Environmental Advocacy for Beginners: Three Essential Skills You Need

Environmental Advocacy for Beginners: Three Essential Skills You Need

The world around us is changing, and many people are becoming motivated to help stop these changes from taking hold. The truth is that we’re in a climate change epoch and we need to act now if we want to make a positive and meaningful difference.

Rising temperatures mean we’re increasingly aware of environmental issues surrounding food and water supplies, and the causes of natural disasters. We are looking to address not only the issues affecting humans but those that affect many of the world’s most vulnerable species, such as the world’s most-trafficked mammal, the pangolin.

But it’s not too late to stop this in its tracks. What the animal kingdom needs now – more than ever – is advocates. We look at the skills you’ll need to take up the mantle.

Strong language skills

If there’s one thing necessary to make a statement, it’s a strong grasp of the English language. Luckily, there are classes online to help with this, and some of them are even available to trial for free.

If you want to advocate on behalf of the world’s most endangered animals, you must be able to get your point across even if English isn’t your mother tongue. That’s because it’s the world’s most widely spoken language, with over 1.1 billion speakers. That means both your written and spoken English should be precise and convey your message clearly and in an impactful manner that makes people sit up and listen.

An understanding of the issues you’re representing

This one sounds obvious, we know, but you’d be surprised by how many advocates get carried away and don’t do their research before committing to a cause. While their passion is admirable, their efforts are not as helpful as they could be.

Say, for example, you wanted to educate people on the plight of New Zealand’s last remaining dolphins. While this may be an important cause, government officials are not going to listen to what you’re saying or take it seriously if you can’t answer the questions they have.

You need to know the cold, hard facts that make the case you’re putting across not only compelling but fact-based and actionable. No, there’s nothing wrong with emotion, but impassioned pleas are less likely to make a difference than well-researched proposals containing indisputable truths about the issues at hand.

An understanding of political processes

While winning public support can help the causes you’re advocating for to gain momentum, you need to remember your primary goal: to pressure government officials into taking positive and beneficial action. Although there are lots of other ways to assist endangered species in their fight for survival, this is one of the most effective and the one you’re aiming for.

However, you won’t get anywhere without first doing your research and improving your understanding of the relevant political processes. You need to understand not only who to take your petition to but how to get it to them and what they can do to help if you manage to win their support. When it comes to climate change and its fallout, there are so many worthwhile causes to advocate for, from saving the last West African giraffe to whale shark conservation. All are equally worthy of your efforts, but unfortunately, you can’t save the world all on your own.

That doesn’t mean you should stop trying to make a difference, and this article should hopefully have equipped you with some of the important skills you’ll need to bring about real and tangible change. Isn’t it time you used this to start making waves?