Being democracy the fourth pillar journalism has a tremendous responsibility to show the leadership or to guide or give direction to the whole world. As we rarely see that sustainability, biodiversity and climate change are the prime priorities of most of the journalists or media houses globally. Thus, we have also taken sustainability and climate change as our priority and have come up with an initiative to bring awareness and advocacy in the field of sustainability climate change and all the aspect of biodiversity which are of paramount importance for the world today.
Focusing on this issue The Policy Times in association with UTHM (Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia) and Impact Youth Sustainability organized a webinar on Role of Youth in Sustainability on Thursday, July 16, 2020, from New Delhi.
During the session, Prof. Mohd. Hasan Mohd. Osman, Arshad Ayub Graduate Business School, Universiti Teknologi MARA, said, “How do we relate entrepreneurship with youth? If you look at the age of the entrepreneurs nowadays at start-ups it is getting younger by the years and it is very important to highlight the issue of sustainability at the start-up stage rather than wait for the growth of the company.” He also added, “This is the challenge actually, at how you take up sustainability seriously at startup, because to them sustainability is the cause, and it adds additional burden to their business liability, so it is very important to provide them the awareness of sustainability.”
Now when it comes to COVID- 19 and this is when the policy of the government comes in, and the idea to see policies being introduced is to ensure the issue of sustainability, and during the lockdown, the rivers are very clean, animals are coming out and this was something that we have not seen for many years. Thus COVID- 19 in a way has helped us ensure that environmental sustainability is being raised at the very highest level. The environmental sustainability awareness should be taught not only at the university level but from a very lower of education, and thus we should create awareness so that they must see sustainability as an opportunity.
Tiago Soares Bedin, Regional Director, America, Impact Youth Sustainability said, “It’s always about giving attention to people because there are people who just want to talk to you, the other aspect that we really need to consider is to adapt ourselves through social media and in this crisis situation it is time to think out of the box because it is important to support others. The local community sometimes really don’t match to the ideas of the government and so the most important thing for sustainability at the moment is that we start to talk among locals in the community and we start to engage on the internet or social media, and we need to break the stereotype that a country is equal to their government, but it is high time that we raise voice for the community for the people who are struggling.”
Considering the sustainable practice of emission of C02 should be reduced as it affects our climate change, Ms Harshali Sanjay, Changemaker, Country Coordinator, India, Impact Youth Sustainability mentioned, “This practice is being done from years, and on the birthday of SVIMS founder we follow the meatless day and saying that as compared to all other food the amount of carbon emission that is done by eating meat is much higher as compared to any other food. In 2018-19 the emission of carbon was calculated just by abstaining food of non-violence in just one day of a year and the emission went down by 262.457 tons.”
Another sustainable practice that was done by a handful of staff members wherein they have practised using sustainable modes of transport that includes carpooling, bike pooling, auto-rickshaw pooling using of a bicycle, walking and using of public transport. After this, the reduction of co2 emission was done and that came to in a year of reduction of 34.848 tons of co2 emissions in a year. If we look at the perspective of sustainability in India, and as more than 50% of the population is youth so if one institute is picking up this sustainable transport and this sustainable means of abstaining from meat, I feel if this is adapted by individuals the emission will reduce at a larger stage and accordingly if this is done we will be contributing a lot towards climate change and sustainability.
According to Jam Richard, Country Coordinator, Cameroon, Impact Youth Sustainability, “As far as sustainability in Africa is concerned, it is suffering because government policies aren’t favourable to this kind of natural and human resources are being used without thinking of preservation of the next generation and the impact they are having on the community. Now, as far as youth are concerned we’ve come together especially with the new organisation and where teams will work in different communities to sensitize the population on the impact of sustainability by eradicating poverty, next through educating young people, next on sensitizing the government on traditional and religious authorities so that the policies put ahead of them should be of the common good and should be able to preserve the environment and preserve what is good for us.”
Explicit the facts on youth sustainability Graca Soares Regional Director, Europe, Impact Youth Sustainability said, “The impact of youth on sustainability depends on a lot on our background, our area of expertise and also the country we come from and sometimes there are differences in terms of involvement because there are different challenges each country faces.”
Youth in terms of numbers, as well as influence, should help in promoting sustainability concepts and SDGs and implementing them and trying to positively influence the community. Often sustainability is misunderstood with climate change, sustainability is much bigger and broader than biodiversity or climate change, it is about of the ecology, economy and society.
The session was moderated by Mr Akram Hoque, Founder- Editor of The Policy Times and co-moderated by Dr.Wesam Al Madhoun, MPRC, and Faculty of Civil ENGG & Built Env. UTHM, Malaysia with excellent panellists including Prof Mohd. Hasan Mohd. Osman, Arshad Ayub Graduate Business School, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia, Graca Soares Regional Director, Europe, Impact Youth Sustainability, Tiago Soares Bedin, Regional Director, America, Impact Youth Sustainability, Jam Richard, Country Coordinator, Cameroon, Impact Youth Sustainability, Harshali Sanjay, Changemaker, Country Coordinator, India, Impact Youth Sustainability.