Youth urged to harness opportunities in green sector


… as unemployment challenges persist

In the country’s quest to build resilience towards climate change, the Director for Climate Change and Ghana Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) coordinator at the Forestry Commission, Roselyn Fosuah Adjei, has emphasised that the role of the youth in sustaining the effort cannot be underestimated.

She said this at the ‘Youth Participation in Ghana’s REDD+’ programme held in Accra, where she and other experts urged young people to take advantage of the opportunities in the green sector.

This came at a point when the available data from the Ghana Statistical Service indicates that about 1.76 million persons were unemployed in the third quarter of 2022.

As such, the vice Executive Coordinator of the Strategic Youth Network for Development (SYND), Solomon Yamoah advised that young people be equipped with information on the sector so they can make informed decisions, adding that it is crucial for a striving green sector.

“This is the time for young people to step up for a striving green sector. There are a lot of opportunities there for young people and so if they take interest in this space, they can direct their narratives instead of waiting for government to employ them,” he said.

While lauding the country’s efforts in curbing climate change, he was quick to add that more needs to be done to champion the cause.

“Ghana is taking the various step needed and doing its best, but regulations stifle the process. We have to create an enabling environment for businesses. Businesses also must be innovative, creative and take advantage of the global trends such as the carbon finance,” he added.

Ms. Fosuah Adjei also urged businesses to explore alternative sustainable ways in their operations as part of efforts to protect the ecosystems.

“Climate change is happening and the issue is that, we are not much developed to manage the shocks. We have the opportunity to sustainably develop, let us prioritise…We have the sun here but why can’t we use solar? we have a lot of renewable energy resources,” she pointed out, advocating for a sustainable way of living and a collective effort toward dealing with climate change.

This, she, believes is important as the economy is highly dependent on the agriculture sector which is climate-sensitive and also relies heavily on ecosystem services.

For his part, Thomas Yaw Garbah of the Forestry Commission, educated participants on the REDD+ rationale, objectives, and strategies since its inception in 2005 while underpinning the role of youth in promoting the cause.

“The REDD+ initiative by the Forestry Commission aims to address climate change challenges, particularly by curbing activities that destroy forests. The REDD+ mechanism is a global program that compensates developing countries to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

It provides an opportunity to mitigate climate change and make the agriculture and forestry sectors more resilient to its impacts while establishing other sources of revenue for the country.

Ghana has adopted a nested approach for implementation of REDD+ in a phased programmatic approach with an initial focus on the High Forest Zone and scaling up to cover the other distinct major ecological zones of the country such as the Northern Savanna Zone. This has been outlined in a twenty-year Ghana REDD+ Strategy (2016 – 2035),” he indicated.

The ‘Youth Participation in Ghana’s REDD+ programme was organised by the Strategic Youth Network for Development (SYND), a youth-oriented non-governmental organization that promotes youth inclusion in the governance of the Natural Resources and Environmental (NRE) Sector. It works in four programmatic areas including Climate Change, Biodiversity, Forestry, and Energy Access.

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