Liberia: USAID Mission Director Wants Youth Leadership Harnessed to Promote Green, Climate-Friendly Environment in Liberia

USAID Liberia Mission Director Jim Wright

MONROVIA: USAID Liberia Mission Director Jim Wright has underscored the pressing need to Harness Youth Leadership for A Green, Climate-Friendly environment in Liberia

Mr. Wright said Liberia, as home to some of the largest carbon-absorbing tropical rainforests on the planet, has an important role to play in creating a climate-friendly, greener, and more sustainable world to preserve natural resources and promote global environmental sustainability.

Liberian youth account for 60% of the Country’s population and their full engagement and support play an important role in creating a climate-friendly environment.

In a special statement commemorating the International Youth Day held under the theme, Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World, the U.S. Diplomat the ability of the young people to make climate-friendly choices in their personal lives and capacity as national leaders will determine the extent to which Liberia fulfills its important role in managing the global climate crisis and creating a greener world.

“The United States recognizes the critical role youth must play in building a more sustainable world. The Embassy through USAID is working to provide young people with green skills, so they are equipped to lead the way in making environmentally sound choices and decisions,” Mr. Wright said.

Recounting the launch of the Forestry, Biodiversity, and Conservation Center at the University of Liberia by USAID, Wright said he believes that the Center will be at the core of developing the capacity of technicians, scholars, and forest workers who will help protect Liberia’s forests and the biodiversity they shelter.

He also wants the effort to provide youth with green skills to go beyond forest conservation and protection, rather it must also involve helping them more broadly to acquire the knowledge, abilities, and values needed to live in and develop a resource-efficient society.

As part of efforts to lead by example, he said, through the Youth Advance activity, USAID has trained more than 100 youth to be technicians, installing and maintaining solar panels and these youth are helping to provide Liberians with better access to clean, sustainable, climate-friendly energy.

“They are now able to earn a living from activities like honey making, while also understanding how to adapt their businesses to manage the impact of climate change. With cash grants and technical support from our Agribusiness Incubator and Development project, young green entrepreneurs are adding value to local produce, milling rice, processing and packaging cassava and plantain products, and even snails for the domestic and export markets,” he said.

He added that others are producing and shipping organic palm oil and palm kernel oil to foreign markets. Yet others are helping farmers engage in large-scale pineapple cultivation.

“With the right support and backing, youth can lead the transition to more environmentally sustainable modes of producing the goods and services that are central to modern life. We, the adults, must now lead by example,” he said.

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