The youth has undoubtedly huge potentials in contributing to nation building activities. This is proven in the several youth-oriented activities being conducted all over the world. Malaysia’s youth, specifically has been one of Asia’s most active sector when it comes to societal movements. With this, it becomes essential to also tap the youth for various environmental campaigns and activities.
The environment, specifically Climate Change and Global Warming is one of the world’s most pressing concern. These environmental changes have been felt in Malaysia for years, as well. Being the future inheritors of the environment, it is but crucial to also empower the youth to be the primary stewards of the environment. To do this, the first and crucial step is to instill awareness among the young about the state of global and local environment, and the many things that they can still do to mitigate the impacts of climate change, whether in their personal or group capacities. Considering that the youth are highly active and dynamic, the best ways to start trigger awareness is through youth-oriented activities, including:
1) Environment Camps – Camps and outdoor activities are popular among the youth. It’s fun and it also guarantees new learning. Through environment camps, students and professionals can learn from expert lectures, workshops, and even from each other about the environment and the necessary mitigating actions to save it. Activities during an environment camp often have direct relation to practical applications.
2) Social Media – no generation is more connected than the youth of today. One of their favorite platforms? Social media or social networking. With this, if there’s a message that needs to be disseminated to the youth, social media is the most effective channel. The youth themselves can already create the massive discussion among themselves.
3) Familiarization and Appreciation Tours – Malaysia alone is so rich in biodiversity sites. Luckily, these sites were still preserved despite the prevailing global warming. These are therefore great destination for the youth in order to instill the importance of environmental protection. A lot of the biodiversity indicators can already be preserved with conscious acts to save the environment. Another great destinations for these tours are green developments around Malaysia that can show to the youth that sustainable development and environment protection can still go together.
The younger ones are the more idealistic group. For them, anything can be possible as long as people start doing something. This kind of passion is one of the most important ingredients when it comes to environmental stewardship. This is why it is high time to have the youth population more involved in preserving the environment. By doing so, we are not only saving the environment but the youth’s future, as well.