Supported by the New South Wales Environment Trust, Macquarie University has partnered with Oz Green to launch a project to see if the way to inspire young people to love and care for nature is to ask them how to do it.
The project called ‘The (re)Generation’ is addressing the growing disconnect of urbanised young people from the natural environment and their shift towards busy and virtually connected lives.
Visiting natural areas has been shown to improve one’s emotional, mental and physical state and there is evidence that if young people develop a relationship with nature early in life they are more likely to care for nature and protect it as adults. Does this mean nature has an uncertain future?
The project is calling for those aged 15-25 years to share their ideas on how they believe they can motivate and communicate with other young people in NSW and stimulate their interest to visit nature, fall in love with it and look after it.
The nature focus is on areas of concern where pressures are increasing – coasts, rivers, wetlands, mountains and catchments in NSW. The approach may be through social media to motivate their networks, or any other form of multi modal media or peer-peer.
The most innovative ten ideas will be selected and invited to join a team of arts, communications, education and research professionals to develop the ideas and assist in putting each into practice. Ten participants will be invited to attend the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney this November to share ideas with international participants. This once in ten years environmental conference hopes to launch a movement to ‘inspire the next generation with nature’.
This project is a fantastic opportunity for young people from a range of interests to develop networking, leadership, and communication skills by testing their ideas in practice. The project invites youth, community and conservation organisations, the arts, universities, colleges and schools to call amongst their networks.
For those older than 25 and with an arts or communications skill such as filmmaking, photography, marketing, events and writing; or who have experience in sustainability, research, or education, the project is also inviting those to apply to mentor participants.
The project hopes to understand what motivates young people in NSW to visit nature and to care for it as well as what are effective means to facilitate this (re)generation.
Applications for participant projects and mentor roles are due 30 September 2014.
(Source: Macquire University)