UNFPA stresses green skills to tackle climate change 

ZANZIBAR: THE United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative in Tanzania Mr Mark Bryan Schreiner has said that green skills have high importance for young people to address climate change that disproportionately impacts adolescents and youth.

According to him, climate change mostly affects developing countries including Tanzania, a nation with big youth population.

“With this in mind, the global theme for International Youth Day (IYD)-2023 is ‘Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World. This is an excellent theme because it recognises the role of all ages, including young women and men as essential partners in promoting prosperity and sustainable development,” said Schreiner.

Schreiner said this in his message to commemorate the youth day which was held in Zanzibar on Saturday.

He pointed out that the UNFPA has been championing for the rights of young people, including working to enable them to fulfill their fullest potential and that girls in particular must be among the new generation of leaders building our sustainable future, as they are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

He said in national commitments to increase green skills, men and boys are more frequently recognised as change agents than women and girls, adding that as world leaders call for a future of green skills among youth,   girls’ power   must not be excluded.

He emphasised that youth leadership and participation are key in decision-making and development processes and that UNFPA recognises that when the group is empowered and provided with the right opportunities, they become   effective drivers of change.

He explained that in collaboration between Tanzania government and development partners, the UN is supporting youth   to access education, tools and services including encouraging their participation in development processes.

“In partnership with the Prime Minister’s Office in the Mainland and the Ministry responsible for Youth in Zanzibar, the UN is supporting the development and revision of policies, strategies and frameworks aimed at strengthening the delivery of effective services to youth,” said Mr Mark.

The enabling environment for youth includes supporting capacity development in programmes to reach the marginalised adolescents and delivering imparting community-based life-skills that promote human rights and gender equality, while also supporting integration of participation, leadership and entrepreneurship to youth groups and youth-led organizations to build capacity to enhance their social-economic development.

Mr Schreiner said that the mission of UNFPA is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every child birth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

However, to have this mission fulfilled it is to invest in youth’s friendly services and programmes.

Some investments carried out by UNFPA in collaboration with development partners include peer educator programme on sexual and reproductive health and rights that reached over 125,000 youth and establishment of 103 health facilities.

The UNFPA and partners also support enhanced access to emergency obstetric and newborn care and youth-friendly services, including imparting entrepreneurship, leadership and life skills education to build young people’s capacity, commitment and confidence, when presented with the opportunity to lead and participate in decision making.

Green skills include technical knowledge and skills that enable the effective use of green technologies and processes in occupational settings, as well as transversal skills that draw on a range of knowledge, values and attitudes to facilitate environmentally sustainable decisions in work and in life.

For her part, Zanzibar Minister for Youth, Information, Culture and Sports Ms Tabia Maulid Mwita said the government through her ministry is committed to ensuring youth are better served and involved in all development programmes.

“We have been working with development partners to solve challenges facing young people including lack of employment. We empower youth by promoting start-ups for creative projects and trainings,” said Ms Tabia.

National Youth Council National Chairperson Mr Yunus Juma Ali and Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Youth Wing (UVCCM) Mr Mohamed Ali Kawaida promised to strengthen cooperation for the development of all youth regardless of gender.

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