Youth and Leadership for sustainable development


Unsustainable use of natural resources and environment degradation has emerged as one of the greatest challenge that society faces at the global, regional and local level. It is time to understand and use the existing knowledge to frame innovative solutions and ideas. Youth have a very important role in the sustainable development of a society as they are the future citizens and have the capacity to adapt much easily to a changing world. They are the agents of behavioral change, and hence an inclusive sustainable education model for the youth can be an effective game changer in the next few years.

Youth & Leadership for Sustainable Development

Our planet has never been so young, with 1.8 billion young women and men. They are exposed to a lot many global issues - with voices and opinions that need to be heard. We are witnessing one of the most dynamic young generations the world has ever had. We live in the age of the information superhighway and with the advancement of technology and globalization, the medium of receiving as well as reaching out to people in different parts of the world has increased tremendously over the years. The information superhighway can also be effectively used to provide solutions and empower youth to fashion a tomorrow based on ideas oriented and committed to making lives better on the planet-economically, socially, politically and environmentally. Nations across the globe are already working on reforming their education systems to suit the changing definitions of development and including the paradigm of sustainable development in it. This is essential to build a knowledge base among the various stakeholders to ensure minimum damage in the future. Maximum engagement of youth is being sought by Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) aimed at providing them with tools to influence and catalyze environment improvement through effective resource management initiatives, both at the local and global levels. The United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (https://sustainabledevel0pment.un.0rg/?menu=i300) are a universal agenda for 'transforming" our world. To achieve this transformation, it is of paramount importance that Governments collaborate with young people as partners as they are not only critical thinkers, change makers and innovators, but very effective communicators and inspiring leaders, that can drive home the changes that we so want to see in the world.

TERI believes that youth can be an excellent driving force in order to progress towards a sustainable society. It is not only important but also critical that young people of the country are engaged in ideation, innovation and action that would ensure holistic development of the nation. Through its ESD projects, TERI provides the youth with an opportunity to widen their vision and to harness their potential by empowering them with information awareness and the skills to take action for a cleaner environment. The Environment Education and Awareness group in TERI focuses much of its attention to developing competencies in young people that are relevant for creating an empowered workforce which would work towards building low carbon societies. The subsequent article will carry details of some of the youth programmes and initiatives carried out by TERI over the years.