Youth and Children in Climate Change Issues
Youths are the agent of change, the pillar of the nation while children are the future. They are the generation to come. The preceding generations are the doer while the youths and children are the sufferers. How we move ahead now and act today determines the future of youths and children. So, the involvement of youths and children in decision making process is very important. In the issues like climate change where no one is certain about what is going to happen in near future, ignoring youth means fighting next world war bare hand.
Youths can not only contribute intellectually in decision making process but they also have an equally important role in solving the issues of climate change. They are easy to mobilize and their spatial representation is also higher as the major population of the country is between the age group 15-25. This is why Agenda 21: Programme of Action from Rio 1992, in Item 25.2 states “It is imperative that youth from all parts of the world participate actively in all relevant levels of decision-making processes because it affects their lives today and has implications for their futures. In addition to their intellectual contribution and their ability to mobilize support, they bring unique perspectives that need to be taken into account.”
According to IPCC developing and leastdeveloped countries are as twice vulnerable as the developed countries. This means Nepal, sooner or later will have to face the threat. If Nepal braces its youths and children by the knowledge of climate change right from this time,mitigation and adaptation to the change will be easier. For this Youths should be provided with adequate information on science, policy and politics of climate change, technical knowledge and training and in turn they should be mobilized locally to aware their community. At the national level, youths should pressurize the government to sign and implement the international treaty, protocols and agreements that intends to solve the climate crisis. Similarly, the topics like Environment, Natural Resources, Weather, climate phenomenon and their importance in Nepalese perspective should be taught with priority right from the primary level of education to generate the interest of children in these issues.
The thoughts and ideas of the young people are up to date and can be different from the traditional thinkers. So, innovative thoughts of youths and children can change the way the world is moving ahead. To take an example, the world was stunned by the impressive speech of Severn Suzuki, a 12 year child during UN’s Earth Summit. By then something might have changed but still, the involvement of youth and children in climate issue is not adequate.