Let us prioritize youth in addressing climate challenges

This means that a lot of efforts need to be made to ensure that wetlands are protected from encroachments.

By Guest Writer

Opinion: Recently, the government of Denmark provided $95b (sh362b) to address climate change challenges in the coming five years.

This is a very important initiative because it came at a time when the country was grappling with drastic climate challenges.

Uganda needs to use this money to address the climate change the country is facing by prioritizing youth and women in restoration activities and eco-friendly activities, like planting both indigenous and fruit trees, using solar and other electricity sources, raising fish, keeping bees, and others.

These eco-friendly activities will help the unemployed youth create some small jobs for them, mitigate climate change, and improve the county’s economy.

Biodiversity, such as forests and wetlands, needs to be protected from encroachers in order to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change the country is grappling with.

In the interview with the executive director of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) during the preparations for World Wetland Day 2024, he noted that the intact wetlands are currently standing at 9.3%.

This means that a lot of efforts need to be made to ensure that wetlands are protected from encroachments.

During World Wetlands Day, the government developed a 10-year environment restoration plan with the focus of reserving forests, wetlands, and biodiversity.

The target is to halt degradation in all sectors of the environment and increase forest cover to 15 percent by 2030.

For the government of Uganda to achieve a 10-year environment restoration plan in a few years, they need to engage the youth and women in various eco-friendly activities, including the restoration of degraded biodiversity.

This is because the country has the largest population of youth (over 70%), and they are most vulnerable to climate change.

In addition to that, women also have the largest population engaged in the agriculture sector compared to men, and they are also the most vulnerable to climate change problems.

Therefore, the government needs to consider mostly the population of youth, including women, in addressing the climate challenges.

More so, the protection of the wetland and forests is very key because they help the country play various roles, such as attracting rainfall, providing herb medicines, acting as a source of firewood, boosting tourism, and others.

Therefore, I call on the government of Uganda to fully engage the youth, including women, while addressing the challenges of climate change with the support of the government of Denmark.

The author is Kato Paul, a research associate and environmental activist.

Disclaimer: As UG Reports Media LTD, we welcome any opinion from anyone if it’s constructive for the development of Uganda. All the expressions and opinions in this write-up are not those of UG Reports Media Ltd. but of the author of the article.

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