WUF - Youth, Climate Change and Green Jobs

written by: Mark Swilling on Monday, 03 September 2012. Posted in Footprints Blog

2 Septmber 2012. Eve and I attended the opening sessions of the Urban Forum's Youth Assembly. I spoke on a panel discussion entitled Youth, Climate Change and Green Jobs: from a post Rio + 20 perspective. I decided to refer specifically to a recently released report entitled Growing Greener Cities (for release publicly here at the WUF) which refers to the results of the first major survey of urban agriculture in African cities. It is a really remarkable report, demonstrating empirically what many have suspected for a long time, namely that millions of urban households are engaged in urban agricultural activities in African cities. I used this as a concrete example of the connections between between climate change, food security, jobs and the city. Unbeknown to me the two other speakers were from youth groups both engaged in local gardening projects in their respective cities - Naples and San Paolo, Brazil. Both told amazing stories about young people getting mobilized by planting gardens and initiating practical projects. Itt just reminded me how many times I across this around the world - ordinary young people creating new modes of social mobilisation by connecting urban living to nature with restorative outcomes. They combine cultural practices, cooperative values, social mobilisation and awareness raisiing. Really fascinating.