International youth day 2008: Call to fight climate change

Kathmandu, August 12:

International Youth Day 2008 was observed throughout the country today with the slogan of ‘Youth and Climate Change: Time for Action.’

As part of generating awareness about the significance of the day, Association of Political Science Students (APSS) organised a rally from Balmiki Campus in Bhrikutimandap today.

The rally passed through Sahidgate, Bir Hospital and Ratnapark before converging into a corner meet in Ratna Rajya Campus. Student wings of various political parties and students from different colleges and schools participated in the rally.

Addressing the meet, Dr Minendra Rijal, central member of the Nepali Congress, and Pradeep Gyawali, central member of CPN-UML, said the state was always ready to work with the youths.

They also said that the government would make appropriate programmes and policies to tackle the threats posed by climate change after discussing with the youths.

Speaking on the occasion, student leaders emphasised the need of addressing the issue of climate change at the political level. They also said the youths also needed to pay attention towards the environmental issues besides their studies.

At another programme, Hi Youth Nepal felicitated 51 Constituent Assembly members and requested them to include seven pertinent issues of the youths in the new constitution. Their demands include formation of a separate youth ministry, ensuring quality education, free health facilities and the representation of youths in government sector.

Similarly, Youth Forum Nepal organised an interaction to observe th day. Speaking at the interaction, Bhushan Tuladhar, executive director of Environment, Population and Health Organisation, said climate change posed both challenges and opportunities.

“Developed countries emit more green house gases but the effect is more on developing countries. We have two choices: Either adapt to climate change or make profit from carbon trading,” he said. He further emphasised the role of youths towards exploring new ways to gain foreign currency from carbon trade.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged young people around the world to invest their energies and bright ideas into shaping a safer and more sustainable planet. In his message issued on the occasion of International Youth Day 2008, Moon said:

“Climate change could cause an unravelling of the progress that has been made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and could also have serious implications for

peace and security. Therefore we will need the spirit of youth in abundance as the world seeks to embrace cleaner, more sustainable forms of energy, including renewable resources.”

He also said the world would become a rather inhospitable place in future unless human beings made radical changes in the way of living.

“Youths should therefore be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels,” Moon demanded.