Role of youths in protecting the environment

Eighty per cent of Nigerian youths lack basic environmental education.  And 70 per cent of young people around the world do not care about the environment they live in.

The bitter truth won’t be found in data logged in some computers or books stacked in libraries.

The clear confirmation that we are far from nature stares us in the face: the gully erosion that swept a whole community recently, the daily depletion of the ozone layer and its cancerous effects

Then there is the air pollution that annually chokes millions of children to death around the world, the mindless exploitation of wildlife, and the list is endless. Indeed, we are disconnected from nature.

Today, how many parents will have their kids tend a garden, prune a flower, plant a tree, go  a-fishing in a local river, climb mountains, engage in environmental education or even at the least, take a long evening walk across the field? How many?

Growing up, I relished the moments  we (children) spent in groups, gathering fruits, breaking dried nuts, cutting grasses, catching grasshoppers, building mud houses with our feet, playing hide-and-seek in banana  plantations, dancing in the rain, and ‘cooking’ with sand, used cans, green leafs, clay and pieces of  rocks.

That was what my generation enjoyed; the generation before mine enjoyed even more.

Now, what will become of the next generation? How can they be made to connect with  Nature?

This time and age, we would rather turn on the Wi-Fi for them to ‘go live’ during a politician’s tree planting ceremony or encourage them to create a Whatsapp group with the name – SaveTheEarth.

We would rather jump on the hashtag WorldEnvironmentDay, and what have you.

These are great but not effective. There are better ways we can connect young people with nature.

Adebote ‘Seyifunmi, Abuja

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