CYA Dean urges Youth to champion eco-friendly initiatives to protect Region’s fragile ecosystems

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Message by Dean of the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, Tiffany Moore, on the occasion of Caribbean Youth Day, September 30, 2023

Today, we celebrate Caribbean Youth Day under the inspiring theme “Securing our Future: Youth Co-Creating a Peaceful and Sustainable Caribbean Community.” This theme encapsulates our aspirations and our collective responsibility as young Caribbean citizens.

Our Region is known for its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultures, and vibrant communities. Yet, it has its challenges. Economic disparities, environmental threats, and social inequalities are pressing issues that demand our attention. But here is the exciting part: the Caribbean’s future lies in the hands of its youth. We are the torchbearers of change, and together, we have the power to co-create a better tomorrow.

Peace and sustainability are not just lofty ideals but essential pillars of our future. Peace ensures that every young person in the Caribbean can thrive without fear of violence or conflict. Sustainability means safeguarding our environment and resources for generations to come. These principles are interlinked, and we must weave them into the fabric of our Caribbean Community.

First and foremost, we must recognise that unity through diversity is our strength. Our Caribbean family is a tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions, and it is through embracing this diversity that we can co-create a harmonious and peaceful community. Let us stand together, united by our shared values and dreams, transcending borders and divisions.

In our pursuit of sustainability, let us be the stewards of our environment. The Caribbean is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty, from pristine beaches to lush rainforests, but it is also threatened by climate change, pollution, and unsustainable practices. Youth must champion eco-friendly initiatives, promote renewable energy, and protect our fragile ecosystems.

Education is another key to securing our future. Knowledge empowers us to make informed decisions, challenge the status quo, and drive positive change. Let us demand quality education for all, breaking down barriers to access and fostering a culture of lifelong learning.

But change does not happen overnight. It requires persistence, dedication, and collaboration at the government level. As indicated by the Declaration of Paramaribo on the Future of Youth in the Caribbean Community, empowering youth and recognising them as game changers, innovators and assets to the Region is crucial. Therefore, to foster meaningful youth engagement and embrace the value of youth to the Region, governments must invest in youth programmes, create platforms for dialogue, and prioritise education and skills development. Caribbean governments can harness their energies and enthusiasm to drive sustainable development, social progress, and a more inclusive future for all by actively involving youth in governance and policy decisions.

Remember, the Caribbean of tomorrow depends on the actions we take today. Each of us has a role in co-creating a peaceful and sustainable Caribbean Community. So, let us harness our energy, creativity, and passion to make a lasting impact.

As we celebrate Caribbean Youth Day, let us be inspired by our theme and commit ourselves to securing our future. Let us rise to the occasion, working hand in hand to build a peaceful, sustainable Caribbean filled with opportunities for ALL. Together, we can make our Caribbean dream a REALITY.