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World Environment Day: Greenpeace promotes youth commitment

Greenpeace used the 45th edition of the World Environment Day to encourage youth participation in advocacy and participation in environmental…

Greenpeace used the 45th edition of the World Environment Day to encourage youth participation in advocacy and participation in environmental protection

Some one hundred youth volunteers and nature lovers have celebrated this year’s World Environment Day through fun-packed activities at the esplanade of the Government secondary school, Tsinga, Yaounde. Organised by the international conservation NGO, Greenpeace, the event included sketches, debates, musical performances, poems, a Miss Environment contest among others.

Eric Ini, Greenpeace Africa Forest Campaigner, said in an interview with journalists,  the furture of environmental protection is in the youths. “For any initiative to be sustainable, the youth who are future decision makers and future stakeholders in both national and international policies must be brought on board. This is not a one-off event. It is a continued process. Vital information on environmental and nature protection have been passed on through the entertainment activities organised here today.” Said he.

A majority of the youth who took part in the activities were drawn from, a group of volunteers closely working with Greenpeace Africa (The Environmental Ambassadors of Cameroon). Apart from entertainment activities, they also cleaned the Tsinga Market.

The theme for this year’s celebration is Connecting People with Nature. “This year’s theme invites us to think about our role in nature and how intimately we depend on it for survival. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this meaningful relationship;” Ini said.

Similar activities were carried out in Kenya, DR Congo and Kenya. Kenyan volunteers planted trees along the Riparian zone in Nairobi and cleaned the Gatharaini River. “As an organisation passionate about protecting the environment, Greenpeace is using this day to urge Africans to get into nature and appreciate its beauty and importance. It is high time we stop abusing and rather start protecting the Earth that our very existence depends upon,” said Irene Wabiwa, Greenpeace Africa’s Senior Forest Campaigner.

In Africa, the environment faces several threats. Greenpeace says the Congo Basin is being plundered by industrial logging, and overfishing, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing is threatening the fish stock in West Africa’s waters.

Meanwhile, industrial farming is creating unprecedented challenges for farmers in East Africa to deal with the changing weather patterns caused by climate change. We are using these fun-filled activities to mould young citizens and appeal to policy makers to promote ecological farming and alternative solution especially as we are custodians of the environment.

Since its inception in 1972, the World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental actions and takes place every 5th of June. It is an avenue for people around the world to appreciate the environment with activities like neighbourhood clean-ups, measures against wildlife crime and replanting forests.

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