Over thirty-three young Liberians have renewed their commitments to achieve sustainable development goals, the fight against climate change, and the environment.
At a daylong National Youth Summit on the Environment and Climate Change, the youth pledged to fight against climate change. The event, which the Youth Climate Change Initiative (YCCI) Liberia, was supported by the World Bank in collaboration with the West Africa Youth Network, and the Liberia Student Union (LiNSU).
The event was intended to build the capacity of young professionals on Climate Change and Environment, as well as motivate them to support-related efforts in the country.
World Bank Liberia Country Manager, Dr. Khwima Nthara, who shared some insights on the topic: “Climate Change and the Environment,” also encouraged the participants to be agents of change, thereby, assuring them of the bank’s full support to the process.
Dr. Nthara said the World Bank decided to support the initiative, “because of the importance we attach to youth and development, and considering the involvement of young people in discussions that border around the sustainability of our environment and climate change.”
He said that the Summit provided a perfect forum for young people to discuss and come up with a Liberian Youth Position on Climate Change and the Environment that can be used as a starting point not only for the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25), but for national programs and implementation of projects.
“We want to assure our national and international stakeholders of our support for the environment and will continue to support initiatives like what we are witnessing today,” Dr. Nthara added.
He said that the youthful population of Liberia is critical towards the development of Liberia, “and therefore, we want to urge other national youth counterparts from across Liberia to join the initiative next year so that we can expand this dialogue, which would engender external support for the environment and climate change.”
YCCI-Liberia head, Edwin Mendscole, thanked the World Bank-Liberia Office for their support that made the Summit successful for young people.
Mendscole said the issue of climate change cannot be overly emphasized, “and I think, young people should take the lead every day if we are to solve the issues of climate change.”
To the participants, he said “We are here to solicit your views as young people, as to how we can tackle the issue of climate change; how to achieve our objectives, while we are here.”
Mendscole added: “At the end of the Summit, we want to develop a youth position on climate change and the environment; we want to afford our participants the opportunity to share their individual involvement in the discussion, as well as steps to tackle them.”
Mendscole expressed the hope that the youth will develop their positions on climate change and the environment, where they will have a clear understanding of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 with regards to climate change and environment.
Benjamin Karmorh, chairperson on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), acknowledged World Bank-Liberia’s effort to share their views on climate change with the youth.
Karmorh said the event clearly demonstrates the bank’s commitment to ensuring the participation of youth into economic development, because the future of every country lies in the hands of the youth.
The conference ended with a declaration of the Liberia Youth Position Paper to be submitted at the upcoming 25th Paris conference.