An independent body called the Ghana Youth Climate Council has been instituted to mobilise and coordinate the activities of all youth groups working in the field of environment especially climate change.
The Council among other mandates would influence policy at the regional and national level by ensuring that the youth’s concerns are inculcated in issues on environment and climate change policies.
Mr Abraham Bugre, the Engagement and Partnership Office at the Green Africa Youth Organisation who was speaking at a media briefing on Friday said the Council would be housed at the Environmental Protection Agency.
The council, to be the official go-to for the youth, will have three paid positions namely Communications, Research and Capacity Building Officers.
To ensure inclusiveness there will be additional 10 regional representatives.
Mr Bugre said although the negative effect of climate change, which include; drought and flooding were already manifesting in the country, the youth would experience its harsher effect in the long term.
“The impact is not a one-off event; it will linger on for decades. We the youth are the generation that will face the severe wrath of climate change, hence the need for our leaders to include us in policies and decisions.
“The youth must be part of policies regarding adaptation and mitigation mechanisms. It is us that will be more vulnerable. Unless mechanisms are carefully and systematically put in place to ensure resilience in development and reduce vulnerability, climate change and climate variability may pose serious challenges”.
Ms Margaret Impraim, the Chief Operating Officer at the United Youth Initiative Africa noted that evidence abounds in Ghana that temperatures in all the ecological zones were rising, whereas rainfall levels had been generally reducing and patterns have increasingly becoming erratic.
She mentioned that Ghana’s economy was heavily dependent on climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism, and forest sector.
Mr Michael Kojo Appiah, the Climate Lead, of Green Africa Youth Organisation said the maiden Local Conference of Youth a localized version of the global Conference of Youth (COY) to increase participation in developing the global youth statement had been held.
The focus of the event, he said, was to brainstorm with youth nationwide and develop Ghana’s National Youth Statement, which would then feed into the Global Youth Statement that would be submitted to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference Presidency in Glasgow to ensure the youth actively participate in the global conference.
Mr Appiah averred that the meeting discussed themes including; Climate Policies & Governance; Adaptation & Resilience; Gender Empowerment; Biodiversity, Others are Health, Renewable Energy, Climate Finance; Green Jobs, Capacity building, Nature-Based Solutions and Water Sanitation.