(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana – Friday, 11 August 2023) – The 2023 theme for the observance of International Youth Day, “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World”, aligns with CARICOM’s efforts to ensure all stakeholders, including youth, are given a platform and their voices heard in discussions surrounding the impact of climate change on Small Island Developing States (SIDs).
Ensuring a sustainable future for our people is particularly important as attention turns to the upcoming 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 28).
The 2023 observance of International Youth Day is particularly significant as the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Programme celebrates its thirtieth anniversary.
In this regard, the CARICOM Secretariat highlights Anguillian Tiffany Moore, the new Dean of the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Programme, as she advocates for the full involvement of Caribbean young people in the Region’s sustainability.
“Today, more than ever, the world faces the urgent task of transitioning towards a sustainable future. Climate change, dwindling resources, and environmental degradation have become existential threats that demand immediate action. At this critical juncture, empowering youth with green skills has emerged as a promising solution to build a sustainable world. By equipping young people with the knowledge, expertise, and opportunities to participate in this transition actively, we can unlock their tremendous potential as change-makers and catalysts for positive growth.
The shift towards a sustainable world is not merely a buzzword; it reflects a fundamental rethinking of how societies operate. This transition demands a workforce capable of navigating complex ecological, economic, and social intersections. Green Skills encompass diverse abilities, from renewable energy technologies and circular economy practices to sustainable agriculture, waste management and conservation sciences. By cultivating these skills, young individuals enhance their employability and contribute to fostering a harmonious relationship between humanity and the planet.
Moreover, green skills empower young people to take proactive measures against climate change. Today’s youth are more connected, engaged, and passionate about environmental issues than ever before. By equipping them with the tools to engage in sustainable practices, we empower them to become green leaders of tomorrow. From innovative ideas to transformative projects, young people with green skills can contribute substantially to reducing carbon emissions, promoting clean energy alternatives, and influencing sustainable policies.
Beyond environmental stewardship, green skills also offer immense economic opportunities. As the world transitions towards cleaner and more sustainable technologies, there is a growing demand for professionals with expertise in the green sector. By providing young people with relevant training and skills, we prepare them for the green jobs of the future. This ensures a sustainable job market and brings about socio-economic benefits for communities. Green skills can drive economic growth, foster entrepreneurship, and create new opportunities for a more inclusive and equitable society.
Creating an enabling environment for young people to harness their potential is crucial to successfully embark on the green transition. This includes adequate investment in green education and training, the promotion of sustainable career pathways, and facilitating mentorship and networking opportunities. Collaborative efforts between governments, educational institutions, businesses, and civil society organisations are essential to ensure a coordinated approach that maximises the impact of green skills initiatives. Access to these skills must be democratised, ensuring that all segments of society, regardless of background, can participate in the green transition.
Lastly, it is essential to recognise that today’s youth are not merely passive beneficiaries of these efforts but dynamic agents of change. Their energy, enthusiasm, and fresh perspectives breathe life into the sustainability movement. By empowering young people with green skills, we equip them with the tools to actively shape a more sustainable world. Their voices are needed at the decision-making tables, their ideas are crucial for driving innovation, and their commitment to sustainability will shape future generations.
In conclusion, the world stands at a critical juncture where the green transition is no longer a choice but a necessity. Young people are poised to play a pivotal role in this transformative process, and Green Skills are the compass that guides them. We can harness their energy, creativity, and passion to drive the green transition by equipping young people with knowledge, expertise, and opportunities in sustainable practices. Let us seize this moment and collectively work towards a more sustainable world where today’s youth are champions of tomorrow’s green future”.