Young people, and an element of responsibility

Waste Recyclers Fiji director/CEO and Pacific Recycling Foundation founder Amitesh Deo says International Youth Day should also be about the responsibility that young people have towards making positive change in society. Picture: SUPPLIED

Celebrating International Youth Day should be more than just about festivities, it should also be about the responsibility and the powerful platform young people have to bring about positive change in society.

This was the view expressed by Waste Recyclers Fiji Limited director/CEO and Pacific Recycling Foundation founder Amitesh Deo.

He said across the world, many countries will celebrate International Youth Day today.

Mr Deo said while the festivities will focus on the achievements and aspirations of young people, there should also be an element of responsibility in the various programs as well.

“We believe that celebrating youth should also involve reminding our young people that they have an important role to play in how our country, and every country in the world for that matter, will develop and grow,” he says.

“Celebrating achievements and aspirations for the future must go hand-in-hand with taking responsibility for how we manage our waste and recycle what is recyclable, amongst other things, so that the future plans we have are not clouded by pollution and indiscriminate dumping of waste that makes it a challenge for us to live in a healthy, thriving and sustainable environment.”

Mr Deo said programs like the pioneer Recycling On the Go (ROG) Ambassadors with 24 students of Jai Narayan College and the 30 Student Environment Ambassadors (SEA) at the Fiji National University were some of the initiatives that should be encouraged with youths across the country and the region.

“Imagine the possibilities if we have ROG and SEA collectives in communities, and if community youth groups took up the challenge to raise awareness about good waste management and sustainable recycling initiatives.

“If we can achieve that type of change in mindset then only will we begin to see real change in our environment”

“Perhaps programs where youth groups with ambassador programs could compete with one another to see which community is the cleanest, has established waste management and recycling protocols and delivers these with dynamic awareness campaigns with measurable results.”

Mr Deo said the recent United Nations General Assembly’s declaration that access to clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a universal human right should be a motivating factor and the centerpiece of every youth-driven environment, waste management and recycling initiative going forward.

“The challenge is for us all to make these words become a reality by putting them into action in our everyday lives.”

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