Promoting the green transition requires embedding environmentally sustainable development in education. Schools, training institutions and community centres need to help young learners to understand the current climate challenges and empower them to take action. This works best with interdisciplinary and participatory training and learning methods. If schools and teachers have this major role to play, then they need ongoing support with inspiring examples and professional development
Mariya Gabriel Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
At the beginning of September, the Romanian media disseminated the results of a recent study done by the University of Bath in the UK and the Stanford Center for Innovation and Global Heath. According to this study approximately 45% out of 10.000 interviewed youngsters, coming from 10 different countries, openly declared that the climate crisis is generating them significant anxiety and discomfort when it comes to functioning as adults. Three-thirds of the interviewed participants (aged 16 to 25) said that the ‘future looks threatening, while 64% of the study participants expressed their disappointment towards the national governments not doing sufficient in order to avoid a severe climate crisis.
The main conclusion of the study is that the eco-anxiety or the climate anxiety in children and teenagers is not only due to the environmental constant degradation, but mainly due to the feeling that adults and especially politicians, governments and big companies are not acting accordingly.
Every day we are confronted with a series of challenges in the sphere of environmental protection and climate change management. The increasing urbanisation and the alert day to day life rhythm have generated the mass intensification of ‘bad environmental habits’ that produce more and more pollution and environmental contamination. Raising awareness on this social and individual habits and its environmental impacts is essential.
The activists are constantly identifying the causes and raise awareness on the dramatic climate changes that we are living and their causes (so WE KNOW!). The experts come up with proposals and solutions on how to solve and reduce environmental damages (so, IT IS POSSIBLE!). The politicians are constantly updating their discourses and agendas in accordance with this topic (so, IT IS WANTED!). SO what is the BIG OBSTACLE, why isn’t it happening?!
Often, we speak about ‘education & awareness’, implicitly climate and environmental education. A crucial role is associated to the education process in schools and even more with parenting and family life contexts, doubled by the local authorises support. If school and family contexts can create the capacities and skills that young people need in order to have a positive climate & environment impact … the authorities should be the ones supporting the implementation and multiplying effect of such social skills into the society.
The lesson above is the one that our Romanian RAISE Youth NEETs constantly receive through out the RAISE training activities. Both AGRO and TOURISM Romanian Demo Centres strive for environmental sustainability and support our local NEETs to development professional skills respectful toward the environment.
For the last serie of our formation training courses, mainly dedicated to community programs development in the fields of sustainable farming and eco rural tourism, the Romanian project beneficiaries will be receiving theoretical and practical information regarding their day to day habits and the implicit environmental impact, we will be developing skills and competences on how to act in a positive environmental way (such as recycling, upcycling, responsible consumption etc) and to close the learning circle, we will be supporting the development of an assertive and proactive attitude towards the reduction of environmental damage and contamination, while acting at individual and collective levels (such as voluntary work, involvement in community programs, development of collective community initiatives etc).
Even though at he moment, the immediate future does not look very bright in terms of climate change and global contamination, we are optimistic regarding the key role of our European youth in generating positive changes and we believe, that each and one educational action dedicated to youth is a long term investment for the future of our planet.