UNGA and African youth: ‘Climate change is real for us’

By AT editor - 18 September 2022 at 5:40 pm
UNGA and African youth: ‘Climate change is real for us’

African heads of state aren’t the only ones heading to New York for the United Nations General Assembly. Young climate activists from across the continent, along with their global peers, are again calling for action on climate change through various events aligned with UNGA.

The Youth4Climate initiative, along with other programs, is putting young leaders in the spotlight. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), a partner with the government of Italy in driving youth engagement, has highlighted the contributions of African youth.

Liberian activist Kiadiatu Sheriff, 25, is co-founder of Liberian Youth for Climate Actions (LYCA), an organization that seeks to slow deforestation. “We need youth to be included in academic research and in climate-related decision-making processes,” Sheriff tells UNDP. “Knowledge and innovation must be boosted by mentoring, finance and support for implementation.”

Zimbabwe’s Elizabeth Gulugulu, 31, works on public education and climate communication. Fellow Zimbabwean Shamiso Winnet Mupara, 38, focuses her efforts on women and girls engaged in agriculture and land restoration.

“Climate change is real for us. We are already seeing its impact on our communities and that’s why we are acting,” says Martin Tumusiime, 25, of Uganda. “A lot of youth are coming up with groundbreaking innovations and forming social enterprises to address some of the contributors to climate change in our communities.”

UNDP also has showcased the work of young climate activists in the island nation of Seychelles, where plastic pollution threatens ocean resources and marine life. Ocean Project Seychelles, a youth-led startup, works to clean up plastic and educate people about its use. The same goal is behind the work of plastic-reduction teams in Benin.

The Youth4Climate Powering Action event is set for Tuesday. You can register to attend online at this link.

Image: The Ocean Project, Seychelles

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