Featuring over 200 young minds from eight countries, the two-day YUVA Meet 2013 organized by TERI and partners at New Delhi aimed to sensitize international youth on issues pertaining to green growth and sustainable development.
New Delhi – Recognizing the role of young minds in shaping the global environmental agenda, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) – in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, TETRA Pak, RCE, British Council and other partners – launched the two-day YUVA Meet 2013 on January 28 on the theme, “Green Growth: Preparing Youth for Sustainable Living”.
Held as a special event of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) 2013, the 5th YUVA (Youth Unite for Voluntary Action) Meet sought to encourage young individuals to contribute their bit for a sustainable future. The YUVA Meet 2013 also focused on enhancing the knowledge among youth on the core challenges related to green growth and development which is sustainable, resource-efficient and socially-inclusive.
In a significant gesture, Mr. Jitendra Singh, Honourable Minister of State (Independent Charge), Youth and Sports Affairs, presided over the inaugural session of the YUVA Meet, along with Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Director-General, TERI and Ms. Ranjana Saikia, Director, Educating Youth for Sustainable Development, TERI.
Lauding the spirit behind the Meet, Mr. Jitendra Singh asserted, “Nature keeps giving us warning signals from time to time. I feel that before it gets too late, and the nature gets harsh on us, we need to spread awareness and address environmental concerns. I am happy that over the years, there has been a steady increase in awareness among youth on environmental issues.”
This year, the popular conclave attracted over 200 young minds from eight countries keen to deliberate on the action needed to protect and conserve the rapidly-depleting natural resources. Among the countries that participated in the YUVA Meet 2013 were Russia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Swaziland, Namibia, Thailand and India.
Highlighting the need to instil a sense of responsibility among the youth towards the environment, Dr. Pachauri opined, “The world is very rich in biodiversity and natural resources, but these are rapidly depleting due to increasing population. I feel there is a need to change our lifestyles to conserve these resources. I request the young generation to use their intelligence while meeting their needs. The universe is a family, and we need to come together to save this planet.”
Giving a fillip to the initiative, Indian Olympian pugilist and youth-icon, Mr. Vijender Singh addressed the participants on the final day of the YUVA Meet and encouraged them to become socially-aware individuals.
Explaining the highlights of the YUVA Meet, Ms. Ranjana Saikia said, “We have been organizing the YUVA Meet since 2009, and have focused on various issues related to environment and sustainable development. This year, we will look at enhancing the knowledge and understanding of the young participants on these relevant issues. The theme itself focuses on their lives, the world around them and issues like green economy.”
Youth are important stakeholders in realizing the sustainable development goals, and can be actively engaged in raising awareness, running educational programmes, advocating for policy-level changes, designing innovative solutions, technologies and tools, and strengthening public participation for environmental protection. The Meet strove to enable youth to discuss and deliberate on key sustainability concerns and collectively voice their views, exchange ideas, and form a common network thereby reaching out to many more like-minded people.
As a follow up of the YUVA Meet 2013, State Level Youth Seminars will also be organized in seven states – Assam, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand. Around 150 youth from Colleges/Universities, NGOs, NSS and NYKS and youth groups from the respective states are expected to participate in these two-day seminars.