Discourse: Let the youth speak about environment
The United Nations elected Indonesia to host the Tunza International Children & Youth Conference on the Environment, slated to be held in Bandung from Sept. 27 to Oct 1. Over 1,500 young people from 120 countries are expected to attend the conference, which is part of the run up to the Earth Summit 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, also known as the Rio+20 conference. The Jakarta Post’s Adianto P. Simamora talked to Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta about Indonesia’s hopes for both conferences. Following is part of the interview:
We are very happy that Indonesia was chosen to host the Tunza conference. The conference is essential. It will determine the future of the planet. Young people can play an important role in developing a better future for the environment.
We need to prepare young people by boosting their awareness of caring about the environment. It is for the sake for the young generation. Their voices must be heard, especially at the Rio+20 summit. The Tunza conference is expected to produce a ‘Bandung Declaration’ as input for world leaders who will attend Rio+20 Summit.
We plan to build a “World City Forest” in Bandung as a pilot project for the nations to green their cities. Every young person participating in the conference will plant a tree in the area.
With the conference, Indonesia will have two vital proposals that can be submitted to the Rio+20 summit. We have the Solo Declaration, issued during the [High-Level Dialogue on the] Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development in Surakarta, Central Java.
The Solo Declaration offered options on whether to name UNEP [United Nations Environment Program] as a focal point for sustainable development and green economic issues or give [responsibility] to the UN Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC]. The other alternative is to set up new agency. It is up to the Rio+20 summit to decide.
We will not go to the Rio+20 [conference] with empty hands. We have at least two proposals.
The involvement of more young people in protecting the environment can spread a positive “virus” to other people to save the environment.
Original article published at www.uncsd2012.org