Youth for Policy Celebrates World Environment Day 2024 with Vision for a Greener Earth

Youth for Policy (YfP) marked World Environment Day 2024 with a webinar titled “Greener Earth for a Better Tomorrow” on June 5th, 2024. This event was part of a five-day campaign led by YfP in collaboration with the Institute of Informatics and Development (IID) and the Parliamentary Caucus on Justice. The webinar celebrated the success of YfP’s nationwide school-level climate awareness campaign and featured panel discussions with policymakers and youth leaders from Bangladesh and abroad. 

Bangladesh, ranked as the seventh most vulnerable country to climate change, faces significant threats, particularly to its youth and children. According to UNICEF’s 2022 Children’s Climate Risk Index, over 20 million Bangladeshi children are at risk due to frequent floods and cyclones that disrupt education and worsen nutritional deficiencies. As a signatory of the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC, Bangladesh is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on climate action. 

This year, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) chose “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience” as the theme for World Environment Day 2024. In alignment with SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 15 (Life on Land), YfP conducted a series of campaigns titled “Greener Earth for a Better Tomorrow.” 

Aroma Dutta, the chief guest and a member of the Parliamentary Caucus on Justice, praised young people’s tree-planting efforts to create a green and smart Bangladesh. She stressed the need for a tree database to monitor these efforts and highlighted the urgent need to protect agricultural lands, ponds, cultivation fields, and rivers. Dutta also emphasized the importance of social forestry, advocating for tree planting at every house to ensure proper care and protection. 

Syeed Ahmed, CEO and Founder of IID, highlighted the necessity of youth participation in policy formation to establish a sustainable future and called for better collaborative effort among stakeholders including policymakers and youths. 

The webinar’s main attraction was a panel discussion with global youth leaders. Anu Rai from Nepal emphasized re-learning sustainable land management practices from the past and our ancestors’ indigenous knowledge. Amanullah Porag from Bangladesh stressed the importance of urban reforestation for flood protection and preserving coastal belts and forests, advising not promoting eco-tourism in the forestry areas that affects the forest. He also highlighted the need to develop young people’s capacities before involving them in policy discussions.  

Mahmoud Sassi from Tunisia highlighted using social media platforms to spread climate awareness and share youth stories. Rumbidzai Gondo from Zimbabwe warned that poor environmental stewardship leads to disasters, including health issues, and advised young people starting with small climate actions rather than focusing on the entire climate change agenda at once. 

The webinar was part of YfP’s five-day nationwide campaign to promote awareness, cleanliness, and greenness for a better tomorrow. From June 1-5, the campaign involved over 600 students from 12 schools across 12 districts and planted more than 400 trees. The event ended with hope and a vision for ongoing efforts towards a greener earth. 

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