BEIJING – Representatives of government departments, the United Nations (UN) and NGOs taking part in an environmental protection forum on Friday highlighted the importance of actions by China’s youth in protecting the planet.
Protecting the environment and conserving biodiversity require sustained efforts from generation to generation, and the participation of young people is indispensable, said Tu Ruihe, Head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) China office, during the 5th UN China Youth Environment Forum on biodiversity.
At the forum, which was held in Beijing and the city of Jinhua, in East China’s Zhejiang province, via video link, attendees said that the COVID-19 outbreak was evidence that the dynamic balance of the ecosystem had been affected, and they called for measures to protect nature.
Educating the youth with eco-friendly ideas is conducive to sustainable development, because if they become more eco-conscious, they are more likely to factor the environment into decision making in future work, said Ma Jian, Deputy Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization Regional Office in China.
Wang Qian, Programme Management Officer of the UNEP China Office, encouraged young people to get involved in environmental protection by doing little things, such as cutting down on the use of disposable products and sharing eco-friendly practices with friends and relatives.
Over 40 faculty members and students from more than 10 universities who attended a summer camp on biodiversity in the city of Jinhua were also invited to the forum to share the results of their exploration of biodiversity conservation.
Founded in 2016, the UN China Youth Environment Forum is an annual event organized by the UNEP, with the aim of providing China’s youth with a platform to exchange environmental protection practices and mobilize more young people to care for nature.