Youths from around the world champion wildlife protection

Environmental crime has become the world’s fourth-largest crime sector, growing at 2–3 times the rate of the global economy. INTERPOL and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimate that natural resources worth up to US$258 billion are being stolen by criminal syndicates, depriving countries of their resources, revenues and development opportunities.

The World Youth Wildlife Summit took place in September at the Kruger National Park in South Africa, bringing together educators and conservation leaders to discuss and address the threat of wildlife crime. About 150 young conservationists from the Southern African Development Community and their counterparts learned how to influence environmental policies at national, regional and international levels.

The summit came at a time when youths are becoming more proactive in identifying solutions to existing and emerging environmental challenges. Since they make up more than 75 per cent of the total population, youths can dramatically shape socio-political and cultural decision-making processes on environmental issues.

The Project Rhino and the Kingsley Holgate Foundationorganizations, the main facilitators of the event, are harnessing this incredible potential. They provide forums for youth to engage in wildlife conservation activities, in collaboration with experts from different countries and organizations, at the same time providing the opportunity for different stakeholders to network and come up with national and regional frameworks that would promote wildlife conservation.

According to Francis Du Toit, the Project Rhino Ambassador, “3.6 million people in Africa are employed in the wildlife economy, creating 40 per cent more full-time jobs than the same investment in agriculture. It has twice the job creation power of the automotive, telecommunications and financial industries and provides more job opportunities for women compared to other sectors.”

“In South Africa, 769 rhinos and 72 elephants were poached by criminal syndicates in the year 2018,” Chris Galliers, Coordinator of Project Rhino said.

At the summit, several youths were recognized for their wildlife conservation efforts, including advocacy, and photography. The delegates made declarations to engage and support the youths more to conserve African wildlife heritage.

Unemployment among young people has for a long time been a challenge in most developing countries, creating a loophole through which crime syndicates lure the young people into drugs, crime, human trafficking, and illegal trade in wildlife and their products. With the ever-growing technological inventions, and with the right exposure, youths have the potential to spearhead the development of sustainable solutions for the challenges faced in Africa and promote the Sustainable Development Goals.

Their potential to influence the development of and implementation of conservation strategies through their innovative thinking to solve complex issues is a facet that is yet to be realized and utilized at large by governments and conservation sectors. Efforts to conserve nature and advocate for its conservation and sustainability has often been perceived as obstacles to development in not only the African continent but across other continents such as Asia.

In 2015, the heads of states and governments of the African Union adopted the Agenda 2063, which is Africa’s roadmap for transforming the continent into the global powerhouse of the future. For African governments to achieve this, there is a need to harmonize all societal sectors including the private sector, civil society and local communities, including marginalized communities such as indigenous people, women and youths to work collaboratively and develop and commit to a systematic environmental conservation plan.

Source UN Environment

UN General Assembly President Promised to Engage Nigerian Youths on Global Challenges

By Ripples Nigeria

Espinosa, who is meeting President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday on the invitation of the Nigerian Government to strengthen bilateral relations between Nigeria and the United Nations will also engage the youths and students on issues related to global challenges.

The spokesperson of United Nations Information Centre Mr Oluseyi Soremekun, in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday in Lagos, said Espinosa will also, discuss the priorities of the UN General Assembly as related to women and youth empowerment, raise awareness and encourage understanding of the importance of multilateralism and the UN.

According to her, other issues such as; raising further international awareness on the Lake Chad Basin and efforts of Nigeria to promote sustainable development, peace and security in the region will also be discussed.

“While in Nigeria, the President of the UN General Assembly will have bilateral meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama. “She will also engage with students and youths on the theme: Responding to Global Challenges in a Fast-Changing World: The Case for Strengthening Multilateralism”. “Espinosa will also discuss with a women audience on the theme: `The Role of Women in the Promotion of Multilateralism”. “She is scheduled to also meet with the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar,’’ Soremekun said.

Soremekun also explained that Espinosa will arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja and will be received by a representative of the Nigerian Government and Mr Edward Kallon, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria.

It was gathered that this will be the second official visit of Espinosa, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly to the African region since taking over the presidency.

On June 5, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly elected Espinosa, who was then Ecuadorean Foreign Minister, as President, the fourth woman to hold that position and the first since 2006.

Solving Nigeria’s rising youth unemployment

By Staff Reporter

The United Nations Environment Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (UNEP-EBAFOSA) recently stated that the biggest problem of African countries, including Nigeria, is youth unemployment. The UN agency also revealed that Nigeria must create 11 million new jobs every year to solve the problem.

The regional coordinator of the UNEP-EBAFOSA, Dr. Richard Munang, disclosed this at the UNEP-EBAFOSA Nigeria policy harmonisation meeting for the implementation of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) and Climate Action in Abuja. The importance of the meeting, according to UNEP regional coordinator, is to help Nigeria implement its climate obligations in such a way that opportunities can be created for the youth. Munang also pointed out that Nigeria is even worsening the problem by importing tomato paste worth $360 million every year. Besides, Nigeria is reportedly losing N9 billion every year due to post-harvest losses. This is one challenge that African leaders must quickly resolve before the situation explodes. Also, the President of EBAFOSA-Nigeria, James Oyesola, reiterated that the youth should be engaged more now than ever before in view of the rising unemployment in the country. Available statistics show that the general unemployment figure in Africa is about 32 per cent with youth unemployment alone responsible for 60 per cent of it. In Nigeria, the 2018 NBS statistics point to 23.3 per cent unemployment figure with youth unemployment at over 40 per cent. Nigeria has about 98.3 million hectares of arable land of which 72.2 million hectares are cultivable. Regrettably, only 34.2 million hectares were cultivated. While over 53 million Nigerians remain undernourished, 65 per cent of Nigerians are food insecure.

We bemoan the rising youth unemployment in Africa, especially Nigeria, which has enough arable land for agriculture. At the same time, we commend the UN agency for bringing to the fore the rising unemployment problem on the continent and how it can be tackled through agriculture. Therefore, we call on Nigeria and other African countries to tap their agricultural potentials and create more jobs for the unemployed youths. We can go back to the era of groundnut pyramid, cocoa plantation, oil palm and rubber. We must also cut our appetite for foreign foods. Nigeria should stop the importation of tomato paste said to be costing the country a whopping $360 million yearly. It is also sad that the country loses N9 billion yearly due to post-harvest losses alone. The nexus between youth unemployment and the insurgency in the North East region of the country cannot be overemphasized.

Therefore, the government should rise to the challenge and create millions of jobs for the unemployed youths to stem the insecurity in the land. Government can only do this by diversifying the nation’s economy through agriculture and the development of the solid minerals sector. They should more investment in agriculture and the solid minerals to change the nation’s unemployment narrative. The continent is in dire need of resources to build her basic and critical infrastructure that can hasten its industrial development. It is sad that many countries in Africa lack basic infrastructure such as good roads, potable water, transportation and functional health and education systems.

African countries should exploit arts and culture as well as sports and tourism to create more jobs for the youths. These countries must invest in scientific and technological education. We say this because no continent or nation can develop without adequate knowledge of science and technology. For science to take root in Africa, African leaders must provide the enabling environment.

Therefore, there is need for these countries to pay attention to technical, vocational and entrepreneurial education with emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). We believe that this kind of education can equip the beneficiaries with the necessary tools to overcome unemployment and even be self-employed. Nigeria should establish more technical and vocational schools as a way of solving the rising unemployment among her youths.

Source The Sun

Secretary-General Calls for Investment in Africa’s Youth, Continent’s ‘Greatest Asset’, to Promote Development, Close Gender Gaps in Labour Force

By United Nations

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks at the “A Call to Invest: Investing in Jobs for Young People in Africa” event, in New York today:

Let me thank the United Kingdom, Canada, Ghana and Rwanda for bringing us together and for highlighting the vast opportunities for investing in jobs for young people in Africa.

Youth unemployment is first and foremost a tragedy for young people’s hope for the future. But it can also undermine development and generate frustration and alienation that, in turn, can be a catalyst for social unrest, crime and unsafe migration — and a threat to global peace and security.

It would be wrong to draw a straight line between youth unemployment and a propensity for violence. Yet it is unfortunately all too easy for frustration and anger to be exploited by extremists of all kinds.

Africa has the fastest growing youth population in the world. They are the continent’s greatest asset — a vast source of energy, innovation, ideas and solutions. Indeed, at a time when the rest of the world will be ageing, Africa’s youth are also an asset for the global labour force.

But today, one third of African youth are unemployed and discouraged; another third are vulnerably employed or in low‑value jobs in the informal sector. This reinforces poverty and inequality. Young African women are even worse off. It is estimated that gender gaps in the labour force cost Africa $105 billion in 2014 alone.

Investment is crucial to harness Africa’s youth dividend. Investments [are needed] in health and education, and in science, technology and industrialization. And not just basic education — but in skills that match the needs of present but above all of future labour markets in a world that is changing so quickly.

The African Continental Free Trade Area is an important step in the right direction in creating job opportunities. Earlier this week, the United Nations launched the Youth2030 strategy and the Generation Unlimited initiative — two new efforts to empower people, including through learning and employment, especially for girls.

We want to make sure that all young people, in and beyond Africa, have decent work and can fulfil their potential. Thank you very much.

This articles was first published on United Nations Press Release Report

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