(LINA) – The World Bank (WB) has assured national and international stakeholders of its continued support to programs and initiatives on environment and climate change.
“We want to assure national and international stakeholders of our support for the environment and will continue to support initiatives like what we are witnessing today,” World Bank Liberia Country Manager Khwima Nthara said.
Nthara was speaking in Monrovia at a recent National Youth Summit on Environmental and Climate Change, organized by the Youth Climate Change Initiative-Liberia in collaboration with the West African Youth Network and the Liberia National Students Union (LINSU) with support from the World Bank.
Nthara noted that the Bank’s decision to support the initiative is because of the importance they attach to youth and development, and considering the involvement of young people in discussions that border on the sustainability of the environment and the climate.
The World Bank official pointed out that the summit provides a perfect forum for the young people to discuss and come out with a Liberian Youth Position on Climate and the Environment that can be used as a starting point not only for the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25), but for national programs and implementation of projects.
According to Nthara, the youthful population of Liberia is critical towards the development of the nation, urging other national youth counterparts across Liberia to join the initiative next year so that they can expand the dialogue to engender external support for the environment and climate change.
Meanwhile, the National Program Manager for West African Youth Network, Liberia’s Arthur Becker, thanked the government for the steadfast support towards youth development, urging them to do more in increasing youth visibility in policy development and decision-making as well as the enactment into law of the National Youth Policy.
He also urged the government to increase youth participation in national delegation roundtable dialogues to develop national strategies as well as in international negotiations and meetings that hinge on issues such as environment and climate change, energy, forest management, carbon, trade, waste management and seek to ensure that environmental studies become a core component of the educational curriculum of Liberia and be taught at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
Becker pointed out that the West Africa Youth Network (WAYN) is prepared to work closely with the Government of Liberia through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), World Bank, African Development Bank, Swedish Government, the UN, and USAID, among other partners.
He noted that WAYN-Liberia is also prepared to work with other international institutions to ensure that capacity building programs are developed in order to harness the potentials of young people to issues that border on environment and climate change, agriculture, energy efficiency, forest management, ecotourism and youth employment.
He disclosed that WAYN-Liberia intends to host by 2020 the first Mano River Union (MRU) Youth Summit on Environment and Climate Change along with their partners, which include the Youth Climate Change Initiative-Liberia (YCCI-Liberia), and the Liberia National Student Union (LINSU).
The summit, according to Becker, will coincide with the MRU Youth Climate Week which will be characterized by an environmental exhibition on innovation climate SMART solutions by youth themselves and a Climate WALK and Climate Declaration submitted to the National Legislature of Liberia.