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Namibian Youth Call For Climate Action For A Sustainable Future

By:Justicia Shipena

Namibian youth, driven by a desire for sustainability, advocated for renewable-powered baroles at the National Youth Climate Change Summit, to usher in a new era of energy consumption.

Their demand for renewable-powered baroles demonstrates a deep knowledge of the critical need to shift away from fossil fuels and towards cleaner, more sustainable options.

ToiniAmutenya, the Director of the National Youth Climate Action Network of Namibia (Youth4CAN), remarked at the summit’s conclusion that the youth are advocating for investment in renewable-powered boreholes.
“We call for social entrepreneurship, investment in renewable powered boreholes and increased water harvesting to increase access to clean water,” Amutenya said.

The 5-day Summit, which ended last Friday, was held under the theme “Empowering youth for Climate Action” and brought together 42 youth delegates from around the country.

Regarding climate change and water security, the youth expressed a desire to build and engage in platforms that promote national awareness, community sensitisation, and the anticipation of speeding increased community participation in better water access activities.

Young people, according to Amutenya, desire speedier funding for water and sanitation infrastructure, as well as social investment in community-based water management and a circular economy.

A circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended. In practice, it implies reducing waste to a minimum.

“We call on increased collaboration with local non-government organisations to increase access to water and sanitation and health through financing, technical expertise to develop inclusive solutions as well as data collection and monitoring systems,” the youths said.

This request was designed to encourage international collaboration on transboundary water resources.

Furthermore, the delegates expressed that increased finance, talent transfer, and extensive training opportunities would allow them to make a meaningful contribution to the country’s climate development goal.

In addition, the youth delegates recognised the significance of financial assistance and skills development in unlocking their potential and encouraging personal and professional progress, particularly in the energy generation industry.

During the Summit, the youths also addressed agriculture development and food security, urging Namibia’s government, development partners, and business sector to increase their efforts to improve food security while also guaranteeing sustainable natural resource management.

“To this end we commit ourselves to increase our participation in educational programmes, workshops and online courses that will empower us to implement projects and practices that address climate change while enhancing food security.”

However, Amunteya pointed out that youth alone will not be able to resolve the issue of food insecurity. She said they urged the Namibian government to expedite the implementation of adaptive measures such as capacity building on food storage and sustainable farming practices, which should be made a compulsory subject in basic education.

The youth delegates advocated for more investment in research, innovation, and capacity building in order to encourage the adoption of resilient land management approaches that protect the country’s economic systems, support rural livelihoods, and reduce the effects of climate change.

“We call for Namibia to unite and forge a sustainable future for Namibia, where our land flourishes and our communities thrive,” Amutenya said.

Under the sustainable industry thematic area, the young delegates stated that in order to achieve the NDC policy objective, Namibian youth must take advantage of available resources and opportunities to be active and productive in climate action and sustainable development.

Furthermore, instead of waiting for favourable outcomes from pilot initiatives, the government was advised to develop a process for recognising and supporting innovative ventures from the start.

The youths also want development partners to guarantee that funding is supported with skills development, monitoring programmes, and investment in technology transfer through joint efforts.

The youth at the Summit pledged to being proactive, prepared, and creating task force platforms within the resilience infrastructure priority sector, Amutenya said.

Justicia Shipena

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