As part of activities marking the International Youth Day, Climate Watch-The Gambia recently held a forum with young people on the theme: “Engaging youths in addressing climate change”, held at the American Corner in Bundung.
In his keynote address, the Executive Director of Climate Watch- The Gambia, Saikou Suwareh Jabai, said the International Youth Day is an awareness day set aside by the United Nations to draw attention to issues surrounding youths.
He said youths are powerful agents of positive change and are therefore essential in taking forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
On the occasion of the Youth Day, Jabai said it is fundamental to increase their environmental awareness in order to empower to transform our respective societies towards a low-carbon and climate resilient future in The Gambia.
Since its inception 2014, he said, Climate Watch-The Gambia has been coordinating efforts to empower youths to take adaptation and mitigation actions and enhance their effective participation in climate change and environmental issues in the country.
‘‘With a membership of hundreds of young people across The Gambia, the organisation is also engaged in research and knowledge promotion among youths and students on issues regarding climate change, environment, fisheries and agriculture,’’ Suwareh stated.
The Programme Manager of Climate Watch- The Gambia, Omar Malmo Sambou, said human activities such as the use of fossil fuels, deforestation and unsustainable agriculture contributes to climate change, which decrease the availability of nutritious food and clean water, thereby destroying the ecosystems.
Sambou noted that in a bid to expand its advocacy networks, Climate Watch has launched a weekly radio show called ‘The Limelight’ on Star FM with a view to creating a platform for young people to discuss issues of climate change, environment, fisheries, agriculture and other developmental issues.
Other speakers at the forum included Musa A Jallow, the Information and Communications Officer, who spoke at length about the importance of advocacy and education.