This is an interview I had with Sharon Mijares, a passionate environmentalist, an author, and a tutor of Ecopsychology at National University, California. The interview was to help her students to get a broader understanding of Ecopsychology and what other young people are doing at the grassroots level to help restore our relationship with Nature.
Earlier this year, I received a scholarship from Inclusive Leadership to undergo Earth Charter’s “Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics” training for young leaders. The training had lots of impact on my leadership and advocacy path. It introduced me to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), new ways of thinking, and a more robust approach towards achieving the SDGs and even beyond that towards a more peaceful and sustainable future.
As part of the training, participants organized individual workshops to expand the knowledge on the concepts of the programme. I organized my workshop in Kumasi – Ghana on the 22nd of March under the theme “Building Earth Leaders Today.”
I had a group of 25 people from 11 countries and from different backgrounds. The event started with introductions and we discussed ESD. Only 1 person out of the 25 had experienced Education for Sustainable Development. This emphasized on the need for ESD. We deliberated and shared several views on how to promote ESD. The discussion led us to Leadership (Earth Leaders) and Ethics. Participants named Osama Bin Laden as a successful leader (capable of driving people to follow his vision) but agreed that our planet don’t need such leaders but Earth Leaders – leaders who are ethical, concerned about the present and the future. I then led the team to dive into ethics and moved on to critical and system thinking.
We watched a video on system thinking – which illustrated how the earth is all merged together and that every single decision affects a much larger system. Following that, participants were grouped into five (5 groups of 5). Each group selected one local problem in their home country/community and tasked another group to use system thinking to provide a solution to the problem. At the end, we had beautiful solution to global issues such as terrorism, water scarcity and food insecurity, inequalities, etc.
A presentation on the workshop “ESD, Earth Leadership, and System Thinking” can be found here: Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics Workshop – 2017 SLIDES.
The debrief section was another great moment for me to hear what participants had learned. About 70% of feedback response showed that participants had no knowledge about ESD, 50% mentioned that they have heard about system thinking but had no understanding to it, 90% of participants pledge to promote ESD and to adopt ethical leadership towards sustainable development.
To conclude this blogpost, I want to express my gratitude to the Earth Charter for providing such wonderful opportunity for young leaders across the world, and to Inclusive Leadership for the sponsorship. Also, my appreciation to Sarah Dobson and Phat Tan Nguyen for coordinating the event, and to all the wonderful participants who made it as success.
In 2015, I was selected as Tunza Eco-generation ambassador to Ghana. The ambassador task is given to young people working on environmental related issues in their local communities and the task assigned to me was very simple, undertake one environmental activity each month and share the report on the Samsung Engineering and UNEP Tunza networking platform. Prior to being selected as the ambassador, I had demonstrated a big interest in educating young people (mostly junior high school students) on the pressing need for their involvement in environmental protection and sustainability. Taking on the task as a Tunza ambassador, I was super excited to use my activities in Ghana to inspire other young people across the world.
I still remember my first activity in September 2015, where I launched a campaign against plastics in a local community and educated them on the effects of plastics in their coastal ecosystem. Following that, I organized several education events for students and I started the eco-learners series where I awarded the most enthusiastic students with gifts. In 2016, I extended my term of ambassadorship for the 2nd and 3rd term as I kept meeting amazing people on the platform. I kept building intense connection with some ambassadors and it was amazing knowing that there are other young people who are passionate about the environment just as I am.
Arushi Madan and Bindu Bhandari, my favourite ambassadors; these young ladies have proven and inspired many young people through their commitment to protecting our planet. Other young ambassadors, including Xilola Kayumova, Ashtha Lamsal are not as old as I am but are driving change in their community through the opportunity provided by Tunza.
Today, as Tunza announce me as the best Ambassador for their ambassador program for over the recent term, I am filled with joy that my time as an ambassador affected the passion and interest of other young people to do more for nature. Although, I am no longer an ambassador, I look forward to staying in touch with the lovely people on the Tunza platform and offer my support as a mentor, a friend, and an activist for nature. Thank you, Tunza! Thank you, Samsung Engineering! Thank you, UNEP!
Inclusive Leadership Co-operative profiled my passion for climate action after supporting my training at Earth Charter, Costa Rica.
“I am very grateful to the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative for your support towards my participation in Earth Charter’s training on Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics.” The ILC is proud to be sponsoring climate and environmental activist, Joshua Amponsem to join on-line with leaders from around the world who are preparing to implement Earth Charter-inspired action projects in their communities.
The Earth Charter is the ILC’s global framework for our work preparing socially and environmentally responsible global citizens who are actively contributing toward a more sustainable and peaceful world. Joshua became involved in the Earth Charter through his participation in the Fall 2016 UN Climate Summit in Morroco.
Joshua is the Africa Project Leader for Youth Climate Report and the Director of Green Africa Youth Organization (NGO devoted to climate advocacy, environmental protection, management and consultancy). “I am a speaker on indigenous knowledge and its role in solving some global crisis such…
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