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In an age of climate change, weather disasters and increased risks to food and water security, a need to address environmental issues and engaging young people in environmental conversations is essential.Having a youthful population in Malawi, with 80% of the population aged below 35 years and with a median age of 17, it is critical at this point to elevate the voices of young people to protect the future of our planet, but most importantly engaging the youths in environmental action.To overcome communication barriers between the Government, Stakeholders and the Youths in developmental messages, it is crucial to package the messages with information that inspires and motivates young people to actively participate in developmental activities.Art and cultural based communication approaches, offer an opportunity for interactive information flow, knowledge sharing and necessary sensation to sustain intended initiatives and activities among the youth.Having a vision of a prominent community of young people excited to innovate, share knowledge and skills, participate in taking action and are themselves stewards of the environment, ‘Maluso ndi Chilengedwe’ Youth Festival is one of the initiatives that Conservation Arts Malawi would like to utilize to reach to a broader audience creating awareness on environmental sustainability while raising funds for environmental education activities.Conservation Arts focuses on enabling youths in rulal and urban communities to develop skills and competencies of incorporating cultural and artistic platforms in environmental management and socio-economic wellbeing.The ‘Maluso ndi Chilengedwe’ Youth Festival, that is happening on the 18th of September 2021, aims at engaging artists in environmental awareness through their artistic work, encouraging youths to be part of the solution. The initiative will also ignite discussions about small actions everyone can do to contribute to environmental sustainability.Another aim of this initiative is to promote development of creative arts that serve the environment and also empowering youths to take part in sustainable development initiatives including climate action.On this day, stakeholders will showcase activities, product and services that promote environmental sustainability.The event being a hybrid of environment and environmental education, will utilize different approaches to have a balance of both. The festival will be organized in a manner that will allow different people to enjoy and learn. There will be clean up activity, poetry, music, raffle draw, children playground, stand-up comedy, traditional dances, art displays, display of eco-friendly products, themed freestyle competition and guided eco-friendly games.The event is expected to start at 10 AM allowing stakeholders to interact.By: Mphatso Chimfuti

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