A non for profit environmental and agriculture organization, Agro-Tech Liberia in partnership with Eleven-Eleven Twelve Foundation, has warned youths in Voinjama City Lofa County not to infringe on nature and the environment by polluting or degrading it, noting that the livelihood of every living thing, including humans, depends on the environment.
During a presentation on the role of youth in promoting a friendly and sustainable environment, the Executive Director, Jonathan Stewart, informed the youths that their future lies in the environment, therefore they must contribute to efforts that are geared towards making the environment sustainable for a better livelihood.
The forum was a platform for youths to interact with environmental stakeholders in the county as a way of making their voices heard in the national dialogue for a sustainable environment in Liberia. Mr. Stewart told the gathering that the event was intended to design and create the platform for young people to freely interact with environmental policy leaders where they can advance their ideas on the solutions to the increasing environmental crises in Liberia.
He also urged them to take steps in tackling plastic waste pollution, climate change, deforestation and community waste management issues, something he said borders around their future, health and well being.
Stewart added that the interactive public discussion and youth voice platform was also designed to inspire, motivate and educate young people on their roles in saving the environment and for youth to provide suggestions to policymakers on achievable actions that are needed to keep the environment clean and green.
The event brought together 120 youths including students, and was witnessed by local government authorities from line Ministries and agencies as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
He said they targeted the young people as participants because they will serve as environmental ambassadors to spread the message to their constituents. He promised to work with youth across Liberia to tackle the increasing environmental and food security issues confronting the nation.
“I strongly believe in the power and potential of the youth to lead efforts in fighting food insecurity, climate change and other environmental issue facing Liberia. They only need inspiration, motivation and support,” Stewart noted.
The EPA County Coordinator for Lofa, Ambrose A. B. C. Jamina who served as the guest of honour for the forum, provided an insight on the various environmental issues and ways in which young people can join the fight to maintain a sustainable environment for the future of the young generation.
As part of the initiatives, he said the Green Hangout is an educative and solution-driven environmental engagement intended to be carried out in four counties, beginning with Lofa, followed by Maryland, Nimba and Bomi Counties.
Lofa County Superintendent, William Tamba Kamba, who spoke briefly at the event, thanked the organizers for the initiative and called on the young people of the county to engage in meaningful activities that will protect and keep the environment clean and green.
In his remarks, he said plans are underway by the county authority to allocate some forest land to be developed into a park and to attract tourism, adding that instead of destroying the forest for logging and other deforestation purposes, it will be a good thing to allocate huge forest land.
He called on the participants to carry the message of good environmental practices to their communities in order to make it a collective fight by all citizens. He promised to work with the youth in promoting a sustainable green environment in Lofa.