Forestry activities in Tasmania, Australia.

Youth and Climate Change: Exploring challenges and solutions

The Big Idea has the potential to create real change on a global scale by empowering young people to innovate and create strategies that are both bold and practical says Daniella Fernandez

As the world faces a growing climate crisis, it is becoming increasingly clear that we must take bold action to prevent further damage to our planet. However, too often, world leaders are failing to take the necessary steps to address these issues.

By bringing together the voices of young people from all around the globe, The Big Idea seeks to challenge the status quo and drive forward real change. Young people are already leading the charge when it comes to climate action, and their passion and creativity are needed now more than ever.

As a facilitator of a breakout session during the recent event, I had the privilege of hearing from a diverse group of young people from around the globe about their ideas for creating positive change in the world. Their ideas are the result of their experience on education and labour, but also of how policies are being built in their nations, and the hope there’s much more to be done. 

From all the challenges we explored, 3 emerged: youth engagement in dignified menstruation, bringing the environment into education in schools, and capacity building and resource mobilization. Regarding the first topic, many of our participants emphasized the importance of starting early when it comes to educating young people about menstrual health and hygiene. They suggested that by teaching children at a younger age, we can help them develop good habits and behaviours that they can carry with them throughout their lives. 

Youth and Climate Change information.

Participants also stressed the importance of providing access to information, particularly in schools and communities where this information is often lacking. They apprised a fundamental starting point: “we need to raise awareness and help to break down the taboos and stigmas that still exist around menstruation in many parts of the world”.

Climate education is crucial.

Secondly, young participants recognized that environmental issues are among the most pressing challenges facing the world today, and they stressed the importance of starting early when it comes to educating young people about the environment. They suggested that by incorporating environmental topics into the curriculum from an early age, we can help children to develop a sense of responsibility and a passion for protecting the planet. They emphasized the importance of giving young people the tools and resources they need to become advocates for the environment, by creating projects in schools and providing opportunities for young people to get involved in environmental campaigns, so we can empower the next generation to take action and make a difference.

Sharing resources, knowledge and opportunities.

The last topic, was an urgent one, that many young people lack the resources, capacity, and skills they need to take action. With the right tools and resources, organizations can help to build the capacity of young people by providing coaching, knowledge exchange opportunities, and mentoring. By thinking creatively about how to leverage social media platforms, they suggested, we can reach and engage young people in new and exciting ways.

Of course, there are many challenges that come with this work. For example, some of the challenges in implementing the ideas discussed during the breakout sessions may include limited resources, a lack of capacity or skills, or difficulty in getting those with the power to listen and take action. But with the energy and drive of young people leading the way,

The Big Idea has the potential to create real change on a global scale. By empowering young people to innovate and create strategies that are both bold and practical, we can work towards a future where education and climate change are tackled together, and the world is a safer, more sustainable place for all.

Feature Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash

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Youth and Climate Change: Exploring challenges and solutions

by Daniela Fernandez Reading time: 3 min
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