March 29, 2012
The Planet Under Pressure youth voice is a collaboration of 12 young people from across the UK who are passionate about the well-being of our environment.
Brought together by the British Science Association, Research Councils UK, Living with Environmental Change, Sciencewise-ERC and supported by the Royal Society, attending the March 26-29 Planet Under Pressure conference in London was a great opportunity for us.
We were delighted to be able to bring our views to the conference delegates as it is us that will inherit the planet, and we are the scientists and policy makers of the future. We gave a presentation at the opening ceremony of the conference on Monday March 26, highlighting the main questions that we thought were of a huge importance when considering the main sustainability problems of today.
These included issues such as the threat to biodiversity, pollution and resource scarcity. We also believe that it is imperative that for these problems to be solved once and for all, the gap between scientists and the public needs to be bridged by better communication. People need to be better informed about the urgency of many of these problems, and on how to live more sustainably. Speaking in front of such a large audience that included so many influential people was a truly incredible experience for us all.
However, it wasn’t just the views of 12 UK students being voiced, as we were also representing the opinions of many more young people across the country. We presented the results of a survey taken by people ranging from school to university age. A summary of these results was included in our poster display where we spent most of the day talking to scientists about the youth voice project. It was extremely encouraging to see that many of those who we spoke to felt that it was very important for young people to attend conferences like this because young people can offer fresh perspectives on many of these issues and we are the new generation who will drive future change.
Note from editor: This is a special guest blog by the young participants who lit up this large conference of scientists by asking some very basic questions on where the planet is heading.