What is the environment? The definition is really broad, because environment is everything around you. Look around you: what do you see?  People, animals, plants, the earth, all these things together form the environment. This means that it covers a really broad topic: it goes from access to a safe and clean place to play, to the use of plastic bags, to protection against natural disasters such as floods or droughts.

  • Children’s right: None direct, indirectly : art 6, 24, 27, 28,29 UN CRC. Children do not have a direct right to a clean or sustainable environment. Indirectly you can link environment to a couple of children’s rights, such as the right to life, survival and development (art 6), the right to health ( Art 24), the right to education (art 28 and 29) and the right to an adequate standard of living (art 27).  
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 6,7, 11,12,13,14 and 15. There are a lot of SDG’s about the environment, such as clean water and sanitary (SDG 6), Affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), climate action (SDG 13), life in water and on land (SDG 14 and 15)

Would you like to start a project for a clean environment? Start your own new project, or download the step-by-step on how to start Eco-Clubs like Kowsalya!


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What is the problem with the environment?
Well what is the problem with the environment? A lot is going on around us, our climate is changing. People often have very different opinions on what exactly is happening, but the fact is that the climate is changing, therefore the environment is changing. This has major consequences. Let’s take a look at some facts about the environment:  

  • In Africa, droughts and floods have led to an increase in migration, used as an adaptation measure; over the past 20 years more than 10 million people in the region have been displaced due to environmental degradation and desertification. 
  • Today, 95% of plastic packaging material value (as much as US$120 billion annually) is lost after first use.
  • Globally, in 2017, disasters triggered by weather and climate-related hazards led to a staggering US$320 billion loss.  

Why is the environment important for children?
Climate change and its consequences for the environment has a huge impact, especially for children. For example, children are more vulnerable to be victims of natural disasters. Think about pollution: many species of animals and plants are endangered by it. Some of those species will not exist anymore when children are adults. And this is not all: children are bearing the consequences of this phenomenon, and the most vulnerable are the ones suffering the most. These are children with disabilities, girls and children from minorities. This means that climate change is also the cause of the growing inequality between children. [4]   The most important thing to remember is this: Children are the future! This means that the damage that is being done to the environment today, children have to live with in the future. That is why it is important for children to be educated and aware about the environment, so that they can change their own behavior. Moreover, they should be able to participate in the discussion on what has to be done to make a sustainable development possible.  

What can you do for the environment?
There are many things you can do for the environment.

  • Take action!
    By taking action you can make a direct difference for the environment, for example organizing a cleanup in your community.
  • Tell others
    Many children are not aware of the environment, its challenges and why is important for them to know as well. You could give a workshop for children at your school and tell them about it. Or start an online campaign to inform children about this topic.
  • Give your opinion
    Often adults talk about the environment, but you also have the right to give your opinion. Go to your school, municipality or even the government of your country, see when they are talking about the environment and make sure that you can give your opinion as well.