A message of the CBD Executive Secretary, Mr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, on the occasion of Wangari Maathai Day.
As we marked the 2014 Wangari Maathai Day and its theme, Youth Healing the Earth: Environment. Education, Empowerment, we pay tribute to Wangari Maathai. Her rich legacy as a dedicated environmentalist, human rights activist and agent of change is an excellent basis to celebrate the energy, enthusiasm and dedication that youth bring to protecting our environment, including their work for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Today’s youth comprise about 1.2 billion of the global population. With 200 million people aged 15-24, Africa has the youngest population in the world. Key agents for change, youth help shape social and economic development and challenge social norms and values. They are key actors in building the sustainable foundation of the world's future the future we want
Dr. Maathai has called on youth to, “commit themselves to activities that contribute toward achieving their long-term dreams. They have the energy and creativity to shape a sustainable future. To the young people I say, you are a gift to your communities and indeed the world. You are our hope and our future.