A youth-oriented Non-Governmental Organisation, Strategic Youth Network Development (SYND) has called on government and relevant stakeholders to actively involve the youth in its policies and programmes against climate change.
Addressing participants during a workshop to develop a strategy for climate action in Ghana, SYND’s Coordinator, Chibeze Ezekiel bemoaned the marginalisation of the youth in the formulation of policies regarding climate change in the country.
According to him, an all-inclusive decision-making process, particularly, the ones on environmental-related issues make its implementation more efficient and effective.
He then insisted that the youth equally have the ability and skills to participate and provide solutions to the climate related issues the country currently is facing.
“We don’t want policymakers to meet and make decisions on our behalf and come and give us the end-product, we want them to think with us, involve us in the decision making,” he stressed.
Mr Ezekiel further expressed worry over the youth failing to part-take in outlining strategies that can contribute immensely to environmental sustainability.
He argued that “If policy makers are not giving us [the youth] the opportunity then the youth must demand to fill the gap.”
In the quest to participate in the ongoing commitment by government against climate change, SYND organised a two-day workshop to bring together youth from across the country to brainstorm on ideas that could be adopted by government, policymakers, and relevant stakeholders in order to achieve environmental sustainability.
“Ones we develop our strategy, we will to continue the process and validate it in March and ones the validation is done, we will organize a roundtable meeting with some non-state and state actors, government agencies, development partners and media so that we can showcase our strategy and they can also adopt it and mainstream it in their respective ways,” Mr Ezekiel said.
Importance of youth in fight against climate change
Joining the workshop virtually, the Project Coordinator of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), Dr. Antwi-Boasiako Amoah encouraged members of SYND to stay committed to the course of preaching environmental sustainability.
He acknowledged that although the work on the ground maybe challenging due to some financial restraint, the organisation should be steadfast in achieving its objective.
“It is always a delight to see the youth participate in climate change action. Despite the challenges that come with it, you should know that the youth plays a critical role in protecting the environment and fighting against climate change,” he stated.