The theme of this year’s World Wildlife Day, "Sustaining all life on Earth", resonates with so many of my generation. Right now, all hope can seem lost and the future feels uncertain because of the overwhelming emergency hanging over our wildlife and biodiversity in general. But we must believe in hope and action if we are to truly respect our future and love one another through the core of what being a human being means.
Humanity is needed if we are going to "Sustain all life on Earth". We must make informed decisions and listen to the science, but we must also look within each of us and ask ourselves whether we truly care enough about each other; whether we have enough compassion for one another to restore and protect our planet.
We must break these invisible but real barriers of division and isolation within our generation from race, social economic differences and more. We must truly embrace the ethos of Ubuntu - which simply means “I am because we are”. Compassion, kindness, empathy and unity: some may wonder what does this have to do with conservation and Sustaining all life on Earth? Well, it has everything to do with it: as a community, we must come together with shared values of care and empathy for the common goal of conserving both wildlife and our own future.
We must rethink the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and make it resonate to all and remind ourselves that we are part of a global community and what that truly means to all of us.
Now more than ever, the youth of this world is waking up to the realization that our future is not certain. The world is calling it the 'Decade of Action', others the 'Decade of Restoration', but, for my generation, this is the 'Decade of No Return'.
This decade will determine if it is worth dreaming because why dream when your dream shall have no home tomorrow? The 'Decade of No Return' simply means we have no other option but to take action. Youth must be involved from creation, to planning, to implementation and management of all projects; so count us in. Involve us. And don’t forget it is our future at stake, as well as the planet’s and your own.