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Youth Environmental Stewardship
In nature conservation, the environmental education plays a significant role in creating awareness about environmental issues and paves the way for effective conservation and sustainable management of natural resources. For this, youth are an important target groups in nature conservation as they have special responsibilities in relation to the environment. They can play a vital role in the society by acting as activists, advocates and stewards of their local natural resources. They have tendencies of voluntarism and activism towards nature conservation and can help spread environmental education among masses for long range environmental sustainability. They can steer social response through sensitization, social mobilization, information sharing, demonstrations and conducting activity based events.
To achieve this objective, NCC started its work by spreading environmental education among youth through adventure oriented outdoor education activities. Youth have been organized as Youth Nature Corps (YNC), a group of young environmental stewards. NCC under its innovative campaign “a green hour zeat (AGHAZ)’’, engaged environmental stewards in smart conservation initiatives under its volunteerism program. AGHAZ campaign has made incredible impact, especially, in raising environmental awareness and enhancing green skills of 5,000 youth and has served 2,000 deprived people with environmental services to date in Indus Ecoregion, Pakistan.
NCC, with its AGHAZ campaign, has an ultimate objective to establish state-of-the-art Environmental Education and Services Centers at Ecoregions in Pakistan. The centers will be set up to educate communities to live in harmony with all nature beings and make the right choices to be sustainable with the environment. The centers will serve as resource base for nature study camps, school co-curricular/ scouting activities incorporated with environmental education, green skills workshops for all age groups and environmental research, studies, demonstrations and policy reforms. The centers will have “Botanical Garden” for endangered shrubs and herbaceous plant and nursery and seed bank for threatened indigenous tree species.
NCC has carried out various voluntary environmental awareness and conservation initiatives with its AGHAZ campaign. It is a high time that youth should come forward and contribute towards environmental awareness and conservation in Pakistan. This would indeed make a great positive impact in the society.