19 July 2019

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Youth in Action on achieving SDG#15 – Life on Land

When one thinks of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we tend to lean towards big global initiatives where governments come to formal agreements, or of institutions aligning their investments with these goals. But what about the innovative ideas of the generation who will have to endure the effects in the future if we don’t reach those goals? Well at the Green for Growth Fund, listening to the young voices of the world, is something they believe is important. 

Working in the Southeastern European region, the Green for Growth Fund saw an opportunity in nine inspired children from Drinka Pavlović, an elementary eco-school based in Belgrade, Serbia. These pupils applied for the International Schools Essay Competition, "Young people are key to achieving SDG #15 (Life on Land)" organized by the Trust for Sustainable Living. Each of them had crafted creative suggestions on how to achieve the SDG #15 by 2030, and what is better, they were all selected to compete in the final debate of the competition taking place in Vancouver, Canada from 8-12 July, hosted by the British Columbia government and supported by the UNDP.

In order to hear the ideas and passion from these enthusiastic students, the Green for Growth Fund, through its Technical Facility sponsored their participation. They will be among a total of 1,470 students from 53 countries!

These children didn’t come from just any school; Drinka Pavlović a has been known for many years as an eco-school which fosters an ecological spirit within pupils from the first grade, educates students to be responsible towards the environment and challenges them to find sustainable solutions. Over the last fifteen years, its students have won many national and international awards.

Not only will the children debate with peers from around the world and collaborate in plenary sessions, but they will also have the opportunity to exchange ideas with representatives from the local First Nations community, renowned artists, eminent scientists and other leaders in the fields of conservation and sustainable development.

Lloyd Stevens, Director at GGF advisor Finance in Motion said: “We are inspired by these youth who are filled with innovative ways to make our world a greener place to live. The GGF is always looking for new ways to motivate others to reduce energy consumption and improve their carbon footprint. That’s why supporting competitions like these is so important, as it forges solidarity to achieve the SDGs and combat climate change simultaneously.”

If we truly care about the future of the planet, it is time we listen to the voices of those who will soon be responsible for looking after its resources.