Youth participation in environmental governance remains critical – SYND


…as it launches National Youth Conference on NREG

Including the youth in planning, implementation and evaluation of environmental action interventions remains critical to improving environmental governance, Strategic Youth Network for Development (SYND) has said.

It said the active participation of youth in the Natural Resources and Environmental (NRE) sector is key to achieving the country’s environmental sustainability ambitions and climate change targets.

The NRE sector plays a significant role in the country’s economic growth, helping to transform the economy with revenue contribution valued at approximately 67 percent of exports and 15.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

However, the cost of environmental degradation due to unsustainable use of land for agriculture, forests and mining stands at 2.8 percent of the national GDP.

In light of this, SYND called for a collective approach involving the youth to help strike a balance between using the environment for economic gain and protecting it.

The group made these observations as it launched the maiden edition of the National Youth Conference on Natural Resources and Environmental Governance in Accra.

The conference, Climate Change Lead at SYND Patience Agyekum said, will help build strong collaborations between relevant state agencies and young environmentalists as well as fuel the country’s sustainability drive.

She added that it will create and deepen partnerships and enhance synergies between young advocates and other key actors toward attaining the country’s commitment to the Africa Union Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The conference will also serve as a platform for young green entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative climate and waste management solutions to attract partnerships and investments.

It will further provide an opportunity for the private sector to showcase its contribution to the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) principles.

Lecturer at the Marine and Fisheries Sciences Department at the University of Ghana, Dr. Andrews Agyekumhene, commended the group – adding that launching the National Youth Conference on NREG is a milestone that deserves the needed push.

“The youth need to be involved in conservation efforts. If we take the youth from the equation, we might fail. Also, we need strong institutions to implement our laws. We are failing as a country if we have good laws and cannot use those laws to protect our resources,” he said.

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