By Maryann Lockington, journalism student at USP
Pacific Nature Conference Closing Bulletin 2013, Suva Fiji - A youth group based at the University of the South Pacific has called for support for youths and children as catalysts for environmental awareness.
Econesian Society representative Mr. Aman Narayan presented at a youth environment event on during the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas about youth involvement in advocacy.
“Our main statement is, include us, involve us and support us,” he said.
Mr. Narayan said it was important for youths to be heard and to have a platform to speak.
“The group is dedicated to perpetuate for Pacific youths and Pacific young leaders,” he said.
The Econesian Society is a group of young people that advocate for nature conservation and management.
“We aim for youths to value their traditional knowledge and marry it with scientific knowledge.”
The group was formed in 2007 after delegates returned from the Pacific Future Environmental Leaders Forum in Apia, Samoa which has now grown into the Pacific Emerging Environment Leaders (PEEL).
“The Econesian Society’s vision is to bring together the youths of the South Pacific and all over the Pacific region under one umbrella so that we can provide the capacity building they need to go back home and do what we do,” he said.
The group’s latest project, Honour Journey is based on traditional knowledge and preserving cultural identity.
“It is a form of teaching urbanized youths the importance of traditional knowledge and the preservation of their environment,” he said.
Maryann Lockington is a member of the Media Team providing coverage of the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas from 2 to 6 December in Suva, Fiji. This is a partnership between the Fiji National University (FNU), University of the South Pacific (USP), SPREP and Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) whereby a team of 10 journalism students are mentored by senior reporters as they cover the conference. This activity is funded by the Pacific Assistance Media Scheme (PACMAS).