The government, through the National Youth Authority (NYA), has inaugurated the National Youth Action Group on Climate Change (NYAGCC), a landmark initiative that unites the boundless enthusiasm and unyielding determination of Ghana’s youth to address and fight climate change.
Speaking during the launch at the Ministry of Information yesterday at Accra, the Chief Executive Officer of the NYA, Pius Enam Hadzide, stated that the formation of the NYAGCC is a testament to the country’s shared commitment to protect and preserve the planet for the future, in tandem with the National Youth Policy 2022-2032 and its implementation.
He stressed that it is a powerful declaration of determination to take a stand against the existential threat of climate change and to lead the way towards a sustainable and resilient future.
He noted that Ghanaian youth have been well represented at international climate conferences like the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in November 2022 in Egypt.
He recounted that at this Conference, they shared their experiences, advocated for the inclusion of youth voices in climate action discussions, and highlighted the need for a sustainable future.
He indicated that at the local level also, young people in mining communities and river catchment areas have been very vocal in engaging policymakers, traditional authorities, and multilateral agencies on matters of environmental degradation.
These notwithstanding, he stressed the need to strengthen efforts for young people and other stakeholders to understand the rigors of this crisis, by creating a space where visionary ideas transform into actionable initiatives, where advocacy translates into policy, and where youth drive Ghana toward a sustainable, climate-resilient future.
“It is on the back of this pressing need that the National Youth Authority is establishing the NYAGCC,” he added.
He explained that the Group is an umbrella body that brings together various youth-led organizations and some relevant stakeholders with a focus on addressing the climate crisis.
He said the NYAGCC will harmonize the activities of these organizations and foster partnerships among them to achieve a meaningful impact in promoting climate action in Ghana.
The NYA CEO mentioned that the Group’s membership comprises Persons with Disabilities (PWD), Academia, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), UN Systems, Students, private practitioners, and State Ministries, Departments.
Others are agencies such as the NYA, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Forestry Commission, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Gender and Social Protection.
He noted that their supervening undertakings will comprise Organizational Collaboration, Partnership Development, Capacity Building, and Advocacy and Policy Influence revolving around four key areas – Youth Engagement and Empowerment, Knowledge Sharing and Learning, Resource Mobilization, and Community Engagement and Action.
“Among other duties, the Group will facilitate regular meetings, networking activities, and workshops to foster collaboration, sharing of information, and best practices among these organizations. It will also develop and implement capacity-building programs and training workshops for youth-led organizations,” he stated.
The NYA CEO reiterated his commitment to working tirelessly with the NYAGCC to provide the needed resources, guidance, and mentorship, ensuring that the voices of youth are heard and that their ideas are transformed into impactful solutions.
“We make a promise to ourselves, the youth of our country, and to the generations that follow with the inauguration of the NYAGCC. This development is essentially a pledge to be bold, innovative, and unwavering in our commitment to tackle the climate crisis head-on. Therefore, we stand united in our determination to create a world that is cleaner, greener, and more sustainable,” he said.