Youth organisations in Malawi have demanded that government should put in place effective climate change adaptation programs and ensure they are adequately financed in order to lessen the suffering occasioned by the impacts of climate change.
The youth holding a news conference jointly with ActionAid Malawi.-Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times The youth holding a news conference jointly with ActionAid Malawi.-Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times
The organisations have also asked for workable mitigation actions, an inclusive and effective national and international policy framework and inclusion of young women and girls in climate change adaptation interventions.
Activista Youth Network, National Youth Network on Climate Change and Initiative for Climate Action and Development made their calls on Friday in the Capital Lilongwe at a press conference they jointly held with ActionAid Malawi.
Their calls come in view of the United Nations Youth Climate Summit which is being held this Saturday to consolidate all the concerns of the youths on climate change.
The resolutions of the youth summit will then be presented to leaders at the United Nations Secretary General's high-profile Climate Action Summit on Monday, 23rd September, to take action on climate injustice.
Addressing the news conference, Activista Youth Network Coordinator, Stanley Mazani, bemoaned what he described as lack of political will and comprehensive support by the Malawi Government to prioritize climate change issues.
Mazani and his counterparts then took turns to read out a statement which outlines their demands.
"Climate change infringes women's and young people's rights including the right to food. We want government and development partners to ensure that education curricula right from the elementary level to tertiary level incorporate adaption to climate change as a prerequisite.
"Provide incentives for young people and women at grassroot level and national level to identify and promote adaptation innovations and initiatives. The incentives should ensure the fulfilment of best innovations and recognized in our National Determined Contributions," reads the statement in part.
The statement also notes that sustainable and adequate financing is an essential pillar towards ensuring comprehensive, preventive and responsive climate change interventions.
The organisations then call upon development partners to relax funding conditions to enable the youths and youth organisations to access grants and revolving funds in order to implement their climate change adaptation interventions.
"Government should also initiate progressive tax collections and ensure that the generated revenue addresses the climate change related needs of women, young women, girls and children. Authorities should build and strengthen alliances to demand financing to ensure resilience of communities particularly women and young people," it adds.
The youth organisations and ActionAid joined millions of others around the World for the global climate strike on 20th September, the largest mass mobilisation against climate chaos.
ActionAid is working together with allies and partners such as these youth organisations on climate change interventions to put the spotlight on communities, especially the youth and women farmers who are already facing the reality of climate change impacts.
Part of the advocacy messages by ActionAid include; Calling upon wealthy countries to implement policies that reflect climate justice and provide climate finance to less wealthy countries which are suffering impacts and cannot afford to transition to greener pathways by themselves.