To mark Word Earth Day 2022, the United Nations Development Programme, the Government of Uganda through the Minister of Water and Environment with funding from the Swedish Government on Friday this week launched the Stockholm+50 national consultations program.
While speaking at the launch which had representation from government, private sector, Civil Society organizations, youth, and high-level delegates, among others, the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda Maria Håkansson expressed her gratitude and pleasure for the work done by UNDP in preparation for the June meeting.
“I wish to thank UNDP and the Ministry of Water for the immense work you are doing with the Stockholm+50 consultations in Uganda. I’m happy that your efforts have ensured that the consultations in Uganda are inclusive, thought through, and action-oriented.”, she remarked.
The Stockholm+50 is set to happen between the 2nd to 3rd of June and it will be running under the theme: “A healthy planet for the prosper of all – our responsibility, our opportunity” and will bring together representatives from over 60 countries. It will also serve as a commemoration and reflection on the discussion of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, which birthed the UN Environment Program, which will be celebrating 50 years of global environmental action.
Preparations for the meeting are being executed by the Ministry of Water and Environment, the United Nations Development Programme & the Embassy of Sweden, and these are to entail a series of local and national meetings where the different stakeholders will share ideas that will constitute the statement that Uganda will present in Stockholm (Sweden) in June at the meeting.
According to Alfred Okot Okidi, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Environment, the government has put the young people at the center stage of this exercise for their contribution and the role they play in environmental conservation.
“The youth are very important, if not the most important constituency for us when it comes to issues of the environment and climate change because the actions we take directly affect not only them but the generations to come too.”, he remarked.
He also added: “The youth have the energy, the capability, and innovation and we want to make sure that we leave no one behind. That is why in this consultation, our priority are the youth, because of the cardinal role they play.”
On her part, Mrs. Sheila Ngaita, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative, the involvement of youth in this activity was timely and crucial.
“There’s no better way to start this important exercise than involving the youth, as they are the future leaders and are taking the lead in green transition and satiable development.”, she noted.
“One of the main reasons for the Stockholm+50 consultations in Uganda is to amplify the voices of the young people, women, vulnerable, and local communities to influence national debates that consider the views of all stakeholders. Many of you have demonstrated this commitment and we thank you and are looking forward to your views being shared in Stockholm.”, she concluded.
Team Lead at the Go Green Initiative Edwin Muhumuza while speaking at the launch emphasized the importance of youth participation in such programs.
“As young people, we can’t just sit and quietly watch when our resources are being degraded, when our forests, rivers, and lakes are being taken away.”, he remarked.
On implementation, Mr. Eric said that they are working with several environmental clubs in schools, and have engaged celebrities when carrying out outreaches so as to attract the young people to engage them in activities geared towards the environment like debates, and so forth.
The Stockholm+50 consultation discussions are to be centered on the 3 leadership dialogues on reflecting on the urgent need for actions to achieve a healthy planet and prosperity of all, achieving a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic; and accelerating the implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.
Thereafter, there shall be a follow-up meeting to assess the views and recommendations given from all regions which will inform the final document that will be presented in June from 2nd to 3rd. learn more about the programme here.