The Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Water and Environment Alfred Okot Okidi has called upon the youth at various levels to participate in addressing deforestation as well environmental degradation which have greatly affected the country’s climate.
In his remarks read by Collins Oloya the Commissioner of Wetlands in the Ministry at the grand opening of the two day consultation meeting of Youth and Women at Collin Hotel Mukono, ask the minister pointed out deforestation as the leading cause of Global Warming
“Forestry and Environment in general has a very big aspect on our life whereby the earlier we recognize the easier it becomes to avert environmental related hazards”
Oloya further advised the youth to double their efforts by engaging in environmental protection practices since they are the future generation with the largest percentage in population of the country
Mrs. Margaret Athieno Mwebesa the Assistant commissioner of Forestry and REDD plus National focal point in Uganda pointed out that deforestation is on high increase in privately owned forests compared to Government owned Forest reserve.
“Some of the major causes of deforestation include harvesting timber for commercial use, information pills harvesting of construction poles, search fuel wood extraction charcoal production, expansion of farming fields,wild fires as well as Oil extraction and mining”
On the involvement of the youth in this program, Mwebesa revealed that youth form the largest percentage in both the country’s population as well as in the productive sector therefore their views can’t be ignored.
“As part of the REDD plus strategy we shall involve youth in creation of Green jobs both short and long term jobs. Trees take long to grow but in the meantime the youth can benefit from these trees through a number of ways like bee keeping, Selling of seedlings which can help to improve on their financial status.”
Xavier Mugumya Nyindo, alternate REDD plus Focal Point personnel and the coordinator of Climate change in National Forestry Authority (NFA) in his address to women participants revealed that one of the reasons why women were involved was to get their views since they are engaged in deforestation through a number of ways
“Women constitute the large category of Gender because they take responsibility of very many other people of the community including the young ones. We hope that the knowledge they have acquired here will be shared with very many categories of people.”
The two-day meeting was meant to discuss with both youth and women on governance and policy issues that have been generated from consolidating information on baseline scenarios.