“Climate change is the fight of our lives – and young people have been on the frontlines leading the charge for climate justice. The unrelenting conviction of young people is central to keeping climate goals within reach, kicking the world’s addiction to fossil fuels, and delivering climate justice” — Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General.
Every year, on the 12th of August, the world comes together to celebrate its youths. International Youth Day (IYD) is a day of great significance as it highlights young individuals’ remarkable efforts and contributions worldwide. It is a day set apart to recognize and acknowledge the efforts of these youths in making a sustainable future for the generations before them and those coming after them. This day also serves as a reminder for youths worldwide of their important role in shaping the future they want and deserve.
This year’s IYD is themed Green Skills for Youth: Towards a sustainable world. This focuses on youths developing skills essential for addressing one of the most critical issues the world is faced with today, climate change. Across the globe, there have been extreme weather changes too drastic for the human nature, natural disasters because of these changes, among other things and all hands need to be on deck if we all want to live in an environmentally stable and climate-friendly world. Hence, a successful transition to a green environment is highly essential and would need the innovation, skills, ideas, and workmanship of youths.
In commemoration of IYD 2023, The Sapphires Development Initiative held a tribe-meet via Zoom on Thursday, August 10, 2023, and as discussed, developing green skills is the responsibility of everyone and not just a select few who are specialized in the agricultural sector. In the words of a tribemate, it is the responsibility of everyone to think of the climate change happening, to think of the environment before carrying out their day-to-day activities. Another tribemate also drew emphasis on the fact that achieving a green environment is also a culmination of efforts, resources from not just stakeholders, but all SDG enthusiasts. Being specific, he said, “You cannot claim to be an SDG advocate and ignore your environment because you advocate more for SDG 3 or SDG 4. It all works together”.
In conclusion, this year’s IYD calls on every youth to develop their green skills, which means youths are to develop their knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and values needed to grow, occupy, and support a sustainable and resourceful society. And on this auspicious day, we recognize, celebrate, and support the efforts of all our volunteers at TSDI as they have been doing a job well done advocating for growth, and development, especially in the climate sector. Projects ranging from trash2bin, plant a tree, the post-COP27 webinar, World Environment Day projects, and sensitization of young girls and boys about the importance of a healthy environment, among others are truly laudable and celebrated.
However, there are still more grounds to cover, more youths to be enlightened and empowered with digital green skills, values, and knowledge to safeguard our earth and sustain the world’s resources. So, with one empowered youth at a time, we can build a brighter, greener tomorrow.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY.
Cheers to being great architects of our future!