Benin/Involving young people in the fight against climate change: The I Act Peer Benin project launched

Published on 16/09/2023 | La rédaction


On Thursday, September 14, 2023, the Novotel Hôtel in Cotonou was the setting for a training workshop for around a hundred young Beninese involved in the fight against the harmful effects of climate change, also marking the launch of the international project Italy Irena Action for Climate Toolkit (I Act Peer Benin). The aim is to build their capacities in order to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which Benin is committed.

After a first phase of capacity building for young people trained by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) on the basis of a specific "toolbox", this project represents the second phase. At the opening ceremony and launch of the workshop, after introductory remarks by Martin Aïna, Director General for the Environment and Climate, the UNDP Representative Resident of the UNDP recognized that the voices of young people in decision-making processes are very important for the achievement of sustainable development goals, in particular those relating to energy and climate change.

For Aouale Mohamed Abachir, decision-making processes in the climate and energy sectors must also take into account the fact that the future of young people is at stake, not least because of their growing vulnerability. "That's why, from now on, we need to position young people at the center as agents of change (...). Within the population, it is children, young people and women who are most affected by climate change", he asserted.

The Italian Ambassador to Benin, Stefano De Leo, added that the program was part of the support for the YOUTH4CLIMATE initiative launched in Milan in 2021 with the aim ofobjective of building a space for young people's voices, offering them the chance to play an active role in climate negotiations, until now the preserve of national governments. "The "I Act" project also underlines Italy's and Benin's commitment to young people and their remarkable contribution to the fight against climate change.

The project is also fully in line with the agenda of Rome's bid for Expo 2030, which focuses on sustainable development issues. The hoped-for success of Rome's bid will provide a formidable showcase to reinforce the joint commitment of Italy and Benin in one of the sectors of strategic importance for sustainable development, the well-being of the population and the future of young people", he said.

In officially launching both the workshop and the project, Minister José Didier Tonato du Cadre de vie et des transports, Chargé du développement durable (Minister for the Environment and Transport, in charge of sustainable development) said that the present workshop was a perfect opportunity for Italy and Benin to work together to promote sustainable development.I would like to encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by renewable energies and sustainable agriculture. "I would like to encourage you to take full advantage of the initiative for more action and impact in your respective communities", he concluded.


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