What young people want from COP27 and COP28

Young people have a lot of energy and potential to drive positive change. It comes down to the facilitation of those ideas that will make a difference

By Hoor Ahli

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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Published: Tue 27 Sep 2022, 9:52 PM

R-U-F-U-R-F. This may seem like a bizarre code from The Da Vinci Code. But it's not. It is simply one of the many algorithms for solving a Rubik's cube puzzle. As a child, I always found this captivating puzzle an unsolvable one, no matter how much effort was spent trying to crack it

Every choice that I made to solve the puzzle had to be contemplated and thought out. Which to be honest, was a bit intimidating for me. Until I noticed that if I had just looked at the bigger picture of the puzzle and tried to solve it slowly, following different algorithms that others have come up with, it would have been way easier.

Finding my core values, identity and passion were no different than trying to solve this Rubik's cube. It needed a lot of exploration. Actually a lot. From going to beach clean-ups and trying different forms of art to participating in international conferences and competitions. This has helped me appreciate the worth of nature.

A while earlier I was volunteering with my school for a cleaning campaign. When we reached the location I was amazed by the number of people who gathered with the same goals in mind. We were all there to make the world a better place. This connection I felt with the volunteers around me and the nature (which was a desert) sparked a feeling that I believe everyone should experience. I then made it my mission to raise awareness about the importance of being connected with nature and being a part of it.

That is when I started to indulge in the field of environmental awareness and education. To be honest I was surprised by the number of dedicated people on this mission. It was a huge community. They had many ideas and points of action. Some would express themselves through marches and calls for action and others would host events. I have always known that the greatest truths come within us, which made me sure that as long as I am passionate about nature, people will get inspired and feel a connection to the earth.

It always fascinates me that nature has such a huge impact on our lives. Personally, the serenity that surrounds me when sitting alone with natural surroundings is unmatched by any other place and it is always the best getaway I can find from our loud cities.

My aspirations for COP27 and COP28 are that youth should be empowered from all countries around the world and our ideas are implemented on the ground. Young people have a lot of energy and potential to drive positive change. It comes down to the facilitation of those ideas that will make a difference. I believe that raising awareness is the key to creating the most impact. Thus, it is very important that we continue inspiring youth in our community and around the world.

L-U-L-U. Ta-da! Now, I have a solved Rubik's cube puzzle sitting right in front of me. With this I also have one piece of my personality solved. Environmental activism has awarded me with diverse life experiences and long-lasting friendships. So I encourage everyone to take a step forward and inspire their own community as collective impact is the key to combating this crisis and driving positive change.

- The writer is a UAE nature ambassador and a student at NYUAD.

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