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Recycling for the future

Elao Martin (right) and Scott Lamond, a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, at the 33Fifty reception.

Elao Martin (right) and Scott Lamond, a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, at the 33Fifty reception.

As the 2010 Youth Ambassador of Biodiversity, Elao Benjamin Martin represented the nation when he took part in the commonwealth youth leadership program, 33Fifty held in Scotland in July.
The programme which is a joint project of Common Purpose UK, a charity and the Royal Commonwealth Society, brought together young people from across the Commonwealth, as part of the official cultural programme of the Commonwealth Games, to develop solutions which will progress the low-carbon economy in Scotland and the world at large.
The programme took place in Scotland, from 17 to 20 July, was attended by 100 participants. All of which were young Commonwealth leaders aged between 18 and 25. The programme aimed to develop young leaders and to bring them together to lead, change, consolidate differences and solve the common challenges that we face in the commonwealth countries, using these networks effectively.
In an interview with the Economist Martin said, “I found the experience very interesting because I was exposed to different kinds of architecture, cultural intelligence as I got to engage with various young people from all over the world.”
“Glasgow has aspirations to be at the forefront of this innovative and fast growing sector, and as part of 33Fifty we had the opportunity to visit the businesses and organizations central to enabling this, including Whitelee Wind Farm, Smarter Grid Solutions, Scottish Water and Glasgow City Council,” he said.

As part of the activities of the event, the participants were divided into groups of 10 and tasked to create projects that would get youths more involved in the renewable energy sources sector.
“Within the groups, we were exposed to various cultural influences as much as possible which was supposed to assist us come up with the best possible result in our research and activities and we came up with a project called Generate,” added the second year architecture student.
Said Martin, “Right now Generate is being run as a pilot programme in Scotland and if successful it can applied to many other commonwealth countries, possibly Namibia.”
“We realized that if we are going to generate the skills needed to grow the low carbon sector in Glasgow, we need a project that gets young people excited about STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and develops their environmental values,” he explained.
Generate may deliver on three key aspects that include; an increased number of university participants entering low carbon employment, increased number of school participants carrying on in STEM education and a diversion of waste from landfill, if the programme is successful.
“I think Namibia should prioritize on what kind of industrialization we want to have. Are we going to work towards a sustainable economy or just an economy that is regarded as developed? In my opinion Namibia has a very linear economy, and we should work towards a more circular economy. We need to reuse and recycle more effectively,” Martin said.
“I am very interested in green architecture and in what role architecture can play in achieving low-carbon economy,”he added. Martin believes architectures are at the foremost position to play a very huge role in progressing on this aspect and are able to address large issues such as climate change, which can be devastating for countries such as Namibia, especially concerning biodiversity which we rely on for agriculture and  tourism.

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