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Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports (MICYS), Senator Warren Newby, has said that young persons should be commended and encouraged, for playing an active role, in the fight to protect the environment.
“Our young people are increasingly adding their voices to the call for action on climate change. We must be proud of their efforts in becoming more conscious and active in the fight against environmental decay,” Senator Newby emphasised.
Senator Newby was speaking at a function at the University of the West Indies (UWI) on August 7, to launch International Youth Day, which is being observed today (August 12), under the theme: ‘Youth and Climate Change: Time for Action’, in recognition of the fact that climate change, has already begun to devastate communities and deepen the effects of poverty and hunger, a situation which further complicates the challenges that youth face.
He provided the gathering with a number of pre-requisites that must be satisfied, in order for young Jamaicans to make serious headway in generating awareness, understanding and most importantly, solutions to address environmental issues.
“In the first instance, the youths have to be informed, as it is information that is going to create the awareness that is necessary, for us to establish in the minds of one and all that there is indeed a problem called global warming,” the Parliamentary Secretary said.
“Secondly, the youths must get involved. Plant a tree, clean a beach, protest, hold a placard, but more importantly, we must take steps to reduce our own carbon footprints. We must conserve, use environmentally friendly products and use our spending power to spread a message of environmentalism,” Senator Newby stressed.
The Senator also implored the youth to lobby to shape policy. “By and large, policy is developed through a process of consultations. It is those who have managed to organise themselves into formidable groups, whose positions are being reflected in the laws and policies, that are developed to guide our nation,” he explained.
Additionally, Mr. Newby urged the audience to take into consideration the fact that the country must operate in a global village.
“It is a global village; engage your partners here and overseas in the fight to protect the environment. Share the information you have and draw lessons from their own best practices. Stand up; you have the knowledge, the technology and understanding of modern systems, to bring pressure on the powers that be,” he emphasised.