The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has urged the youth to be actively involved in the national discourse to address climate change and other relevant issues affecting the country.

The Minister believes such participation will help shape and bring true meaning to the national conversation, especially at a time where nations are collectively working to find workable solutions to respond to Climate Change and other related issues of national concern.

He spoke at the maiden edition of the Young Professionals and Youth Coalitions Climate Change Summit, held in Accra on the theme “Confronting Our Individual and Collective Roles in Addressing the Climate Change Crisis” on Friday, April 1, 2022.

Be active participants in tackling climate change - Lands Minister charges youth

According to the Minister, the climate crisis is reaching a tipping point, adding that the science, data, and events, both at national and global levels are clearly pointing to the devastating nature of the crisis.

He maintained that without tackling climate change, “we cannot eradicate poverty, we cannot eliminate hunger, we cannot generate good health and well-being, we cannot build sustainable cities and communities, we cannot protect life below water, we, certainly cannot protect life on land”.

The Lands Minister also urged stakeholders to adopt innovative approaches to respond to climate change; ways that strengthen the resilience of respective ecosystems.

“Our response must involve both individual and collective actions, and must be embraced by the Youth, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Political and Traditional leaders, Local Governments and Public and Private Sector actors,” he said.

Be active participants in tackling climate change - Lands Minister charges youth

At the national level, the Minister touched on some key government interventions in tackling climate change such as the Green Ghana Project, which will see to the planting of 20 million trees this year, and the commitment to the Joint Framework of Action (JFA), signed with the Government of Cote d ‘Ivoire, as well as 36 cocoa and chocolate producing companies to halt deforestation and forest degradation due to cocoa production.

“We are implementing the Forest Investment Program (FIP) to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the high forest and traditional zones to enhance carbon stocks and improve the livelihoods of rural communities,” he added.

Mr Samuel Jinapor described the consciousness of young men and woman in Africa as “an all-time high”, commending the organisers of the Climate Change summit in Accra for the laudable initiative.

However, he urged participants, mainly the youth, to think outside the box and proffer innovative solutions to tackle the climate change challenge.

“We must build on what we know, and develop the right tools and technologies to effectively communicate with our farmers, and deliver a low-carbon growth” he maintained.

Be active participants in tackling climate change - Lands Minister charges youth

President of the Young Professionals and Youth Coalition Programme (YPYC), Mr. Andy Osei Oprah, expressed his joy while addressing the determined youth, who are keen on taking charge of the environment for the good of humanity and posterity.

Mr. Okrah assured that, despite climate change proving to be a real challenge to the attainment of lofty ideas and goals of sustainable development, “we are not hopeless, we are full of ideas and positive energies that we can unleash to arrest these threats to address the effects of climate change in our communities, nations and continents”.

The West Africa Senior Advisor for Climate Change and Natural Resources at the British High Commission in Ghana, Dr. Julian Wright who represented the High Commissioner, encouraged the youth saying; “Ghana is in the forefront on the climate change challenge fight and the youth must have a voice that leads to negotiations”.

He further congratulated Ghana for her involvement in the COP 26 last year, saying he is looking forward to Ghana’s participation in COP 27 to be held in partnership with Egypt.

Mr. Wright again acknowledged some efforts by Ghana to push the agenda of climate change through campaigns, just as the youth in the United Kingdom, who have managed to take leadership role across all levels and on climate change due to consistent pressure campaign domestically.

He said; “The future is in dealing with climate change, the youth have to make a conscious choice as to the Ghana they want to live in”.