The hidden truth: Solutions for a youth-driven bioeconomy in Ghana

Food system summit 2021.

According to The Convention on Biological Diversity strategy for Ghana, biological resources are under serious threat, and urgent action is required to avert negative consequences. Lack of coordination across policymaking and implementation agencies at the global, regional, national, and local levels is also a major impediment to effective management of biological resources.

zero waste. This strategy was to promote inclusion in designing the project in line with community needs and opinions through consultative meetings. Also, part of this effort is to ensure informal waste workers are recognized by the public and institutions as key to waste management.

A live interview conducted with some of the waste pickers and collectors following the celebration of the waste pickers day served as a case study. They shared their plight on the stigmatization they face on a day-to-day basis as waste collectors and how they are even denied health care due to their appearance. Inclusion should not only be youth-centered but transcend all individuals within communities. Surprisingly, 50 percent of the waste workers engaged were youth.

Agenda 21 identifies youth as one of the nine major civil society groups with the right and responsibility to participate in sustainable development. Again, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in its Article 6 on Education, Training and Public Awareness, urges governments to develop climate change education and training programs to educate, empower and engage all stakeholders, including youth. Youth are therefore the major group for effective engagement in creating and implementing decisions on climate change and issues of environmental sustainability or environmental policies.

Youth-led campaigns directed toward leaders on boosting resource efficiency and the use of renewable raw materials while transforming the economic system into one which favors a circular and climate-neutral environment. The shift from a linear to a circular economy will generate new business models in all sectors of production, including the bio-based world. Despite the fact that bio-economic solutions address global climate concerns, a gap exists in raising awareness with the public.

We are currently in an era where managing resources is seen as poverty, and mismanagement of resources is seen as riches. If I could go back as a 7-year-old to my childhood community, I would ask my leaders why they hid the truth from me.

The truth, that I have the right to decide my future;

The truth, that I have the right to protect my natural resources;

The truth is that I am not just a child but a meaningful changemaker;

Gender inequality remains a problem rendering inclusion incomplete within community settings. In certain parts of Ghana, women are not allowed to own lands or contribute to decision making. They are assigned to the kitchen and daily chores.

The need to operationalize social inclusion in the bioeconomy will not only ensure sustainability, with gender inclusion, but trans-sustainability — sustainability that will be transferred from one generation to another.

The bioeconomy solution concepts present innovations of understanding economic systems, with a focus on market uptake of greener solutions based on less intensive resource use. Adherence to this bio evolution, bioeconomy projects such as agribusiness, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture are fields in which youth should be massively encouraged to participate.

Our leaders have always been the ones deciding our future, it’s time they hand over and trust us to make the changes we want to see.

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Publish date : 2021-11-05 23:19:05

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