Kids To The Rescue!

An international group of youth "translate" Agenda 21

One of the articles in It's About Time! (IC#37)
Originally published in Winter 1994 on page 7
Copyright (c)1994, 1996 by Context Institute

The problems with the planet are too serious to be left to adults. Young people have a huge stake in the planet’s sustainaiblity and ought to have a say. That’s the message of a group of young people from around the world that is forming a rescue mission for Planet Earth.

The group’s first step was to republish Agenga 21 – the landmark document that came out of the Earth Summit – to make it more reader-friendly. The result, is a beautifully produced book entitled Rescue Mission Planet Earth.

The book is the first step in a kids-led action plan, which includes local community councils, eco-audits of schools, Third World shops in schools and communities, and "Days of Access," in which kids will meet with government leaders to talk about progress toward meeting Agenda 21 goals.

The following is an excerpt from the book’s introduction. It begins with this quote by Mikhail Gorbachev: .

The greatest challenge of both our time and the next century is to save the planet from destruction. It will require changing the very foundations of modern civilization – the relationship of humans to the environment.

Gorbachev gives it to us straight: our job in the 21st century is to "save the planet from destruction."

We’re 28 very different young people from 21 countries but we have one thing in common. We’re tired – tired of seeing our beautiful planet polluted, tired of senseless wars, of the poor getting poorer, of waiting for politicians to make decisions they should have made long, long ago. Rescue Mission is our wake-up call. It’s a book about Agenda 21 – the agenda for the 21st Century agreed upon by our governments at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Never before has something like this happened: a common commitment by 179 different nations.

The original Agenda rambles on for 500 pages and 40 chapters about a $600 billion program to save the planet. What we’ve done is to put it into a language that ordinary people can understand. OK, so you’re thinking this is another yawn-provoking document from bureaucrats with nothing better to do. Well right, but in it, governments ask for "partnership" with us. We decided to take them at their word. Sure, let’s be partners, but equal partners!

Agenda 21 tells you what our governments have agreed to. It’s a wish list, a dream; we can help make it reality.

For news on what’s happening in your area, write to Rescue Mission, Peace Child International, The White House, Buntingford, England SG9 9AH or Rescue Mission USA, 11246/28 Rockville Pike, #100, Rockville, MD 20852.

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