The Nigerian Youth Climate Action Network (NYCAN), an initiative of Connected Development (CODE) will be joining 7 other organizations in an European Union funded project tagged ‘Sustainaware 2014’, with the aim of raising awareness on the importance of sustainable development, while introducing the concept of Green Business and Environment – Health to young people in the eight (8) partner countries involved.
Other benefits expected to be achieved when the project is implemented will include developing and stimulating young people to work on the topic of environmental health; train youth workers on how to lead Local Days of Action (LDA) for Sustainability among Young People with Fewer Opportunities (YPFO) and share knowledge among participating countries about the different approaches to non-formal education on sustainable development around the world.
Nigeria’s Representative and Chief Executive of CODE, Mr. Hamzat Lawal who addressed a the press briefly before his departure to Europe, said the government need to initiate more youths oriented policies to promote the concept of social-environmental entrepreneurship with a focus on environmental health in Nigeria. Mr. Lawal who is presently in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia in the company of seven other members for the 1st Global Partners’ meeting and the Local Day of Actions in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and Liechtenstein disclosed that over 1,500 Nigerians are expected to benefit from the various initiatives outlined to enhance sustainable living. He emphasised that the government must start looking inward with regard to engaging Nigerian youths to actualise the nation’s aspiration of economic diversification and facilitate the vision 20-2020 objective.
“This is a win-win for everybody,” he said, appealing to young Nigerians to view the project as a unique opportunity to enable Nigeria champion the gospel of green economy across Africa. According to him, “This is an avenue for young Nigerians to engage in the process of diversifying the economy, so we can now lead and our leaders will follow in championing the gospel of sustainable development.” Lawal, who represents Africa’s interest in the implantation Board of the project urged the government at all levels to brass up and enact policies that will support the various efforts aimed at addressing climate change issues and youth empowerment in Nigeria.
He acknowledged that Nigeria has very fantastic policies, however, lamented that the issue is implementing these policies to impact on Nigerians meaningfully. “We have low marks when it comes to implementing our fantastic policies. So, I will say the Nigeria government have done well when it comes to the African contest but there is still more to be done, and to achieve this they just have to engage Nigerian youths.” The Sustainaware 2014 project is funded by the EU with eight partners including – Nigeria; Argentina; USA; India; Slovenia; Croatia; Liechtenstein and Hungary. The project is expected to produce a youth manifesto that will guide policy makers on how to formulate youth empowerment programmes to further spread the message of sustainable development globally.
Co-Founded by Lawal in 2010, NYCAN is a coalition of groups and individuals working to promote youth and Environmental activities in Nigeria. The coalition aims to build synergy and share experience among groups working on Youth and Climate Change issues to promote youth mainstreaming geared towards environmental sustainability.
In Slovenia, Hamzat Lawal, firstname.lastname@example.org
In Nigeria, Oludotun Babayemi, email@example.com, 0813-490-8561.