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Thematic report: youth and the environment -- Homo faber fortunae suae

by Alice Ervaz | 20-09-2019 02:28 recommendations 0

Homo faber fortunae suae was the main motto of the Italian Renaissance. This short phrase, while not excluding the presence of God, stresses the importance of individual agency in daily life, acknowledging the fact that man is very well able to determine his own fate trough his doings. Even though Renaissance has been over for more than five hundred years, Italian mentality should not have changed that much. Or should it?

According to the statistics recently published by the Italian institution ISTAT, in 2015 the global challenges that mainly preoccupy Italian citizens are global environmental issues. The data yielded by the survey reveal that air pollution (48,2%), climate change (44,2%) and production and disposal of waste (43,4%) are at the top of the to-worry list. At the figures, one would expect a major engagement of the Italian youth in the battle against climate change – however, the recent European elections proved this expectation to be quite inaccurate.

While in Germany the Greens reached a whopping 20,6% and in most European countries all the ecological parties increased their consensus by receiving between 10 and 15% of the national preferences, Italian party Green Europe scored a meager 2,3%. This appalling result clearly hints that there is still much to be done in terms of advocacy and awareness about the climate catastrophe we might soon be facing.

The official definition of sustainability adopted by the United Nations Brundtland Commission in 1987 is the following: “[Sustainability is] meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” From this standpoint, it appears quite clear how youths should be the main drivers behind a green revolution. The word “future” seems to be quite present in the everyday political debacle – but one might wonder, what kind of future are we leaving to our children?

This is the answer I want to convey in this short article. It is estimated that 150 to 200 different plant, insect bird and mammal species go extinct every day. Within thirty years, summer in the Arctic might be for the first time ice-free. Land degradation represents a serious risk in 110 countries, as every year we lose approximately 12 million hectares of land. I was born just twenty years ago and I would feel ashamed to bring in this world children that will never see a real-life elephant or that will not be allowed to play outside for more than thirty minutes because the pollution in the air is too dangerous for their young lungs.

Fighting to raise awareness about climate change is not a trend, not a whim and not even an option – it is a struggle to get our future back and to establish a sustainable world order that will allow our legacy to live in harmony with our planet. This is the primary reason I have joined Tunza as an ambassador, I wanted to make people more aware of the climate catastrophe that might befall us and try to come up with viable strategies to bring a green revolution to the world.

I am ashamed to say that I did not care about sustainability that much when I was in high school. Green for me was just a color and not an attractive one at that. I was the stereotypical selfish teenager, leading a consumeristic lifestyle, being generally uneducated regarding the dangers of a high plastic consumption, thinking to myself that the Kyoto Protocol was a joke. I lived a fast life, in every sense – fast food, fast fashion, fast relationships.

It was only after joining AIESEC that it dawned on me: I realized how hypocritical I was being with my friends and family. I was preaching leadership and sustainability, but I was doing virtually nothing to give my contribution to the global struggle against climate change. AIESEC taught me to be a leader by making the difference even though I was not the daughter of a president or an influential diplomat – it made me understand that I am a small mosaic piece, a part of a whole community that is striving for something more.

This is the message I want to convey to all the future generations: may you be the ripple that impact thousands. Even if we start small, we can be that butterfly effect that can create positive changes worldwide. It does not take much. A simple action everyday can change the world – and your destiny. After all, homo faber fortunae suae.


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  • Dormant user Alice Ervaz


Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Alice

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about youth and the environment - Homo faber fortunae suae

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 04-10-2019 19:05

  • Hyeongmin Mentor says :
    Hello Alice!
    You mentioned a very good point.
    Global environmental issue is right on our face. Way to delay or stop this situation is not complicated. The worse the environmental issue is, the more trivial change of lifestyle can make things better.
    The most important thing is one should start right now from the simple parts. This will eventually make this planet a lot healthier.
    Thank you for the great report. Keep up with the good work!

    Posted 22-09-2019 13:14

  • Zefania Mkingi says :
    Good report

    I wish to read more from you


    Mkingi Zefania
    Posted 20-09-2019 20:59

Meena Pandey

  • Meena Pandey says :
    Great report!!!
    Wish for yours successful endeavor in future too.
    Keep writing and shining.
    Warm regards,
    Meena Pandey
    Posted 20-09-2019 13:20

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