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close this bookIdeas for Action : Save, Recycle and Do Not Pollute (International Institute for Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), 1992)
close this folderEnvironmental action
View the documentHow to organize the community for environmental action
View the documentTaking action
View the documentCommunity vigilance for environmental protection
View the documentEnvironmentally-friendly school kids
View the documentCreation of a marine protected area
View the documentKnow the laws: report crimes against the environment!
View the documentEarthquake. preparedness
View the documentTyphoon preparedness
View the documentVolcanic eruption preparedness

Taking action

All over the world, young people are already taking up their responsibilities for the environment but many of these activities undertaken in different parts Or the world could be replicated in other regions:

1. Organizing youth environmental groups, associations, corps, wildlife clubs, etc.

2. Networking subregionally, regionally and globally with other environmental youth groups through exchanging newsletters and other publications and holding seminars, training courses and exchange programmes on specific environmental issues. (Names of environmental nongovernmental organizations can be obtained from the Environment Liaison Centre, P. O. Box 72461, Nairobi, Kenya.)

3. Holding training camps for student conservation leaders and senior members of school conservation clubs, community youth clubs and other interested students to give them a better understanding of conservation principles and management practices and help them become efficient leaders in volunteer conservation work.

4. Developing environmental education packs and distributing them to other environmental youth groups and organizations.

5. Putting youth organizations on the mailing lists of organizations concerned with the environment such as UNEP (for the bimonthly UNEP News and CONNECTT, a quarterly environmental education newsletter).

6. Informing the media, particularly UNEP News, about successful conservation and resource management activities so they can be publicized.

7. Organizing national essay contests on environmental themes. Prizes could include trips to international or national environment projects.

8. Writing to people in government and industry who are making decisions that affect the environment.

9. Informing the media of local environmental problems.

10. Organizing group discussions on issues such as population growth, management of natural resources, development, poverty and environmental degradation.

11. Campaigning to properly adjust inappropriate development, such as ill-planned irrigation schemes, dams, etc.

12. Asking national governments to include young people in their delegations to national, regional and global environmental meetings (UNEP made a formal request to national governments to include young people in delegations to the 13th Session of its Governing Council in 1985).

13. Raising funds -- at schools, churches, mosques, temples, etc. -- to sponsor positive environmental activities.

14. Preparing surveys of and assessing existing environmental legislation.

15. Publishing manuals explaining environmental legislation to young people so they can lobby for change.

16. Campaigning for the formulation of additional environmental laws and conventions and the upgrading of the existing ones.

17. Producing and sharing ideas -- including new inventions -- on how to alleviate the burdens that degraded environments lay on women as the main drawers of water and hewers of wood in the third world.

18. Involving young women in youth organizations to crease a link with women's groups also concerned with environmental problems.

19. Forming pressure groups to lobby for action on such major environmental problems as water pollution, desertification, drought and famine. Other issues of environmental dimensions which should interest youth today include noise and exhaust smoke abatement (trucks, buses, motorcycles, etc.).

20. Organizing practical demonstrations and pilot activities on specific environmental problems.

21. Establishing tree nurseries, including those of indigenous species.

22. Running training courses in nursery management as part of income-generating schemes for youth organizations.

23. Setting up seedling distribution projects.

24. Planting and caring for trees in school compounds, business centres, etc.

25. Holding forestry work camps to provide young people with education in country side conservation.

26. Running school forest projects under which a school adopts a small area of woodland as its "school forest" which it then manages under the auspices of, say, the national forestry department. Schoolchildren would prepare the site by clearing vegetation; plant tree seedlings; care for the young trees by replacing dead seedlings, weeding, fertilizing, constructing and maintaining fire breaks; and, manage the established forest by pruning branches and thinning overcrowded trees.

27. Mobilizing community and individual efforts to preserve national forests.

28. Encouraging the appreciation of forest products and research on their uses.

29. Monitoring the local environment -- the health of rivers and lakes and of the air and the soil.

30.-Conducting surveys of the local environment to pinpoint sources of environmental pollution, such as sewage systems and factories and monitoring the effects of the widespread use of plastic packaging. Alerting local and national authorities to these findings and suggesting solutions.

31. Creating awareness of the negative impacts of various products and services on the environment and suggesting alternative products and services which do less environmental damage.

32. Encouraging young people to join groups working on how to increase food production without depleting the soil.

33. Promoting the cultivation of indigenous crops and wild plants as sources of food and learning to fully utilize such plants, their flowers, seeds, etc.

34. Discussing the pros and cons of using inorganic fertilizers.

35. Promoting wasteland development programmes.

36. Controlling vectors of water-borne diseases.

37. Running public health education programs to promote community action to control environmental diseases.

38. Running campaigns to clear litter.

39. Constructing and maintaining footpaths and picnic facilities.

40. Creating and maintaining nature trails and sites.

41. Clearing fire breaks and cutting tall grass in areas of potential fire danger.

42. Promoting those aspects of indigenous cultures which promote conservation and enhancement of the environment.

43. Promoting family life education programmes relating to increasing population and sustainable development.

44. Promoting the use of alternative sources of energy, such as the sun, the wind and gas from decaying vegetation and other organic matter.

45. Promoting the use of energy-conserving stoves.

46. Collecting wastes, such as paper, glass and tins, for delivery to recycling facilities.

47. Campaigning for wildlife conservation and the protection of endangered species.

48. Promoting activities that control the damage done by marine pollution and the mismanagement of coasts, such as cleaning up beaches and campaigning against the sale of coral, shells, starfish, etc.

49. Protesting against the huge sums of money spent by developed and developing countries on armaments.

Taking action

Ideas for action:
A Technology Information Kit, November 23 - 28, 1992