UNEP: Young people seek Earth’s survival…by faith

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Over 350 young leaders from faith-based organizations in more than 50 countries gathered to discuss solutions, examining innovative examples and best practices towards saving the earth.

They met at the second international Laudato Si’ interfaith conference held at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

During the conference, UN Environment’s Faith for Earth Initiative – along with partners including the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA), the World Wildlife Fund Regional Office for Africa, the Young Muslim Association and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development – heard from speakers who provided a scientific perspective on the current state of the world and discussed the importance of youth engagement.

“I find hope in the young women and men around the world who are drawing on both faith and science to campaign for change and to raise awareness about how to live more sustainably,” said Joyce Msuya, Deputy Head of UNEP.

“We at the UN Environment Programme are working hard every day to build a path to a sustainable future,” she added.

Awareness

Recounting her experience of Cyclone Idai – which caused catastrophic damage when it battered parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi in March – 25-year-old Jessica Gimo from Beira, Mozambique, noted that it is possible to mitigate risks and avert climate catastrophes with adequate information.

“In my view, the lack of information made the damage worse, because if the information had been passed in time, if they had informed us of the magnitude of the Cyclone, we would have made plans to move to safe cities. I believe that the situation would be different and maybe the damage would be minor,” she said.