We continue to be inspired by the work of the young people on the ground in the Commonwealth and today, we are 9 days to International Youth Day, we met Natalie Kyriacou from Australia whose work continues to move us and we believe we will achieve the 2030 agenda.
So here is Natalie’s story. She is the Founding Director of My Green World, the Creator of World of the Wild mobile game app and the Australian Director of Dogstar Foundation.
“I am the Founding Director of My Green World; a social enterprise committed to fostering a collective environment for change and accelerating innovation and ideas to achieve maximum impact. My Green World offers a unique approach to wildlife and environmental conservation, human development and sustainability issues; utilising online platforms to achieve tangible results in nature conservation.
A glimpse at some of my current initiatives:
- World of the Wild: I built a charity-supporting mobile game app that encourages children to become virtual wildlife heroes and participate in educational wildlife and environmental conservation scenarios.
- Kids Corner: Through My Green World, I launched an online platform that inspires young Australians to participate in wildlife and environmental conservation. Kids Corner catalyses new leadership and inspires dialogue; creating unique educational content and providing collaborative problem-solving opportunities. Kids Corner offers activity-based learning programs (for families and schools), facts, PowerPoint presentations, teachers notes, games and videos.
- Delivered a nation-wide survey for individuals living in Australia aged between 8 and 18: I created a survey to gauge the interest that young Australians have in wildlife, environmental and animal welfare issues and to explore the areas of their education and upbringing that they feel could be improved. The survey is currently being rolled out, and received 150 respondents within 12 hours. 99.89% of those respondents said that they would like to learn more about wildlife and the environment in school.
- Youth Wildlife Internships: Through My Green World, I am running an internship program that encourages young, aspiring writers and wildlife conservationists to contribute to My Green World and become a profiled writer. This program is focused on fostering female writers, but is open to anybody who has: never been published, aspires to be a journalist, is passionate about wildlife, and is looking to get their ‘foot in the door’ in the media industry. Currently, we have 6 female interns who have been profiled as writers on our site; each writer receives a reference, recommendation, a bio, and the opportunity to interview and connect with high-profile wildlife conservationists around the world.
I am passionate about creating platforms that encourage people to realise the interconnected nature of issues surrounding poverty, resource scarcity, habitat erosion, inequality and nature conservation. I feel that as a global citizen, it is my responsibility to engage with these issues and to create meaningful dialogue and inspire action.
Poverty is not a singular issue, nor is sustainability. They are deeply interconnected and multilayered. Destruction of our natural world impacts every single person on this earth. Millions of people are being displaced from their homes due to oil exploration, habitat erosion and environmental degradation. Resource scarcity is triggering wars. Ocean acidification and coral bleaching are plundering our oceans, resulting in food insecurity. Pollution is causing over 15,000 deaths per day. Some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water. And scientists are warning us that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event – though this time, humanity is responsible for the mass extinction. Currently, we use the equivalent of 1.5 Earths to produce all the renewable resources we use. Our children are at risk of losing some of the most precious natural wonders and resources in the world.
I don’t believe that there is a singular solution to any of these problems, but rather, a multifaceted approach is required that addresses the multilayered and complex nature of all of these issues and how they impact each other.
Through My Green World, I aim to address these global issues by empowering youth and finding new and exciting ways to engage people in wildlife and environmental initiatives. I believe that organisations, entrepreneurs, children, communities, scientists and teachers all need to work together to find solutions to these interconnected issues.
I am working within young Australian communities to bring issues such as wildlife endangerment, community-nature disconnect and environmental degradation to the forefront of public conscientiousness.
Through My Green World I have been able to forge new understandings of humanity’s relationship with nature, and create an ecosystem of young Australians who are able to connect with wildlife and environmental issues and initiatives and feel inspired to make change and become more involved in their community.
To date, we have engaged over 15,000 Australian children in wildlife and environmental conservation issues. I recently conducted a nationwide survey which revealed that 99.16% of children believe that wildlife and environmental conservation is a pressing issue needing immediate action.
Working in my field, we are faced with huge barriers, and sometimes it seems that the odds are not tipped in our favour. Wildlife extinction, habitat erosion, food insecurity, poverty, and animal abuses are gargantuan issues that sometimes seem too big to take on. But we can do it. For every one person that is acting illegally or unethically towards wildlife, there are thousands of people who are fighting against it. For every one person that isn’t aware of the plight of our world’s habitats, there are thousands of people trying to educate them. It is the individual acts of bravery that make a difference, along with the knowledge that such bravery is bringing our society together in a collaborative, compassionate space to make a difference.
For those that think these efforts are futile, let me put it in perspective:
- In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people and absorbs the amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles
- A single person who follows a vegan diet produced 50% less Co2, uses 1/13th water and 1/18th land compared to a meat eater.
- Cruise ships in the Caribbean are estimated to produce more than 70,000 tons of waste each year – the ethical traveler can reduce this immensely.
- Today, around 50 percent of the goods we use every day contain palm oil. Over 300 football fields of rainforest are destroyed every HOUR in South East Asia to make way for more Palm Oil Plantations.
As consumers, we make a vote each day. The products and services that we purchase are a vote, and it is up to us to make our vote count by choosing to purchase ethical products and support sustainable businesses.
You can find out more about Natalie’s work : .
You can read Natalie’s full bio here: http://www.mygreenworld.org/natalie-kyriacou/