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TOWARDS A GREEN AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: THE YOUTH FACTOR

By Charles Okech

We inherited the present from the past and we borrow the future from the present. Against the backdrop of almost all conversations of civilizations, what always tends to appear is an aspect of what the future holds. A future that could be defined as the next microsecond, second, minute, hour, day, month, and even year. Over time there have been conversations and engagements aimed at creating a better future. Among the conversations that have hit the global limelight is the idea of a “green world” advocating for green skills and green practices to drive humanity into a sustainable tomorrow.

The world having undergone the five industrial revolution processes did not only lie on great progress but also on enormous challenges. The Rise of changing weather patterns disrupting food systems, habitations both to humans and animals, and many more undoing became the global trajectory. In an aim to avert the sickening path, the global community sought to align its development agendas while maintaining consciousness of the ecosystem through the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  In advancing this course there has been the need to actively engage the custodians of the future who are the youth.

It is in this spirit that the United Nations Keeping in its traditions of the International Youth Day 2023 decided to set the theme:Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World”. This theme has equally been incorporated to be the theme for the youth week in Kenya. Green skills are defined as the knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society. Bridging the gap between green activism and green opportunities.

Recently, the ILO gave a projection of 8.4 million jobs by 2030 emanating from the green transition. To make this projection a reality, we must build mechanisms of presenting the know-how to the youths in Kenya and globally. As it stands there is a huge lacuna in the knowledge of green skills. Even with that being the case there is still some huge potential only if we purpose to, by tapping onto factors such as the high literacy levels among the youths as well as their creativity.

With a number of organizations and institutions already engaged in offering training on green skills at the community levels, the level of engagement needs to be heightened so as to maximize on every potential. Moreover there is also need to encourage and promote innovation among the youth . For Example, Sheryl Mboya a Kenyan youth and legal scholar has been on the rise in creating edible cutlery which is environmental friendly and cost effective. Sheryl has since been able to partner with Kenya Airways and passengers are served their meals using the edible cutlery, expanding her potential and building onto a sustainable future.

Peer to peer engagement should also be the route if we are going to achieve green skills for a sustainable tomorrow. A spirit of sharing knowledge should be build on the basis of transformation. As it has been seen that the peer to peer engagement is often Impactful on driving anything that concerns the youth.

To my fellow youths , the future is green and the future is ours . Let us make it happen.

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