Maintenance | Orieta Hulea, Director of WWF Romania: Environmental education can stimulate young people’s interest in sustainable development


Romania has an acute need for education, in previous years studies have shown that functional illiteracy is present at a level of 42% in Romania. This high percentage translates into social degradation, which directly means degradation of nature. Romanian NGOs are fighting to prepare future adults to create a sustainable living environment that restores the original characteristics of nature, just like WWF through its programs. To find out more, Business Review spoke to Orieta Hulea, Director of WWF Romania and professional biologist (PhD candidate in Biological Sciences) with over 19 years of experience in nature conservation and management.

Commercial report: WWF is 60 years old in the world and 15 years old in Romania. How do you see the evolution of the ecological behavior of young people?

Orieta Hulea: It is encouraging to see how environmental movements, exposure to environmental information, engagement through education and volunteering programs empower and motivate more and more young people to become active citizens of the planet. This trend must be reinforced and amplified.

BR: What programs do you have right now to help young people understand the importance of protecting nature?

OH: The Climate Heroes project: Youth Voices for Sustainable Living, training and mentoring young people to become active leaders for solutions to climate change. The young people who will participate in the training will be empowered to develop concrete actions to stop climate change.

BR: How attractive are youth volunteering programs?

OH: Volunteer programs like Education for Sustainable Development at WWF develop young people’s knowledge of environmental challenges, their ability to promote sustainable development through independent thinking, to formulate and solve problems, to participate in democratic systems and to take responsibility for the well-being of our planet. .

From sustainable food and water consumption to eco-communities and renewable energy, find out more about Romania’s #GreenRestart at the BR Environmental and Sustainable Summit September 28-29 at JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel. Join the physical event HERE!

BR: Young people are the future. How important is the ecological mindset of young people when it comes to employment?

OH: The future of the planet is in the hands of the younger generations. A good understanding of ecological and environmental issues motivates young people to apply the principle of sustainability to their daily activities and decisions and to inspire others to do the same.

BR: Volunteering is a valuable step in the training of young people, but also of future employers. How much effort and resources should a company invest in building a green mindset for new employees?

OH: In addition to encouraging employees to take environmental action by engaging them in day-to-day sustainability efforts, companies should collaborate with partners (e.g. NGOs, educational institutions) to advance education for sustainable development and link it to professional skills and career paths.

BR: How willing are companies to invest in educational programs for young people, who will later become their employees?

OH: Companies are increasingly interested in supporting environmental education programs, but the need is great and companies should invest more. Adequate environmental education can stimulate young people’s interest in sustainability and increase knowledge and awareness of environmental problems and potential solutions.

BR: What are your plans for the next few years, both locally and internationally?

OH: Globally and locally, we will continue to develop education programs for sustainable development, including formal and non-formal education on biodiversity conservation, climate change, sustainable use of natural resources, in the framework of specific conservation projects or youth engagement initiatives.

Sir Peter Scott, founder of WWF said: “The most important task if we are to save the Earth is to educate.

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