Youths from Malawi’s Southern Region Lake Chilwa Basin districts have asked for inclusive participation from policy makers and non-governmental organizations when making plans on environment and climate change.
The youth made the call during a youth forum on environment and climate change which took place at Masuku Lodge in Zomba. The forum was organized by the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD).
The youth observed that the issue of climate change is diverse, and by sidelining them by government or environmental non-governmental organizations drives away their pro-activeness in the fighting against environmental degradation.
Civil society network on climate change coordinator Herbert Mwalukomo said much as the youth have knowledge on climate change issues from different localities, they are supposed to be guided.
“Knowledge grows when the youth are actively involved in making guidelines in mitigating the effects of climate change. This makes them agents of environmental conservation because they form a larger percentage of Malawi population. Their voice needs to be heard in order to reach out to a wider audience,” he said.
LEAD director Professor Sosten Chiotha said the forum was aimed at engaging the youth in order to learn from their understanding on issues related to the environment and climate change.
“We believe that in doing this, we are going to reach out to many people. This forum will enable them to share what they do in their respective communities with their friends. The fact that these youths are already on the ground gives us the hope that we are going to make
a huge impact in combating effects of climate change,” said Chiotha.
The youths came from the Lake Chilwa Basin districts of Phalombe, Machinga and Zomba, and others from the Shire Valley district of Nsanje and Blantyre.