With its hustles and bustles, and the little green spaces available taken up for developmental purposes, urban areas offer zilch opportunities for young people to interact with nature.
Young people are the change agents of tomorrow and they should not be lulled into false complacency on matters concerning the environment. It is therefore essential for them to understand how changes in the environment will affect them in the offing.
Environmental education is of essence in connecting the young people residing in Nairobi closer to nature. It recognizes the potential held by young people if they are adequately equipped with knowledge in environmental issues.
Through a partnership with A Rocha Kenya and The African Fund For Endangered Wildlife, I work with various schools in Nairobi county towards nurturing environmental interests, creating awareness and achieving the sustainable development goals: Goal 2: zero hunger, Goal 13: climate action and Goal 15: life on land.
On Conservation agriculture; a climate change adaptation strategy, the young people are equipped with knowledge on its principles such as mulching and planting cover crops as a way of conserving both the soil and water, addition of nutrients to the soil through inter-cropping, compost making to minimize the usage of chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides as well as minimization of disturbances of the soil biota through zero or minimized tillage.
To reduce the impacts of waste disposal on land, they are equipped with knowledge on the 3Rs (reducing, reusing and recycling).This particularly applies to plastics which are non-biodegradable and pollute the air with gases that are harmful to human health such as dioxin and styrene released when plastics burn as well as the effect of these plastics on biodiversity in water bodies and on land.
On the conservation of forest biodiversity, the young people are educated on the impacts of deforestation on forest biodiversity, climate and human beings which is in accordance with goal number 15 that aims at sustainable management of forests, combating of deforestation, halting and reversing land degradation as well as biodiversity loss.
Environmental education is therefore an essential process for recognizing values and clarifying concepts in order to develop skills and added tools necessary to understand and appreciate the inter-relationship among man, his culture and his bio-physical surrounding which every young person residing in Nairobi needs to acknowledge.