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  • Nigel Akuani

YOUTH urged to Take Charge of Environment

Port Moresby: Youth throughout Papua New Guinea need to stop relying and start taking genuine initiative in caring for the environment.

The provocative call was made by Youth of Debeini’s Living Water Ministries on Wednesday 24th November 2021, in the last session of Chat Room for the year, that focused on the topic ‘Humanity’s Role in Caring for Creation’.

The three vibrant young individuals began their discussion with a rich insight into the moral and Biblical standpoint of humanity and its purpose in caring for the environment. In their talk, they covered reflective verses from the Bible; noteworthy quotes from renowned historical figures; ways to effectively minimize the havoc caused by mankind to the environment; the responsibility of youth and a personal call to begin caring for nature and society; and the urgency for authorities and the government to come to the aid of youth to support their efforts for a better society.

DLW Youth Advocate, Vivian Mick, stressed the importance and relevance of the topic especially in the context of Papua New Guinea driving forward for change and development but urged for responsibility and conservation of the environment’s resources. “When God created heaven and earth, he immediately gave the mandate of stewardship over all creation. But judging from the frequency and intensity of natural disasters occurring around the world that are severely affecting the lives of millions, it is clear to say that these are repercussions of humanity’s abuse of the privilege of stewardship in exchange for exploitation and self-gain,” she said.

“Our country needs to learn from these experiences outside and make changes from within to safeguard our environment. The values of unity, peace, justice and family have to be upheld in society to cause the change necessary. Women too, need to become more vocal on such matters because society is built in a way that has men always having the centre stage for attention. This has to be leveled out to even the playing field, and women need to embrace this fact and start standing out for their kin,” she added.

Third-Year Bible School student at the School of the Holy Spirit, Adrian Tava, reflected on the verse of (Genesis 1:26), and said mankind had a special obligation to care for and not destroy creation. “Based on the scripture, we are all created in the image and likeness of God, and blessed in us is the power of Dominion and Rulership to be used for good and prosperity over all creation. God has mandated that we are to rule in his stead as His delegates here living on Earth,” he stated.

He described how God created humanity ‘plain and simple’, and said that due to its surpassing need for evolution and surge in iniquities, severe destruction was caused to the environment. “Due to mankind’s hunger to evolve in an effort to perfect its own Utopia without trying to even acknowledge God as our foundation, it has blindly broken-down moral barriers in society and caused irreversible damage to the natural environment,” he cautioned.

Larry Tine, Final-Year Law student at the University of PNG, emphasized the importance of teaching ethical values at home, and said this in turn ingrained in young people a heightened sense of responsibility. “How you are brought up while growing from a child into a young person greatly matters and determines the type of personality or character you will portray in future. This paves the way for a person to make well-informed decisions that benefit themselves, others, and the overall environment,” he explained.

In making a call to the PNG-Government to assist young people in their efforts of conserving the environment, he told how young people possessed the knowledge and abilities to give the world practical solutions to many of its problems. “The younger generation are creative and innovative, and our time is ‘NOW’ and we have to do whatever we can within our capacity to gain support to protect God’s creation, our own Flora and Fauna,” he urged.

“Start taking ownership and let us do away with our local culture that limits young people from expressing themselves because it is a mental barrier that causes young people to become spectators in matters and decisions that will significantly affect them in the long run,” he further said.

He mentioned the strong traditional ties that associated a society with a specific land mass and said removal from the land and destruction of it would render the special bond broken. “Here in PNG, we have a strong bond with the environment we live in, particularly our land. But when our land is taken and its environment is destroyed, this connection is broken and lost. What we once depended on to thrive has been jeopardized and now imposes on us the burden of resettlement and readjustment to a new environment,” he advised.

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