Youth Urged To ???Become Future Stewards Of This Planet???

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Pupils of Wesley Hall Junior School admiring a monkey at the Wildlife Reserve??during a recent tour.??

Young people have been urged to seize every possible opportunity presented to become future stewards of the planet.

This advice has come from Programme Manager in the Ministry of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Nigel Jones. He was at the time addressing the inaugural Barbados Youth Environmental Service Awards, held today at United Nation House, Marine Gardens, St. Michael.????

Mr. Jones told the young environmentalists that climate change was "our next world war and the task of our youth, is therefore, to find short, medium and long-term solutions that would create a symbiotic relationship between humans and the environment they currently inhabit".

While insisting that much more was needed to adequately address climate change, he recommended the inclusion of this topic in the curriculum of schools at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, and the promotion of careers related to the management of the environment.??

"The Ministry is therefore calling upon our youth to use the Internet as just one of the many vehicles available to identify training programmes in an effort to build careers… There should be no lack of funding for this training, since climate change poses a major threat to small island developing states, and that includes Barbados," Mr Jones stated.

He also revealed that the Ministry had embarked on partnership-building initiatives to create more synergies between public and private sector entities.?? "This approach should certainly yield funding for more scholarships and other specialist training programmes.?? As a Ministry, our ultimate goal is to ensure that our action today will save this planet tomorrow," he remarked.

While lamenting the physical environment inherited by today’s youth, Programme Manger for Energy and the Environment at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Dr. Reynold Murray, highlighted the myriad opportunities available to them.?? "Yes, you are inheriting a world that has been polluted … but you are inheriting a world that needs your input," he said.??

The group award (ages 8 to12) went to Luther Thorne Memorial Primary’s Evergreen 4-H Club for its soil conservation and tree planting at the school; while the?? 13-18 group award was presented to the Lester Vaughn School’s Greenlanders Environmental Club.??

Individual prizes were awarded to Dillon Deane of Lester Vaughn;?? University of the West Indies’ students, Monique Welch; Deshana Blackman of Ellerslie Secondary School’s Environmental Group; and Malika Cummins, owner and founder of Caribbean E-waste Management.

The awards were created by the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), a regional non-governmental organisation designed to highlight the activities of young persons in maintaining the sustainability of the environment, to recognise and encourage youth efforts to preserve the natural environment, and to effect positive change in the actions and attitudes of persons.

The awards were conferred in recognition of the Caribbean Climate Change Day of Action and in support of the International Climate Change Day of Action, October 24.?? The day of action is a concept of the CYEN in association with the Barbados Youth Development Council and is intended to be an annual event.

lbayley@barbados.gov.bb

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