The UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) TUNZA International Youth Conferencetook place 10-14th February in Nairobi (Kenya), and it provided a platform for over 300 young people from 100 countries to come together to exchange information, best practices and most importantly, learn from each other.
Participating in the TUNZA International Youth Conference allowed AEGEE to realize once more the enormous potential which young people have to act as change makers in the world. Our president Luis Alvarado represented AEGEE-Europe there and he discussed the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference and the Post 2015 Millennium Development Goals with the other delegates. For one week they shared experiences, attended panels and workshops with the professionals working in UNEP, and prepared recommendations directed to the Governing Council of UNEP and the Member States (Global Ministerial Environment Forum). AEGEE played a strong role in the preparation of the recommendations that you can find here: http://www.unep.org/pdf/Tunza_Youth_Statement.pdf
During the TUNZA Youth Conference the GEO-5 for Youth report was launched: a youth friendly version of the GEO (Global Environment Outlook) that the UN creates every 5 years to make the information accessible to young people around the globe.
Read here what Iris Hordijk, speaker of AEGEE’s Environmental Working Group, thinks of the publication: “If you want to change the world you have to begin with yourself. This well known quote from Mahatma Gandhi is obviously the main idea of the report TUNZA: Acting for a Better World from the GEO-5 for youth. The aim of the book is to show that there is still hope and that inspiring successful stories in a green and sustainable direction are happening every day.“
This colourful report is written by and for youth. The part of the book named Our world and its challenges today deals with the explanation of the Earth as a closed system. Trough the population increase and unsustainable economic development the pressure on our blue planet is increased. The big challenges according the atmosphere, land, water and biodiversity are explained and the knowledge about chemicals and waste increased after reading. Not only facts passing the revue, also are successful case studies presented together with the things you can do about the problems. Not only youth is dealing with the question how we can strive for a better world, in the politics it is also a point of debate. A description about the RIO+20 conference and the vague outcomes are discussed. Because of the vague outcomes from RIO+20 so far it is very important to act yourself! The tools and tips to contribute to a better world yourself are present as well. Do you want to spend 1 minute or 1 decade to change the world? It is up to you, but it is clear that it is necessary for the maintenance of our planet that the world has to change! Can you imagine a better point to start with yourself and the young generation?
You can check yourself downloading the GEO-5 for Youth:
AEGEE strongly encourages all European youth to find out more of the TUNZA youth network of UNEP, where you will be able to learn and empower yourselves to become youth environmental activists: