“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”

This much-quoted aphorism is dear to many environmentalists, although there is some confusion over who first coined the saying*.

Nonetheless, it neatly captures Carbon Tanzania’s aspirations for giving the earth back to our children in a recoverable state, or at least with some strategies that can help them to nurse it back from the damaged patient that they will inherit from us.

To this end we are committed to encouraging and promoting youth to be involved in our forest conservation projects, so that they can benefit today for their efforts as well as playing a part in securing a better future for themselves and their families. The Village Game Scouts working for their respective village communities in the Ntakata Mountains REDD Project are a mixture or men and women, experienced field operatives and young newly trained recruits. We asked our Ntakata Project Manager Frank Kweka to talk to one of the youngest of these VGS, an 18 year old woman called Frazia Gervas. She is from Kagunga Village and was born on 10thOctober 2000, a true Millennial.

Below is a selection of the questions Frank asked, and Frazia’s thoughtful answers:

Frank: What type of environmental education have you received?

Frazia Gervaz Ntakata VGS

Frazia: When I was in school, I learned that in general the meaning of the environment is all the things surround humans, for example plants, animals, forests and all life. Also, when I went to college I learned the way to interact with the environment. It is said “take care of the environment and the environment will take care of you”. Through caring for the environment you can benefit in many ways, for example good health, as through the sustainable use of the environment even untreated and untreatable diseases can be reduced.

Frank: Why is it important to protect the environment?

Frazia: The environment is important to care for because first it gives clean air; second if it is well protected it will even benefit future generations.

Frank: Why is it important for the youth to engage in forest conservation?

Frazia: It is very important that even young children are taught and involved in the ways to protect, care for and conserve the environment so that they can begin to spread the education to their peers about how to conserve and care for the environment.

*For those interested to know who really did first express this powerful concept, this blog traces it back to its published, and perhaps surprising to some, origins (hint: it was not Chief Seattle!).

Written by Carbon Tanzania Director – Jo Anderson