Interactive online platforms are highly educative and sustainably communicative. They provide collective teaching and learning processes that are long lasting, especially for the tech-savvy youth and highly inquisitive children.
For the youth and children to participate in the long, winding and sometimes boring subject on how global warming contributes to climate change, they need to be introduced to online interactive platforms that can be accessed through their mobile phones or tablets. It becomes quite easy to engage the restless youths and children into these programmed discourse communities of practice. The reason being that the children and the youth love technological innovations, especially the gadgets in question.
As nations around the world gathered for the COP21 Paris conference to map the best possible climate adaptation ways, in regard to spiralling greenhouse gas emissions, they had the future generations to come in their minds. These future generations are the youth and children. For the outgoing and versatile youths and children, the government can come up with partnerships with the private sector to fund these discourse communities of practice. These interactive online knowledge sharing platforms would empower the youths and children with sustainable forums for dialogues on youth and child-friendly adaptation practices. These interactive online platforms would bring a new impetus into the rather boring routine of teacher-controlled lessons.
The interactive knowledge sharing online platforms would promote productive debates and exchange of sustainable ideas. In other words, they will help to nurture critical and innovative minds needed for the 21st century. The provision of unlimited online space would also help to bring out the best out of the children and youths. They will also help to bring them much closer to each other in ways that cultivate sustainable behaviour, health life-styles and positive attitudes towards their environment. For they need to establish positive relationships in their attempts to communicate for nature.
The current climate adaptation programmes appear to sideline and marginalise the youths and children from the official decision-making processes with regard to climate change impacts. Although it is quite critical for adults to plan for the best possible future of their children, it is also fundamental to accommodate the children’s needs into future environmental stewardship.
The right for children to participate in environmental stewardship and decisions relating to climate change issues is a child-centred approach enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with Unicef as the mother of all children. The online climate adaptation interactive platforms need to be articulated in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where no one should be left behind. Therefore these online interactive knowledge sharing platforms should place the youth and children at the focal point as, “drivers of change”. They should also adopt child participatory methodologies in line with climate change adaptation programmes that are context specific.
Children should be given a chance through these online platforms to articulate their climate adaptation desires through poetry, short stories, drama, interactive videos, digital story-telling and music, just to mention a few. It is also common knowledge that the youth and children will not take-up these initiatives seriously unless they have been sufficiently initiated in them. Advocating for a greater voice for children and the young people in relevant decision-making processes at local, national, and international levels is key to ensuring that their needs are met and that, their capacities are recognised (Unicef, 2011). In line with Unicef’s perspectives, “the future we want” will depend on the children and youths being at the heart of environmental sustainability.
For the sustainable future that we so much cherish, adults need to start looking at the children and the young as makers of a future sustainable world.
Therefore, measures of their progress will also be the epitome of the desirable future planet. In this regard, the interactive online platforms and discourse communities are fundamentally situated. By engaging in interactive online platforms, the youth and children will be nurturing their creativity as well as problem-solving skills. The life that awaits the current youths and children requires greater sacrifices, innovations and versatility for solving the future complex matrices.
The continuous use of the new-technologies and interactive online platforms would be transformed into new powerful tools of knowledge transactions as collaborative cross-cutting activities across age and gender. The harsh and crude future realities that await the children and the youths would provide very thin and narrow opportunities for formal employment. Therefore, these future leaders need to be innovative and resourceful in their quest for survival. If we do not sufficiently empower and groom the youth and children for the rigours of the future, then they will be more graves and cremations than the land for agricultural productivity.