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An EcoKnowledge Derivative policy, an initiative of the International Support Network for African Development (ISNAD-Africa), with support from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has called for youth inclusion in post Covid-19 biodiversity framework to address prevailing challenges.
The group raised concerns over the rate of nature degradation, insisting that exclusion of youth in policy making, especially in the African continent is disastrous.
According to the stakeholders, Nigeria and other African countries are losing as much as $3.8 billion to erosion, pollution and other environmental and health threatening issue.
Executive Director of ISNAD-African, Adedoyin Adeleke said effective youth engagements in the implementation of the framework, beyond awareness creation was sacrosanct, adding that strategies for resource mobilisation should be conceptualized and operated based on intergenerational equity as well as ensure adequate resources allocated towards capacity- building and empowerment of youth and youth-led organisations.
Adeleke said: “Improvement in the availability, accessibility, and dissemination of information resources with special attention on the youth at all levels” remained critical, stressing that initiatives on intergenerational knowledge, language learning and transmission, especially by indigenous peoples and local communities, are institutionalised and supported through government policy and funding, among other instrument was equally key.
“ISNAD-Africa strongly supports the harmony of the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. While the post 2020 GBF would contribute to the implementation and realisation of the 2030 Agenda, the implementation of the post 2020 GBF will also leverage on the progress made towards the achievement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Therefore, the harmony of the post 2020 GBF with the SDGs would promotes policy coherence that breaks silos and fosters synergies, thus reducing the duplication of effort which result in coherent and complementary actions towards green growth.”
Adeleke said the GBF would be a major milestone in global agreements on the protection of biodiversity that would set the international ambition for the new decade, adding that the framework intends to promote and strengthen equity considerations by upholding the rights-based approach.
Adeleke feared that waning rate of the ecosystem may lead to the extinction of over one million plants and animal species across the world, especially in Africa
With minimal contribution and focus on the youth in policy formulation and decisions-making process in countries like Nigeria, Adeleke said projected gains of United Nations Convention for Biological Diversity, especially the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011-2030) could remain a mirage.
Regretting the over $4 trillion loss in the tourism sector for years 2020 and 2021 and the over $125 Billion spent by the World Bank to combat the impact of the health, economic and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Adeleke said the roles of the youths in addressing some of the challenges faced by nature could be a game changer.
“The inherent and associated losses that accrue to nature are indeed undermining the increasing investment for sustainable development in the run-up to 2030. Therefore, the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) need to acknowledge the urgency to stop and reverse the nature and biodiversity losses if the aspirations of the United Nations 2030 Agenda must be achieved,” Adeleke said.
Considering that more than 40 per cent of African population youths, the experts said lack of recognition through meaningful climate and environmental education limited the capacity of young people to acquire knowledge and skills they require for active and effective participation and contribution to policies and decision-making process at the international, national, and sub-national levels.
Adeleke said: ““This undermines the rights of the youth, who represent the share of the African populace with the most active, enthusiasm, resilience, and exploratory spirit to take action to protect themselves, their children, and the health of the planet, hence hampering the progress towards a nature positive planet.”
To ensure the empowerment of youth in the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), the experts said there was need effective youth engagements in the implementation of the framework, beyond awareness creation.
The policy brief equally seek strategies for resource mobilisation should be conceptualized and operated based on intergenerational equity as well as ensure adequate resources allocated towards capacity-building and empowerment of youth and youth-led organisations.
Adeleke said improvement in the availability, accessibility, and dissemination of information resources with special attention on the youth at all levels as well as initiatives on intergenerational knowledge, language learning and transmission, especially by indigenous peoples and local communities remained sacrosanct.
“The rates of biodiversity loss and nature degradation are alarming due to unsustainable production and consumption by human beings. The catastrophic loss of species, not only negatively impact biodiversity but also exacerbate climate change. Hence, Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) should provide and set the pace clear pathways for mitigating as well as reversing the biodiversity losses towards the realisation of a nature positive planet,” he stated.