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Environmental Protection Agency Bill caters for youth interest

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Bill 2023 will include dimensions that capture the interest of the youth. The move is to enrich the Bill,?make it more relevant and ensure smooth implementation, when passed.

Dr?Godfred Seidu Jasaw, the Deputy Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on?Food,?Agriculture?and Cocoa Affairs, said this at a public consultation organised by Alliance for Green Revolution Africa (AGRA) in Accra.

The event sought to assist in the content revision and to propose specific amendments that will address needs of youth, and vulnerable groups, including People living with Disabilities around?climate adaptation and use of climate change funds that will?be?established as a provision of the Bill when enacted.

It also served as a platform to create awareness,?engagement,?and climate literacy among?young people

Dr Jasaw said the timing of the amendment to the Bill was right because, ‘it is currently at the second consideration stage and open for input to make it solid.’?

He noted that the Bill was seeking to elevate the Environmental Protection Agency as an Authority to be empowered to regulate, protect, and exercise general oversight and co-ordination over all matters relating to the environment and climate change.?

He said the Bill, when passed, would consolidate the various dispersed Environmental Acts; the Environmental Protection Act, 1994 (490), the Pesticides Control and Management Act, 1996 (Act 528) and the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act (917) under one Act.

The Bill under review was enacted twenty-nine years ago to regulate matters that affect the environment and to coordinate the activities of bodies that deal with the practical and technical aspects of the environment.

Mr Assan?Ng’ombe, the Head of Resilience at?AGRA,?said Ghana had a large youthful population of??which 73.7 per cent of them were below the age of 35 years.

‘However, youth participation in public and private processes remains low. For example, less than two per cent o
f the 275 Members Parliament fall in the 21-35 age range,’ he noted.

The situation, Mr Ng’ombe said had, created gaps in national laws and programmes in effectively responding to the needs of the youth.

He said Ghana just like other global south countries was vulnerable to rising sea levels, droughts, increasing temperatures and erratic rainfall which adversely impacted infrastructure, hydropower production, food security and coastal and agricultural livelihoods.

Mr?Ng’ombe noted that the youth had a role to play in helping the implementation of the country’s climate adaptation and mitigation measures hence the need for their inclusion.

Source: Ghana News Agency