Philippines

Empowered youth is key to greener, healthier environment - Save the Children Philippines

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© Save the Children Philippines

Save the Children Philippines celebrates International Youth Day highlighting the pivotal role of the youth as important drivers of progressive solutions to the mounting climate and environmental emergencies of the world.

Alfie, 16, one of Save the Children Philippines’ beneficiaries in Cavite, shared his thoughts on climate change which is compounded by the present COVID-19 pandemic, and the role of the youth to mitigate it.

"What I want to see for the environment after COVID-19 is for people to avoid just throwing garbage anywhere, especially canals, rivers, and the sea. The sea in particular is important, because it is where we get our food like fish. So we should throw our garbage in the proper bins—whether they are biodegradable, non-biodegradable, or recyclable. A clean environment is very important especially in the time of a pandemic," said Alfie.

Many Filipino youth, like Alfie, are already aware of the environment crisis and have ideas to address them. However, the realization of their right to a healthy and safe environment continue to be disrupted as children and youth bear the worst impacts of climate emergency even though they contributed the least to it, said Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines.

“The youth is an enabling force that can effect significant and lasting changes to the present and future global problems. Hence, we need to support and provide them the means and opportunities to reach their full potential through access to quality education, protection, health and nutrition,” said Muyot.

In line with this, Save the Children Philippines is conducting children and youth consultations on the impact of climate emergency, and provides them information on solutions such as the proper practice of recycling and reusing of materials, and the promotion of low carbon lifestyle. #TimeIsNow #RedAlertOnClimate #IYD2020

The 40-year-old child rights organization is also noted for advocating the enactment of Republic Act 10821 or the Children's Emergency Relief and Protection Act that directs national and local government agencies to implement and sustain comprehensive emergency programs to protect children, youth, pregnant and lactating mothers from disasters and emergencies.

“Save the Children Philippines remains committed to protect the rights of children and youth by providing them safe spaces and the platform to speak for their voices to be heard and considered by our policymakers,” said Muyot.