabbit farm which forms part of a rehabilitation center’s program for young people with addiction problems in Mexico City, Mexico, among many others. We highly value these partnerships and all efforts, especially those led by young people, which support, encourage, and execute local actions leading to global impact.
Unfortunately, while they are beautiful endeavors, they are insufficient. Many individuals still limit their concern for the planet as a mere sentiment. Perhaps, they do not know how to begin or how to go about an idea that has already crossed their mind. The theme of this year’s celebration, “Green Skills for Youth: Towards A Sustainable World” sets a direction that can guide us. It offers us a path to walk along and start acting if we have not yet done so. Green skills are those set of competencies composed of entrepreneurship, innovation, and analytical thinking skills based on a deep-seated background of the role science and technology play in order to determine creative strategies to be acted upon as we combat the challenges that comes with the climate crisis and towards a healthier planet (Kamis et al., 20161; Kamis et al., 20172).
This celebration, therefore, invites us to upskill and reskill the youth not only with the skills to make them jobready that secures their personal future but also with green skills that fortifies the future of humanity and our habitat. We must review how up-to-date green skills training is embedded in various educational systems around the world and search for ways by which such training can also be offered outside of the school system to ensure accessibility and inclusivity. Moreover, it is equally important to nurture everyone’s green skills as we continue to face the pressure of drawing closer before the effects of the climate crisis worsen and become irreversible. As per the IPCC 20223 report, we only have until next year for global greenhouse gas emissions to reach its peak level and these emissions should be substantially reduced by 2025. This is a crucial period in history where we are offered the chance to overcome the crisis which we have brought upon ourselves. Mindset and heartset are not enough in achieving a more sustainable future. We need the appropriate skillset, as well. Time is running out. Time to act now.