Young people are taking action on the Global Plastics Treaty, writes Miriam Moreno in Peru.
Latin America and the Caribbean, or LAC, is a region rich in natural resources, and that fact makes it also particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Destruction of the environment due to bad practices and mismanagement of the natural resources make LAC families more vulnerable to the effects of natural events and increases poverty. Droughts, floods and degraded soils affect agriculture and thus food security in the region.
At the regional level, there is one youth network of 144 young people participating in campaigns, green jobs projects and action to prevent violence.
The LAC Youth network has been working to improve agricultural practices in the region, promoting production and use of organic fertilisers and recycling techniques to increase food production so people can live better. They've also been promoting the creation of green jobs through waste management and recycling projects, while also organising and accompanying networks of churches, civil society and community members for influencing and advocating for public solutions.
The Church is coming to respect, value and care for its environment, and we believe that's part of a bigger restoration of relationships with God, with each other, with ourselves and with our environment.
The Youth Network in Colombia run the Eco Guardians initiative, led by Isai Prasca. These are green jobs producing and selling organic fertilisers, repellents and fungicides in the agricultural community of Tierra Alta, implementing ecological practices in their plots. One hundred families are reached, in addition to 150 children and young people who are being trained to value nature and the resources of their environment.
And 150 people are involved in the collaborative project between partner organisations of Red ROCA in Guatemala to regenerate the environment and generate income opportunities for rural families by making compost.
In 2023, the youth network focused on the Rubbish Campaign, in the context of the Global Plastics Treaty, promoting the mobilisation of the church, the youth and connections with other groups across countries. 227 churches were connected, 743 young people were involved, two waste picker companies, and 6,627 people were reached.
We believe that God is moving through the action of young people in LAC and we are very inspired, and dream of youth leadership and activism in Latin America. The Church is coming to respect, value and care for its environment, and we believe that's part of a bigger restoration of relationships with God, with each other, with ourselves and with our environment.