Waste Recyclers Fiji Limited Director/CEO and Pacific Recycling Foundation Founder Amitesh Deo says while the International Youth Day festivities focus on the achievements and aspirations of young people, there should also be an element of responsibility in the various programs as well.
Deo says they 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.
Deo says 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 are some of the initiatives that should be encouraged with youths across the country and the region.
He says 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.
Deo says 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.
He says 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 centrepiece of every youth-driven environment, waste management and recycling initiative going forward.
Deo says 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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