COP18 (27/11/12) – Yvonne Maingey, Intern at UNEP talks about her journey into environmentalism. She says she was inspired by the late Wangari Maathai when she saw her on television fighting for Kenya’s forests.
She says her own work started with an environmental club at her school and a clean up campaign for the Nairobi River.
She stresses that young people are great to work with because they are more action orientated and says that working with UNEP has allowed her to meet and collaborate with young people from many different countries. She says young people are not thinking about the politics or the economics of climate change but are simply seeing that something needs to be done.
Young people have the solutions, she adds, and what they need now is the support of older generations and to be taken seriously.
She says it is important to teach children to be stewards of their environment and to instill good habits and practices early on. She questions whether education is currently preparing young people for the low carbon future that is coming.