Ghanaian youth urged to take responsibility of fight against climate change

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Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor,
Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor,

Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor  Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has charged Ghanaian youth to take responsibility of the country’s fight against climate change and own the Green Ghana project.

Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor,
Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor,

He noted that though winning the fight against climate change was a collective task, the youth played a critical role in the attainment of the set goals for a sustainable environment and national development.

He has since asked the youth to lead this year’s Green Ghana Day, which seeks to plant more across the country as part of effort to restore the country’s vegetation, which had seen an 8,000,000 hectare forest loss since 1900.

Last year, five million trees were planted across the country, and the Ministry is aiming at planting 20 million this year.

Speaking at a climate change summit in Accra, he said: “Climate actions are a whole of society concern: the role of governments – national and local – is vital, but we [the youth] must play our part to achieve the necessary impact.”

The summit was organised by the Young Professionals and Youth Coalition (YPYC), a leading transformational leadership advocate, Climate Investment Funds (CIF), and British High Commission, Ghana.

Mr Jinapor added that: “The Green Ghana Project presents a unique opportunity for us all to contribute to this fight [against climate change], and I’m calling on my youth to partner with the Ministry to be at the forefront.”

He also asked the youth to commit themselves to planting trees and encourage others to do same on the Green Ghana Day, and nurture them to maturity.

He explained that without tackling climate change, the country could not eradicate poverty, particularly in rural communities where people depended on the natural habit for their livelihoods.

Touching on the theme for the summit: “Confronting Our Individual and Collective Roles in Addressing the Climate Change Crisis,” Mr Jinapor said the climate crisis was reaching a tipping point.

This, he said, required that: “We shoulder our responsibilities towards keeping our planet cooler. Our response to climate change must be urgent, inclusive, and comprehensive, in ways that strengthen the resilience of our ecosystems.”

He said the government was implementing among others, the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP) and the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reductions Project (GSLERP).

These projects were aimed at ensuring emission reductions in major commodity supply chains (cocoa in the forest zone and shea in the savannah zone).

It was to also secure both carbon and non-carbon benefits, and improve livelihood opportunities for farmers, women groups and forest users in general.

Similarly, Dr Julian Wright, the West Africa Senior Advisor for Climate Change and Natural Resources at the British High Commission, asked the youth to take on leadership roles in the country’s climate change fight.

He pledged the Commission’s support in achieving the SDGs, particularly, the country’s fight against the adverse impact of climate change on the environment, economy, and human lives.

Mr Andy Osei Okrah, the Founder and President of Young Professionals and Youth Coalition (YPYC), said the nations of the world had ideas to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

He observed that climate change challenges were proving to be real threats, saying: “We are full of ideas and positive energies that we could unleash to arrest these threats and to address the effects of climate change in our communities, nations and continents.”

He, therefore, urged policy makers, governments, and financiers of climate change to highlight the involvement of the youth in the fight against the life-threatening dangers the climate crisis posed.

By Francis Ntow, GNA

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