The first Youth Leadership Summit for the 4Rs (Reject, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) was held on 13-14 August. Organised by environmental organisation, Seeds of the Ocean and the British Embassy in Guatemala the Summit was held at the Auditorium of the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala.
The goal of the summit was to empower a new generation of young leaders to promote actions to reduce pollution from the abuse of single-use plastics and other disposable products. The event brought together, over two days, more than 100 young people from different parts of the country, who received training through workshops and keynote speeches on garbage pollution, the negative impact of solid waste on the environment and waste management strategies in Guatemala.
The summit is a free empowerment programme aimed at young people interested in reducing pollution by solid waste in the country, applying the 4Rs of sustainability. During the event, the youth also participated in leadership workshops, the development of skills for writing proposals and budgets, planning of environmental campaigns and use of communications to raise funds that could allow each young person to carry out their ideas pro-environment.
The British Ambassador to Guatemala, Carolyn Davidson, said:
We developed this Summit to create a space for young people to learn about the impact of single-use plastics on the environment and how to take action to tackle the root causes of this problem.
A key aspect of the programme is the small grant fund ‘Mini-Grant: The 4Rs’, through which participants who, once they have completed the two days of training, can apply and compete for a prize to support implementation of their ideas.
The British Embassy in Guatemala and Seeds of the Ocean will reward the three best ideas with a cash amount, so that they can invest it in the execution of their projects. The prizes are 1st. Place: Q 2800, second place Q 2000, and 3rd. place Q 1200. In addition, Marfund -a partner organization of the project- will deliver another prize with the same amount. In addition to the economic fund, the young winners will have three follow-up sessions where they will be guided for the correct implementation and impact evaluation of their projects.
The Founder and Executive Director of Seeds of the Ocean, Alerick Pacay, said:
The British Embassy in Guatemala is the official sponsor of this activity. They believed in the project since it was just an idea embodied in paper. Subsequently, other institutions such as the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala joined this event through its Department of Biology, and other partners as well.