Tackling climate change must not come from fear, but from love, and taking action on the climate crisis means the narrative must change, a panel from the Qatar Foundation (QF) said at the conference Youth4Climate in Milan. “We need a fierce love for the world,” said Lina Nayel al-Tarawneh, co-founder of Green Mangroves, during a discussion hosted by QF member Qatar Foundation International at the global event organized by young people.
As a medical student, al-Tarawneh said she wanted to see medicine and climate change activism work hand in hand. “Medicine and climate change activism are healing practices. If you look around, we see so many diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, because of our environment, because of the food we eat, ”she said.
“If we take people outside to experience nature, they realize how beautiful this world is and they are interested in knowing and loving this world,” she said. “So push people to fight climate change with love, not fear. “
Al-Tarawneh was joined by Cynthia Bolton, Head of Gifted Education and Manager of Learning 365 at QF’s Pre-University Education; Oweis al-Salahi, a young advocate for Education Above All; and Jennifer Geist, Global Education Consultant at Qatar Foundation International, who also moderated a discussion titled Connecting Youth Globally to Make Impacts Locally: Teaching Sustainability, organized in partnership with Earth Day.
During the session, panelists shared their journeys in climate change activism and how their roles impact and contribute to it. Explaining the role of educators in the field of climate change activism, Bolton said: “The concept of Learning 365 is to give a platform for young people to expand their ideas outside of classrooms and go to- beyond what the regular program can offer.
“We help students explore areas of the world that may not have been explored before in traditional classrooms – for example, climbing a mountain. In doing so, we allow them to explore sustainability and facets of the environment.
Explaining what sparked his interest in climate change activism, al-Salahi, an advocate for youth-first education and a student at partner university of QF Northwestern University in Qatar, said when he was a teenager, he visited playgrounds littered with plastic, and the climate change or the harmful effects of plastics never crossed his mind – until a teacher assisted him and his friends .
“She explained to us that if we don’t take care of our planet, no one else will. So, we physically picked up all the waste. His words really impressed me, ”al-Salahi said.
Al-Salahi believes that education is the basis for knowing how to approach problems, and that educators should not limit students to certain subjects. Everyone, he said, has a passion and a fire in them. She added: “We should let the young people choose what they want. The topic of climate change is related to behavior, and once we are aware of our social capacities and their consequences, we will make better choices – which will come through education. ”